EFAD at Cannes: “Co-productions are the DNA of Europe”
by Birgit Heidsiek
- CANNES 2016: At the EFAD conference, Europe was expected to face a substantial loss of content without the territorial exploitation of film and TV rights
“We are deeply worried when we look at the European Commission’s changes to copyright,” underlined Christophe Tardieu, the CNC’s deputy general manager, at EFAD’s Cannes conference. The impact of cross-border access to audiovisual content on EU consumers was outlined in a study compiled by economic consultancy Oxera and media consultancy Oliver & Ohlbaum. “If the European Commission introduces the cross-border access measures which erode the territoriality of audiovisual rights in Europe, less content will get made, and consumers will be worse off overall,” stated Felipe Flórez Duncan, a consultant at Oxera.
According to this analysis, film and TV production will be negatively affected if the territorial exploitation of film and TV rights is not an option any more. The consequences will be a loss of content exclusivity, less advertising, lower revenues and less content being made overall. Film production could fall by 37%, while local TV content is expected to shrink by up to 48%. “Producers could see revenue losses of up to €8.2 billion per year,” warned Sean McGuire, managing director, Oliver & Ohlbaum Associates, in his presentation. But consumers could also face higher prices or even lose access to content they currently enjoy.
“I wouldn’t see a future for a current business in that environment,” said Martin Moszkowicz, CEO of Constantin Film. “For the first time, the industry is completely unified. Nobody believes in all the discussions we had in Brussels.” Michael Ryan, of London-based production company GFM Films, commented: “I am sick and tired of hearing lies like, ‘You don’t have to worry about territoriality.’”
For Anders Kjaerhauge, managing director of Zentropa, the whole financing model is based on territoriality: “Territoriality is one of the driving forces. It is a requirement for us when we do co-productions.”
“Co-productions are the DNA of Europe,” emphasised Viviane Reding, Member of the European Parliament and former Vice-President of the European Commission, who would like to carve the concept of cultural diversity in stone. “We changed the rules so that you could have cultural diversity. I see no political reason why this should be changed now. Politicians are there to fix a problem, but there is no problem to be fixed.”