Representation in United Kingdom

Four EU-funded movies competing for the Palme d'Or at Cannes film festival


Film projector

Four EU-funded movies – including Polish-UK-French co-production Cold War – are competing for the prestigious Palme d'Or prize at the Cannes film festival which runs until 19 May.


Cold War, by Pawel Pawlikowski, is a complicated love story between two people of different backgrounds and personalities which takes place in the 1950s in Poland, Berlin, Yugoslavia and Paris. It received €171,839 (£150,703) of EU funding for development and distribution.

The other three movies are Dogman, by Matteo Garrone (France, Italy); Les filles du soleil, by Eva Husson (France, Belgium, Switzerland, Georgia) and Lazzaro Felice, by Alice Rohrwacher (Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland).

Fourteen other EU-funded movies will be presented in other parts of the festival.

The funding comes from the EU's Creative Europe programme which helps support the audiovisual sector during a time of digital transformation. This MEDIA sub-programme funds initiatives that can generate a real impact across Europe. These can be individual works, or initiatives that promote new skills and facilitate international cooperation. The programme helps distribute films and television productions across the EU, widening access to them and increasing audiences. This helps movies – frequently British ones – which are successful nationally to become successful across Europe as well.

UK movies such as The King's Speech, Pride, Two Faces of January, The Iron Lady and Paddington have been supported by the MEDIA programme.

MEDIA invested over £80 million in the United Kingdom between 2007 and 2017.

On average some 60-70 UK films receive over €6 million (£5.3m) a year to support their cinema distribution in Europe (outside of the UK).

It is estimated that for every €1 (0.9p) invested in the Europa Cinemas network, an estimated €13 (£11.4) is generated through additional audience for the audiovisual sector.

In the past, the Cannes film festival has regularly acknowledged the quality of EU-supported filmmaking. Since the programme launch in 1991, 43 of the films  co-funded or supported by Creative Europe have received one of the Cannes festival top prizes: the Palme d'Or, the Grand Prix and the Prix de la Mise en Scène/Best Director.

Last year, EU-funded European co-production The Square (Sweden, Germany, France, Denmark) by Ruben Östlund won the Palme d'Or.

According to a recent report by the British Film Institute, the UK film industry has received £298.4m in EU funding in the past 10 years (2007-2017) which includes Creative Europe, European Regional Development Fund and Horizon 2020 funding, among other programmes.