Defending Cultural exception in the EU-US trade agreement:
- a delegation of film directors meeting MEP's
- extracts from the dialogue with MEP's
Première transmission: 11/06/2013
Strasbourg, France - European Parliament
Fin de production: 11/06/2013
A group of European film directors presented a petition to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, just before the European Commission is set to decide if the traditional “cultural exception” should be included in EU–US trade talks. Palme d’Or winning directors Costa GAVRAS and Cristian MUNGIU appeared with Oscar-nominated actress Berenice BEJO to present the petition that has gathered over 6200 signatures so far. Their petition calls for audiovisual and creative works to not be considered as “goods” and excluded from the negotiations, with special protections for creative production in place as the trade talks begin. The European Parliament has shown its concern on this topic. The EP recently adopted a resolution on the draft free trade agreement which also unequivocally demands full respect for the cultural exception.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior shots of the EP, Strasbourg
||Ambience shots before the meeting starts
||SOUNDBITE (French) Henri WEBER (S&D, FR) he explains that cultural exception should not be negotiable, as concessions in this negotiations will be on the future of TV and the audiovisual sector; on the fact that the Parliament has always supported the exclusion of cultural and audiovisual products from the international trade agreements.
||SOUNDBITE (French) Henri WEBER (S&D, FR): We have fought for cultural exception, not only for France or for Europe, but at a global scale; we have tried to explain this around the word because the peoples and the nations have all their right to subsidize their creators, and this cannot be traded.
||SOUNDBITE (French) Costa GAVRAS, film director: After our meeting with Barroso I just can say that he is a dangerous man, who will flatten the European culture: he says cultural exception is not negotiable, but he accepts audiovisual to be negotiable. So Google and others will be entering in your TV. You will have your TV filled in with US productions and then your creators will not be there to tell the real story of your country.
||SOUNDBITE (French) Bérénice BEJO, actress: on the fact that she finds exceptional that we can talk about ourselves in our films, as Americans can do with theirs… Talking about 'The artist' she explains that some American directors said they would have loved to make such a film, but it would have been impossible, as nobody would have financed that film. She says she is scared that small film productions will disappear if we sacrifice cultural exception.
||SOUNDBITE (French) Radu MIHAILEANU, film makers: "We know that the MEPs are backing us." He talks about their worry about the fact that Mr Barroso won't listen to them when they say that cultural products cannot be treated equally as other kind of goods. Ideas and wit cannot be part of a negotiation deal if we risk of loosing them, because we could loose our identity, our freedom of expression. "We love a Europe of diversity, that's our treasure, and we will fight until the end for it".
||SOUNDBITE (French) Bérénice BEJO, actress, reads a text from German film maker Wim WENDERS on the dangers of abandoning cultural exception.
||Cutaways during the event (6 shots)