18/12/2007

Euromed Cinemas : a look at the project’s mid-term results

Interview with Nour Eddine Saïl, Director of the Moroccan Cinema Centre and head of the Euromed Cinemas project

Euromed Cinemas : a look at the project’s mid-term results
Euromed Cinemas : a look at the project’s mid-term results
Euromed Cinemas, a project supporting the distribution and exhibition of Mediterranean and European films, aims to improve the spread and reach of films in the 10 MEDA and 27 European Union countries. Part of the EU-funded Euromed Audiovisual II programme, it is implemented by the Moroccan Cinema Centre (CCM) and Europa Cinemas. We spoke with Nour Eddine Saïl, Director of the Moroccan Cinema Centre, about the mid-term results of the project.

What has Euromed Cinemas achieved in the first half of the project’s operations?

We have supported nearly one hundred film releases since the programme started, in 12 European countries and 9 MEDA countries. Roughly 60 of these releases related to southern Mediterranean films and 40 to European films. Today we have partnerships with over 60 distribution companies and about one hundred cinemas. Many of these films would not have been released without the programme’s support, while the other films have benefited from improved releases, with more prints produced and a more effective promotional campaign.

What major lessons have you drawn from your experience to date?

The beneficial effects of this project quickly made themselves felt. We receive a large number of applications from the MEDA countries, as well as from the EU. An increasing number of European distributors are now soliciting our support to release films from the South. With our help, they can access new and reputedly difficult territories such as Poland, Denmark, Spain, Italy and Portugal. This is very encouraging, even if we still have a long way to go.

In general, how many prints of these films are produced?

In Europe, we’ve supported two types of Mediterranean films. The first category includes films which have been well-received at festivals and are often co-produced with European countries. These may come out with a relatively large number of prints, 50 to 70 in a country like France and around 10 in Poland or Belgium, which represents a good spread of theatres in these territories. The other category comprises low-budget films, produced exclusively with funds from the South and distributed through small enterprises. These films rarely come out in more than 10 prints in France and 2 or 3 prints in more difficult territories.

Isn’t it also true that you support the release of southern films in southern Mediterranean countries?

That’s true, we encourage the South-South circulation of films. And we’ve observed a heightened visibility of MEDA films on the southern shores of the Mediterranean. Examples are Rome Rather than You, an Algerian film released in the Palestine, Dunia, an Egyptian-Lebanese film released in Jordan, Lebanon and the Palestine, Yasmine et les hommes, a Moroccan film, and Chaos, an Egyptian film, released in Algeria, as well as Bosta, a Lebanese film released in Morocco and Egypt.

We’ve already supported around 20 releases of MEDA films in the southern countries. Mediterranean distributors are becoming increasingly interested in such films and we work together with them to further this interest.

Pictures (from top): Nour Eddine Saïl, Rome Rather Than You

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