22 films co-financed by the EU will be shown at this year's Berlinale, Berlin's International Film Festival, from 10-20 February. The Commission will also be introducing its new MEDIA Mundus programme.
What do La Vie en Rose, Slumdog Millionaire and The Counterfeiters have in common? All three films were made in Europe, were hugely successful, won Oscars and... were part financed by the EU.
The EU provides important backing for European cinema, with funding worth €755 million for 2007-13, through the MEDIA programme. Now it is extending that support outside Europe, via the new MEDIA Mundus progamme, which will promote international cooperation in the audiovisual industry.
With its 3-year budget of €15 million, MEDIA Mundus will try to open international markets to European cinema, supporting the distribution and screening of European films throughout the world and of foreign films in Europe. The programme tries to give cinema-goers greater choice, promote cultural diversity and make the European audiovisual industry more competitive.
It also seeks to help film professionals, in Europe and elsewhere, to make the most of new technologies such as digital cinema, video on demand and internet television, all of which increase demand for audiovisual content.
MEDIA Mundus will finance projects to nurture international networks of cinema professionals. The European Commissioner for Education and Culture revealed the first 34 projects to be selected at the Berlin International Film Festival.
One of them is PUENTES, which brings together producers from Europe and South America. Another is TAP, which offers training for producers of independent films from Europe, Canada and the US.
Each project received between €14 000 and €1m. A new call for applicants will be launched in the second half of 2011.