Israel boards MEDIA
by Fran Royo
- Israel has conditionally joined the European Commission’s funding programme for audiovisual projects, which Turkey has just decided to leave
On 6 October, Israel joined the list of non-European Union member countries able to participate in the MEDIA – Creative Europe programme, which includes Iceland, Norway, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Serbia. However, it has done so under a number of different conditions.
Israel’s partial participation in the Creative Europe programme will include support for international activities, via an Information, Training and Assistance Centre for European programmes in the country. The project co-financing mechanisms will boast a total budget estimated at €200,000. The objective of this is to continue to support activities related to boosting the visibility of EU programmes in Israel, and foster closer ties between EU and Israeli entities. According to the guidelines on the eligibility of Israeli entities, only those with their place of establishment within Israel’s pre-June 1967 borders have been considered eligible for grants, prizes and financial instruments funded by the EU from 2014 onwards.
Nathalie Vandystadt, European Commission spokesperson for the Digital Single Market, Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, pointed out, “The European Commission is looking forward to welcoming Israel into the Creative Europe family. Increased cultural and audiovisual cooperation between the EU and Israel will facilitate mutual understanding and enhance the development of the cultural and creative sectors on both sides.”
Katriel Schory, executive director of the Israel Film Fund, previously stated to Cineuropa, “For the Israeli film community and its filmmakers, this is great news, as they will become a legitimate member of the European film community with access to its training and distribution programmes.”
The official agreement is yet to be signed, but in the meantime, Israeli organisations can already apply under the 2017 calls for proposals, published in 2016.