BERLIN — Calls for a common European film policy were high on the agenda at the three-day Babelsberg Intl. Conference on Film and Television Production, which kicked off Monday at Studio Babelsberg outside of Berlin.

Local and international industryites at a panel discussion on “Opportunities for a European Policy” argued for protecting European culture by uniting in the face of September’s trade negotiations at the World Trade Organization conference in Cancun, Mexico.

With some member states demanding the liberalization of trade of film and TV content, local producers fear film subsidies could be dismantled. Polish producer Dariusz Jablonski said Europe’s cultural diversity was at stake should this demand be successful.

“We need a visionary and offensive audiovisual policy in Europe,” Jablonski said, “not to protect something that is unsuccessful but to create a space for the dreamers that could benefit from the possibilities given to us by the united European culture and market.”

Confab, which runs through Aug. 27, is part of the annual Berlin-Brandenburg Intl. Media Week, which also includes the Medienforum, held at the Intl. Congress Center in Berlin Aug. 27-28. The Medienforum focuses on technological developments, including topical issues like Germany’s transition from analog to digital television.

Jablonski, who is prexy of the Chamber of Commerce of Polish Film and TV Producers and a member of the board of the European Producers Club, was joined on the panel by Wolf Bauer, head of UFA Film & TV Produktion; Hans-Robert Eisenhauer, deputy director of programming at French-German pubcaster ARTE; Ruth Hieronymi, member of the European Parliament; and Adolf Muschg, prexy of Germany’s Academy of the Arts.