The 75th edition of the Venice International Film Festival closed the curtain last week. Seven films and one TV series supported by the European Union via the Creative Europe MEDIA programme were presented at this year's festival, and two of them were rewarded with prestigious prizes.

Three major Awards for MEDIA-supported Films

The EU-supported film standing out in Venice was The Favourite by Yorgos Lanthimos. The Irish-UK-US co-production was awarded with two major prizes: Grand Jury Prize (or Silver Lion) and Best Actress for Olivia Colman. The film, which explores the private life of Queen Anne, got € 50,000 EU funding back in 2003 under the Single Funding Development Scheme.

The other winner of the night was The day I lost my shadow by Soudade Kaadan, a co-production of France with Syria, Lebanon and Quatar that received the “LUIGI DE LAURENTIIS” Award for the Best Debut Film. This story taking place in Syria in 2012 was made possible thanks to € 55,000 of MEDIA international co-productions funds.

Recognition also among nominees

Besides the two winning productions, the other three films competing in the main category were:

The creators of Sunset received € 50,000 of European funds at the development stage, while the films Capri Revolution and Werk Ohne Autor, which were premiering at the festival, got grants of € 25,000 and € 4,594 respectively for international distribution in the future.

The two remaining MEDIA-supported films – Les Estivants by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and Un peuple et son roi by Pierre Schoeller – were qualified to the "Out of competition" section and each benefited from € 60,000 of the slate development funding scheme.

Finally, following the growing importance of quality TV series, MEDIA funded the Italian-Belgian co-production series entitled L'Amica Geniale. The quality of this project attracted the commitment of distributors at the development stage and, subsequently, it received € 1,000,000 from the EU for the production of eight episodes and its shortened version – which was presented at the festival.

MEDIA: Creating the buzz around movies

The festival also featured the European Film Forum, an event co-organised by the European Commission and La Biennale di Venezia with the aim of bringing together industry representatives and policy makers. The forum focused on "Creating the buzz around movies: Promotion, Festivals and MEDIA after 2020" and concluded by highlighting the need to keep film festivals in the future. Panellists argued that the role of these festivals is crucial not only to make productions accessible to any audience and to allow film professionals to meet the public, but also to increase media literacy while shaping up the next generation of film lovers. Lastly, participants identified greater cooperation as a key element for festivals to develop and evolve, but also emphasised the need to keep the festivals' unique identities while doing so.

About Creative Europe MEDIA

The MEDIA Sub-programme of Creative Europe is designed to support European film and other audiovisual industries. It provides funding for the development, promotion and distribution of European works within Europe and beyond. It invests in the training of producers, film distributors, directors, and screenwriters to help them adapt to new technologies. Each year, MEDIA supports around 2000 European projects including films, TV series, video games, training programmes, cinemas and much more.

The European Film Forum is a structured dialogue between policy makers and stakeholders. This dialogue takes place notably during film festivals, using different formats (such as conferences, round table discussions and workshops).

More information about the Commission proposals for Creative Europe's budget in 2021-2027 can be found in this press release and factsheet.