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IRIS 2009-9:3/2

Committee of Ministers

Legal Instrument Calls for Comprehensive Film Policies Covering the Entire Value Chain

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Irina Guidikova

Council of Europe, DG4 - Culture & Heritage

On 23 September The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted Recommendation CM/Rec(2009)7 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on national film policies and the diversity of cultural expressions. This recommendation, which is a non-binding international legal instrument, encourages film policy bodies in the 47 member states of the Council of Europe to adapt their schemes to the technological and cultural changes and optimise the use of resources in order to increase circulation and improve access of film to audiences. The European film industry is fragile. Globalisation and digital technologies may be an opportunity or a threat, depending on whether public authorities are able to act swiftly and help to develop new business models for European film. Such business models should enable the film sector to realise its potential as a vector of diverse cultural expressions by stimulating creativity and by increasing its market reach.

The Recommendation asserts that national and regional policy makers and film bodies are responsible for putting in place policies that cover not only production but all aspects of the film value chain (development, production, distribution and marketing, screening, media literacy and training, access to audiences and film heritage) and that they encompass not only financial support but also regulation, research and data collection.

The Recommendation focuses on six areas of concern: developing a comprehensive approach to film policies; addressing film development and production; improving the regulatory frameworks for co-production and co-distribution; encouraging the distribution and circulation of European films; European cinema and young people; realising the full potential of digital technologies; and transparency and accountability.

The Recommendation is the result of a wide-reaching consultation with professionals involved at all stages of the film value chain. The ThinkTank on Film and Film Policy, national film agencies, the European Audiovisual Observatory, Eurimages and the Council of Europe Steering Committee for Culture (CDCULT) have provided essential expertise and support throughout the process. The Polish Film Institute has been the main political champion and financial supporter of the initiative.

Recommendation CM/Rec(2009)7 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on national film policies and the diversity of cultural expressions (Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 23 September 2009 at the 1066th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies) EN