Flagging film sector caught in “vicious circle”

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Series Details Vol.7, No.43, 22.11.01, p22
Publication Date 22/11/2001
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Date: 22/11/01

By Martin Banks

EU LEADERS and member states are being urged to take action to help the ailing European film industry.

Green MEP Luckas Vander Taelen says greater effort must be made to break the "vicious circle" of European banks investing in American movies because they believe they offer a better return.

He says urgent measures are needed to avert a potentially "disastrous" situation where European movies account for only 22 of EU box office receipts compared to an almost 75 share for films made by Hollywood.

European film audiences were more familiar with the landscapes of New York and Los Angeles than with their own backyard, he added.

"The European film sector, which accounted for around 60 of markets hare in the late 1960s, needs to get stronger by benefiting from a proactive policy by both the European institutions and member states.

"European bankers and investors would rather put their money in American movies than in European ones. We should break this vicious circle because it is precisely this lack of funding that often makes European films less competitive."

The Belgian MEP said more funds needed to be invested in developing projects which would ensure an output of better-quality films.

"Increased investment in the promotion of films would also enable them to stand a chance in the cinemas where they have to seduce European movie-goers."

Vander Taelen is also pressing the Commission to research measures that could encourage TV channels to devote more attention to the promotion and distribution of European films.

"I do not believe in one miraculous solution but rather propose a range of concrete measures that can enhance European films from their conception to their consumption by the public," he added.

EU leaders and Member States are being urged to take action to help the ailing European film industry.

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