The European Film Forum is a platform for a structured dialogue between policy makers and the stakeholders in the audiovisual sector.

The European Film Forum (EFF) was proposed by the Commission in its 2014 Communication on European Film in the digital era. Since its launch in 2015 the aim to develop a strategic policy agenda opening up new perspectives on the challenges and opportunities brought about by the digital revolution.

There are various EU initiatives and rules for the film industry covered by copyright legislation, the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, competition law and the Creative Europe programme. However public financing and a number of regulatory aspects are essentially governed by Member States. They provide 30 times more public funding than the EU for the audiovisual sector.

The European Film Forum's dialogue with stakeholders and Member States provides opportunities to enhance synergies between public actions and enables the exchange of expertise and best practice. This dialogue is taken forward by the European Commission in different venues, notably during Film Festivals and TV markets where different formats are employed such as conferences, round-table discussions and workshops. The process involves a wide variety of players including Member State authorities, the European Parliament, the European Audiovisual Observatory, the EFADs as well as national and European wide organisations supporting the film, TV and games industries.

Our aim is that through the conclusions of the above-mentioned events, the Forum will facilitate concrete adaptations in European funding systems and provide clear recommendations for the Member-States and the audiovisual industries, thus adding value of the upcoming review of the MEDIA sub-programme of Creative Europe.

European Film Forum editions




What are the issues tackled by the European Film Forum in 2015-2016?

10 European Film Forum editions took place in 2016, peaking in December with the celebration of the 25 years of the MEDIA programme in Brussels. The special event took place on 1st and 2nd December and provided an opportunity to take stock and reflect on the lessons learnt so far from these enriching discussions. Read the main conclusions of the European Film Forum editions in 2015-2016.

Financing and public support

  • Modern film financing: Current business models see distribution and financing as interrelated through presales and co-production and the exclusivity of rights. The EFF is a place to discuss the use of other forms of financing like private investment by third parties or crowd-funding, which develops with digital technology.
  • Smart public support: Film, especially production, is publicly supported at national and local level through various means like loans, subsidies and tax rebates. The EU focuses more on development, distribution, promotion and training activities; new forms of support aiming to boost entrepreneurship such as guarantee facilities are also emerging. In this context, exploring the complementarity between film support policies at national, local and EU level with the aim to increase overall efficiencies appears crucial.

The EFF works on increasing the complementary and optimization of different sources of public funding (local, national and European). A structured dialogue with the EFADs is one of the steps planned to accomplish this purpose.

The Cannes 2016 edition of the European Film Forum explored new modes of financing for audiovisual works, in the presence European filmmakers.

European films and audiences

Promoting European films will provide possibilities for a wider audience. Therefore the policy environment: Digital Single Market strategy, the review of the Audiovisual Media Services directive and the revision of the EU copyright framework. The business environment: innovative release and promotion practices as well as issues of audience development must be explored so that people would watch more European films.

The European Commission's conference launched the European Film Forum during the Berlinale 2015 . On this occasion, Commissioner Gunther Oettinger launched a debate with the audiovisual industry on innovative business models. The conference during the Cannes Film Festival the same year explored possible areas for improvement regarding strategies of circulation and exposure of European films within the EU and beyond.

In August 2015, the Sarajevo Film Festival was another opportunity to exchange on the recent development of the film industry in South-Eastern Europe. Many questions were explored, such as how coproductions and VoD platforms' cross-border availability can help reaching new audiences.

In September 2015, the European Film Forum in San Sebastián was a chance to take stock of the profound audience-led changes brought by internet and digital technologies to existing models of creation, production, distribution and exhibition.

Fostering talent and creativity

The European Film Forum is also a place where talent, competences and creativity will be addressed. In this area, the Forum will work on equipping students and young professionals with the technological, managerial and entrepreneurial skills needed to turn a promising idea into a successful film, documentary or a video game.

The Venice Film in September 2015 highlighted the crossroads between film, art, business and technology. Panels in Venice underlined the existing cultural and creative crossovers, and the societal role of films.

In Tallinn, in November 2015, during the Black Nights Film Festival, Vice-President Andrus Ansip discussed the Digital Single Market and the evolving role of copyright law to address new technological realities.

In June 2016, the European Film Forum held at Annecy International Animation Film Festival was an occasion to look into the animation sector, and how to help the European potential scale up to gain international recognition and popular success.

Digital innovation

Digital innovation and its impact on society was the focus of the European Film Forum held at the Berlinale in 2016. Speakers reviewed some of the challenges and opportunities for new audiovisual business models and technology, and discus how to offer new user and industry-friendly solutions to the promotion of European audiovisual works.

Digital stakes were also on the agenda in Bologna, in June 2016: against the backdrop of the "Il Cinema Ritrovato" Festival, industry representatives discussed the value of film heritage and to what extent the digital shift opens news modes of exploitation and distribution.

Adapting to the changing landscape of the TV industry

During the global TV market at MIPCOM (Cannes, October 2015), a European Film Forum addressed key issues of the European TV industry, such as public funding for creation and new viewing patterns

In December 2015 at Bozar Brussels, the European Film Forum "The Art of Scriptwriting" focused on the importance of scriptwriting in high quality European TV Drama.