"The Square" tells the story of a father respected for his human values and the quality of his work in a Swedish contemporary art museum, but whose principles are shaken by a profound existential crisis. The movie received €47.000 (£40.000) of EU funding for its distribution across Europe.
This year, as so often before, one of the successful EU-funded films screened at Cannes had significant British involvement. EU-funded co-production “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” by Yorgos Lanthimos (Ireland, UK, Greece) received the prize for the Best Screenplay. It was supported in its early stages of development with €58,000 (£49,000), and at the distribution stage with an additional €179,000 (£151,000).
Vice-President Andrus Ansip, responsible for the Digital Single Market, said: "My warmest congratulations to the winners. It is once again a great success for the European film industry and the MEDIA programme. We will continue our efforts to support the circulation and promotion of European films across our continent and help European cinema make the most of the digital age."
The funding stems 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, including individual works, initiatives that promote new skills and promote and facilitate international cooperation. The initiative 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.
In the past, movies such as The King's Speech, Pride, Two Faces of January and The Iron Lady have also been supported by the MEDIA programme.
MEDIA invested £55.3 million in the United Kingdom between 2007 and 2015.
In 2015, 67 UK films had their cinema releases supported across Europe with €4.7 million (£3.4m), including €600,000 (£506,520) for comedy drama Florence Fosters Jenkins and €400,000 (£337,680) for Paddington.
On average some 60-70 UK films receive over €6 million (£5.1m) a year to support their cinema distribution in Europe (outside of the UK).
Overall, the EU has invested £1.9 billion in the past 25 years in the audiovisual industry. Over £640 million has been earmarked to support the competitiveness and the diversity of the industry for 2014-2020. It is estimated that for every €1 (0.8p) invested in the Europa Cinemas network, an estimated €13 (£11) is generated through additional audience for the audiovisual sector.