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EFP: 10 years of European Film Promotion:

Ten years ago, the idea came about in Hamburg of establishing a promotion agency for European films. The goal was to give a face to films from Europe with a large number of joint activities and to support their international marketing. In the meantime, the network of European Film Promotion (EFP) with its HQ in Hamburg includes 27 promotion and export organisations from 28 countries in Europe. EFP is still the only pan-European organisation whose members jointly support European cinema and its talents.

„The European films and their talents urgently need support for their international marketing“, says Renate Rose, managing director of EFP. „It was therefore high time to found the EFP network to be able to work on the promotion together. Through the years we have worked with the members of EFP on developing and staging various events around the world and ensured that their content is targetted quite specifically at the needs of the partner festivals in the respective countries. As a unbureaucratic network, we are very flexible, constantly develop our events even further and initiate projects with a new profile. It is here that the professional know-how of our members and the discussions about the situation of the different cinematographies and their productions are invaluable.“

EFP’s mandate
In its efforts to increase the interest of the industry, press and audience in European cinema, EFP assumes clear-cut duties. In order to develop and realise cross-border marketing ideas, EFP gathers the promotion and export organisations from its 28 member countries around the table. At selected international film festivals and film markets, the members organise projects to put their actors, directors and producers into the international spotlight, get them talking with one another and support them to be able to work across borders. As a group, they generate much more attention and build up contacts that they would hardly be able to reach as a single country. The founding members profit just as much here from Europe's growing diversity as the new accession states from Central and Eastern Europe do: while one group contributes the marketing knowhow and contacts, the others bring fresh ideas and a rapidly growing market to the group.

Hamburg-led initiative
Dieter Kosslick, director of the International Film Festival in Berlin, was one of the key supporters of the establishment of EFP and holds the international commitment in great esteem: „It hardly seems possible that there wasn't any joint marketing for European films before the founding of European Film Promotion. In the past 10 years, Claudia Landsberger, Renate Rose, the marketing representatives of the many European countries, and the charming and effective EFP team have succeeded in promoting the diversity of European films. In a nice way, they have opened the hearts and markets for our European film culture and the wonderful Shooting Stars and talents.“

„European Film Promotion is an excellent and extraordinary example for a working network on a European level," says Juana Bienenfeld, film officer for Hamburg's Cultural Office. "The association has shown impressively for the past ten years that it is possible to work in a creative and friendly way with institutions from numerous European states on behalf of European cinema. What was an experiment in 1997 is now exemplary and has become a model. We are pleased that EFP is in Hamburg .“

EFP’s figuers
In financial terms, EFP is supported in particular by the MEDIA Programme of the EU, the (German Ministry for Culture and Media) BKM, the Cultural Office of the City of Hamburg, the French film fund CNC, its members and private sponsors. In the meantime, the total budget amounts to Euros 2.2 million per year, the membership has almost trebled from 10 to 27 and the number of projects has continuously increased. Following on from programmes which are good for publicity such as SHOOTING STARS, the project for the promotion of European actors at the Film Festival in Berlin, and the project to support European producers, PRODUCERS ON THE MOVE in Cannes, EFP is now planning a new event for next year which will present new European films directly to the cinema audience in European cities as part of special events. EFP will be supported in the realisation of this project by the Grey Worldwide marketing agency.

Andreas Trautmann, managing director of Grey Hamburg, about the collaboration with EFP: "We are pleased to be able to support EFP in its mission. It is an extremely interesting task which our creatives have taken on with enthusiasm. It is not for nothing that there are exclusively self-confessed film fans in our team!"

European Cinema, facts & figures
Even though the cinema admission figures are falling globally, American blockbusters continue to dominate the cinema charts, and many European films can be seen only at festivals outside of their home territory, there are positive results: most of the EU states report stable and growing production figures. France (240 films), Germany (146 films) and Spain (142 films ) even post record figures for last year. In 2005, 798 films were produced in the 25 states of the EU, according to estimates by LUMIERE, the European database for cinema admissions. According to LUMIERE, the continual growth is due to the increase in co-productions, for it is only thanks to a trans-national financing that many films can be produced in the first place.

Another positive piece of news is the increased number of cinema-goers seeing films from their native country. The German Federal Film Board (FFA) just announced a market share of German films of 19.9% for the first half of 2006, the highest half-year share since 1997. A similar trend can also be seen in Denmark (market share for national films: 32 per cent), in France (37 per cent) and in Italy (25 per cent).
The overall share of European films on the EU market including national films has climbed (with ups and downs) slightly (1996: 23 per cent, 2005: 25 per cent), but this share of 25 per cent is still far behind that for the American cinema (60 per cent).

EFP’s Vision of European Cinema
Claudia Landsberger, president of EFP for the past 10 years and managing director of Holland Film, has a vision of European cinema which accounts for her involvement in EFP: „When we founded EFP, I remembered the EuroVision Song Contest which I still regard as a very spectacular annual European event. It's true that we have not reached these dimensions, but we have succeeded meanwhile in expanding our network ever further and focussing the various interests, languages and cultures of the individual member states within one institution. What unites us is the passion for our films which deserve being seen by lots of people. Our exchange of experiences among one another is splendid and we are convinced that, with appropriate marketing measures, we can find a larger audience for our films.“

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