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Oettinger: “The future of cinemas is linked to digital”


- VENICE 2016: At the Venice International Film Festival, EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger spoke about support measures for cinemas

Oettinger: “The future of cinemas is linked to digital”
EU Commissioner Günther H Oettinger (right) and Paolo Baratta, president of the Venice Biennale (© Birgit Heidsiek)

“I am fighting to stabilise the MEDIA budget so as to support cinemas and the whole film sector,” stated EU Commissioner Günther H Oettinger at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival, where he met with Paolo Baratta, president of the Venice Biennale. In his earlier speech at the European Film Forum, Oettinger thanked Silvia Costa, MEP and chair of the Culture Committee, for her commitment to increasing the MEDIA budget for 2017 and beyond. “Let’s fight together against the Council,” he urged. 

According to Oettinger, the Commission is fully committed to supporting European cinemas. “We would like to work hand in hand with the community of cinema operators to develop new forms of promotion and distribution of European films.” In a digital world, there is no one-size-fits-all approach that works in this area. Collaboration across the value chain between producers, sales agents, distributors and exhibitors is a “must”, and each actor remains dependent on the others for its own success.

The Commission will explore the development of collaborative partnerships for the cross-border distribution of a slate of films, and for all the cross-border promotion of social-media activities that this requires. “The cinemas themselves also need to adapt in order to make the big-screen experience as attractive as possible,” said Oettinger. “The future of cinemas is clearly linked to digital and new technology.”

The Commission continues to work on its Digital Single Market strategy. After publishing the first proposals in December 2015, which focused on content portability, the Commission will present a second package of legislative proposals to promote wider access to content across the EU later this month. “The film sector is based on territoriality,” concluded the Commissioner. “We don’t accept geo-blocking, but we will make an exception for film.”

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