12/02/2014

Creative Europe to support European television co-productions

One of several ways the EU programme seeks to boost the European audiovisual sector

Institutions

Creative Europe to support European television co-productions

Creative Europe is the European Union's new programme for cultural and creative sectors from 2014 to 2020. It brings together and reorganises its previous Culture, MEDIA and MEDIA Mundus funding programmes.

On February 11, a conference at the European Parliament reviewed how Creative Europe seeks to support European public broadcasters.

Silvia Costa, reporter for the Creative Europe programme, Michel Boyon, president of Eurovisioni, and Jean-Paul Philippot, CEO at Belgian public broadcasting service RTBF and president of European Broadcasting Union (EBU) attended. 

Creative Europe includes specific calls for proposals for television programming, with a budget of €11.8 million for 2014 for independent directors of television contents. To respond to the call, the television drama production must involve at least three broadcasters and has to be distributed in three MEDIA countries

The idea behind this was to try to invert the current trend of a European Union that imports much more than it exports, especially in view of some products of excellence in Europe, like Danish fiction for example. 

Even if European television programmes are still mainly produced and consumed in the same domestic market, fictions like Danish political drama television series Borgen, sold to five continents, and Polish director Agnieszka Holland's mini-series Burning Bush for HBO Europe are brilliant examples that a European type of fiction is emerging, and it has to be granted space to flourish. 

Public broadcasters can also answer the call for proposal for platform projects, which is part of Creative Europe's Culture sub-programme.

Furthermore, the cultural dimension of other European programmes, such as Horizon2020 for research and COSME for small and medium enterprises, has been enhanced, thanks to the European Parliament's cultural committee.

European public television channels ensure that three-quarters of their programming consists of European contents, against 36% for private television channels.

But the European audiovisual industry remains fragile. This is even truer when it comes to audiovisual contents for television, where co-productions are much more rare than in cinema. The closure of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation, which puts an end to Greek audiovisual production for television, is a sad memorandum of this fragility.

“We have a lot of very good films, a very diverse film landscape but the problem is they are not seen and cannot be seen because they are not understood," said member of European Parliament Doris Pack, who worked with Silvia Costa on Creative Europe. "We need subtitling.”

“The European Parliament's LUX prize was a great source of inspiration for us,” she added. “The films were subtitled in the 24 languages of the European Union, and that gave them a much greater chance to circulate and to be seen. So we decided that specific provisions for the funding of subtitling had to be part of Creative Europe.”

 

Sara Petti

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