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More European efforts to tackle piracy


During their meeting held at BERLINALE Europe’s national film agencies have formally committed to support the 10 new European member states of the European Union in their efforts to develop their film industries.

The directors of the film agencies of the current EU member states welcomed their counterparts from the accession countries at the weekend at a meeting in Berlin hosted by the Filmfoerderunganstalt (FFA).

The 10 accession countries face major challenges in setting out and implementing the structures and laws essential for them to support and develop film in their countries. Their first task is to demonstrate to their own national governments:

• the national cultural and economic importance of film;
• the importance of effective funding for film;
• the need to avoid creating obstacles to growing cinema audiences such as the imposition or increase of VAT tax on cinema tickets; and
• to ensure broadcasters invest in film.

Legislation for film is being pushed forward in the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

FFA Director Rolf Baehr, on behalf of the agency directors, said, “The enlargement of Europe with the addition of the accession countries
presents the European film industry with a great opportunity to maintain and enhance the diversity of our film cultures. For us to be able to seize this opportunity, there is an urgent need in every member state for coherent and effective policies, structures and support measures. All of us are determined to work together in support of our colleagues in the accession countries.”

At the meeting the directors also agreed to redouble their efforts to tackle piracy’s impact on the film industry in order to place it higher up the European agenda.

Baehr added, “Piracy is an international issue and therefore cannot be tackled only at a national level. We need to coordinate and accelerate our efforts to raise awareness with government, the industry and the public of the scope of initiatives that need to be taken.”

The network of European Film Agency directors will next meet in May during the Cannes Film Festival.

Österreichisches Filminstitut (Austria)
Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel (Belgium)
Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds (Belgium)
National Film Council (Czech Republic)
Danish Film Institute (Denmark)
Estonian Film Foundation (Estonia)
Finnish Film Foundation (Finland)
Centre National de la Cinématographie (France)
Filmförderunganstalt (Germany)
Irish Film Board (Ireland)
Ministero per I beni e le attività culturali – Direzione generale per il cinema (Italy)
National Film Centre of Latvia
The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania
Film Fund Luxembourg
Nederlands Fonds v.d. Film (Netherlands)
Ministry of Culture Department of Audiovisual (Poland)
Instituto do Cinema Audiovisual e Multimedia (Portugal)
Instituto de la Cinematografia y de las Artes Audiovisuales (Spain)
Swedish Film Institute (Sweden)
UK Film Council (United Kingdom), e-mail:

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