SAN SEBASTIAN– A manifesto –‘Glocal cinemas, big stories, small countries’ – for movies made in non-dominant languages was published Tuesday at San Sebastian by reps of institutions in 15 European countries and regions.
Event was organized by the Department for Education, Language Policy and Culture of the Basque Government in collaboration with the Basque office of Creative Europe’s MEDIA program.
Manifesto’s main aims to “foster the cinema production and co-production in non-hegemonic languages,”, said Joxean Munoz, Culture Deputy Chairman of Basque government. For Munoz, ‘non-hegemonic languages” are “all languages spoken in Europe, apart from English, French, Italian, Spanish and German.” “Diversity is a value. We aim to defend a different cultural map in Europe, protecting cinemas in different languages to Europe’s strongest,” he added.
According to The European Comission, the U.E. has a 500 million population, 28 state members, three alphabets and 24 official languages. But there are another 60 languages that are spoken groups aggregating 40 million users.
In Europe last year, market share for European films in the E.U. climbed from 26.2% to 33.4%, the highest level since the European Audiovisual Observatory started to calculate share in 1996. However, 18 out of the European top 20 films B.O. ranking were English, French, German or Spanish spoken films. Lukasz Palkowski’s “Bogowie,” which is Polish-spoken, and Felix Herngren’s “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared” (in Swedish, German, Spanish, French, English and Russian) were the other two non dominant-language pics.
After presenting a study, the work group reached some conclusions expressed in the Manifest, as well as drawing up several goals:
*To create a formal working group.
*To support meetings and co-operation among European filmmakers.
*To increase knowledge about linguistic diversity of European cinema.
*To raise the visibility of cinema spoken in non-hegemonic languages.
“In the Basque country, we’ve Spanish-language cinema production, with its funding policies and distribution channels, and also Basque language films with increasingly better production values but with a small domestic market. This is a good moment to analyze how to change the latter,” Basque Country Culture Promotion head Clara Montero told Variety.
“By sharing these concerns and challenges with our colleagues from other countries or regions, we would be able to arrive at more productive reflections and adopt measures in a more effective way,” added Montero who also explained that the distribution opportunities that digital platforms offer to this cinema looks remarkable ,and will be explored. In that sense, one object of study wil be the creation of a common VOD platform or to create a tag label to include in big existing online platforms.
The manifesto was signed by representatives from 18 institutions from European countries or regions where a non-hegemonic language is spoken.
Study group included Film3’s Inge Tenvik (Norway), Estonian Film Institute’s Edith Sepp, Icelandic Film Centre’s Laufey Gudjónsdóttir, Copenhagen Film Fund’s Thomas Gameltoft, Krakow Regional Film Fund’s Katarzyna Wodecka-Stubbs, and Zürcher Filmstiftung’s Daniel Waser (Switzerland).
Also members: Slovenian Film Institute’s Jozko Rutar, Cine-regio’s Charlotte Appelgren (Belgium), Estonian Media Desk’s Katre Kajamae, Basque Government’s Clara Montero, Camila Epalza and Marta Marin (Basque country delegation at the E.U.), E.U.’s Olga Pérez, Creative Europe Media Desk’s Ainhoa González (Basque Country), EKE’s Frank Suárez (Aquitaine Basque Country).
Rounding up the maninfesto initiative were Slovenian Media Desk’s Sabina Briski, Western Audiovisual Forum’s Paddy Hayes (Ireland), Film Cymru’s Hannah Thomas (Wales), Friuli Venezia Audiovisual Fund’s Alessandro Gropplero (Italy), Folktinget’s Markus Österlund (Finland), National Film Centre of Latvia’s Dita Rietuma and Nordnorsk’s Tor Vadseth (Norway/Sami).
Last year “Loreak,” the first Basque-language movie ever to play in competition at San Sebastian Basque has been shortlisted to become Spain’s foreign language Academy Award Entry.