In these difficult times, EFAD welcomes the initiative of conducting a broad inquiry into public funding for film in Europe. As national film and audiovisual agencies, our role is strategic, as well as providing funding to support culture and industry, maximising the benefit of all our interventions to audiences and European citizens.
Our role is to act in the public interest, to advance cultural diversity and to assist the future development of our industries. Listening to stakeholders is a key task undertaken by all our members. Exchanging best practice at a European level is one of the main goals of EFAD, most especially with regards to continuing changes in technology, audience viewing preferences and innovative storytelling.
Therefore, we are pleased that the document aggregates so many voices from the industry across Europe. This approach provides substantial food for thought.
The report echoes the ongoing reflections of national film and audiovisual agencies in their respective countries or within EFAD on the impact of the digital shift, accelerated by COVID 19, and adequate supporting policies. We are also pleased that it acknowledges that film agencies play a crucial role in embracing these changes.
Film agencies across Europe are key drivers of changes in the sector – they have taken major steps such as:
- Preserving infrastructure during COVID by supporting the industry and culture in an efficient and effective manner;
- Pushing for national and European solutions to better integrate online players into the financing and promotion of European works;
- Opening funding to new formats;
- Proposing initiatives to make the industry much more diverse and environmentally sustainable;
- Offering concrete tools to encourage co-productions;
- Improving application processes;
- Reaffirming the importance of film and cinema exhibition, while integrating online services into the regulation and organisation of release windows
Public film funders are actively monitoring the changes in the film industry and responding to the opportunities and challenges which arise. This involves a perpetual process of transformation. In particular, concerning the protection and strengthening of European cultural identity in a globalised world, we agree with the study’s findings that film agencies play a vital role in preserving the independence of our filmmakers and the diversity of European content. What is missing in the report however is the very diverse realities facing certain countries and regions and, thus, does not always draw the relevant conclusions notably concerning territorial spending obligations. Although EFAD members do not endorse all of the study’s recommendations, EFAD appreciate that the study highlights fundamental topics and provides a good basis for future discussions.
EFAD and its members look forward to continuing our constant dialogue with film professionals in Europe. Working in partnership with the industry, we will continue to help build a sustainable, future-proof European film sector, which is culturally diverse and serves the needs of audiences, citizens and European society as a whole.