The European Parliament today adopted a Report by Bogdan Wenta MEP on European Film in the Digital Era. The Report proposes to increase current spending on marketing and the promotion of European films, the introduction of film education, and even more broadly, media education in all levels of learning and the promotion of subtitling and dubbing for European films.
“Films give us a great opportunity to promote cultural diversity and learn about the history and traditions of our neighbours. This is why I attach great importance to improving the distribution and promotion of European films. Even though Europe is a global leader in film production, they are not always seen by the audience. We need to change this”, said Wenta after the vote.
Just last year, there were 1500 films in circulation in Europe, which is twice the amount of American films. The number of viewers who watched European films turned out to be inversely proportional. This is because the majority of European films are being screened only in the country of origin and rarely in other countries. Apart from cinemas, which are the most important venues for the projection of the films, there are increasing opportunities for legal access to films on the Internet or through video-on-demand services. Thanks to these new measures, there is a place for innovation and more flexibility in the chronology of the media.
“To paraphrase David Lynch: Art in Europe is written with a capital A, in contrast to America where the only measure of success is its market value. The European film industry, however, needs a stimulating environment to fully exploit its cultural and economic potential that will foster investment, diversity of creation and enable the opportunity for new offers to develop on the Internet”, Wenta added.
By adopting the Report, MEPs have emphasised the need to balance public funding which should be more focused on expanding the audience of European films and increasing support for promotion, international distribution and co-production. Moreover, they called for an increase in the number of European films, both dubbed and with subtitles, and for the introduction of film and media education in all levels of education, starting from an early age. This would allow young viewers to use their critical thinking skills when engaging with media and create a better understanding of the proposed content.
This Report marks the beginning of a debate on the potential of the European film in the digital era, which will be continued at the European Film Forum. It will also be reflected in legislative proposals announced by the European Commission, expected both by the European Parliament and the audiovisual sector.