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CANNES 2015 Production / Distribution / Europe

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Industry representatives suggest creative concepts at the European Film Forum


- CANNES 2015: The event held at Cannes saw the film industry suggesting the creation of a common strategy with the European Commission

Industry representatives suggest creative concepts at the European Film Forum
l-r: Marc Lacan (Pathé), Anne Durupty (Arte), Karin Haager (Flimmit), Michael Koenig (Amazon) and Peter Dinges (EFADs)

“Our task is to improve the circulation of European films,” stated Günther H Oettinger, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, at the European Film Forum at Cannes. The digital infrastructure could serve as a bridge: “Cinema remains the number-one social place for interaction,” he underlined. “Technology is not stoppable, but shapeable. We need a European digital strategy in order to compete with the US.” According to the Commissioner, copyright protection doesn’t necessarily mean that everything will merge into one single European market. “The film that appeals to viewers all over Europe is still the exception. We need a smart answer to that in order to retain the territoriality principle, but also to guarantee portability. If we want to preserve the present, we need to reform it for global competition in the future.”

“We are now a mobile society,” emphasised David Puttnam, producer and president of the Film Distributors’ Association in the UK. European films connect with the global audience, which results in the fact that European films have a 33% market share in the EU. “European cinema must enrich choice,” said Puttnam, who foresees a risk stemming from the law of unintended consequences. “We are already flooded with content,” he concluded. “We have to be careful what we wish for.”

Marc Lacan, CEO of Pathé, would like to see some experiments against piracy. “VoD is no longer growing, because of piracy.” Karin Haager, CEO of Austrian VoD service Flimmit, agrees on that subject: “We have to create an alternative to piracy.”

Anne Durupty, CEO of Arte, is requesting a revision of the cable and satellite directive. “It needs to take the internet into account.” Meanwhile, Michael Koenig, director of Amazon in Gemany, is concerned that VoD won’t have a chance to develop. “This is a new market that should not already be regulated even before it has started.” 

For Peter Dinges, president of the European Film Agency Directors Association, EFADs, it is obvious that films with international potential need distributors in other countries. “There is a lack of financing,” said Dinges. “DVD is going down, and VoD is not compensating for this. In addition, there are fewer TV deals. We have to fill this gap, but before we experiment too much, we need a strategy. However, we have no strategy for film,” remarked the EFADs president. “Let’s make a common strategy with the Commission.”

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