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Aviva Silver and Michel Magnier • European Commission

More space for experiments

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- Digital Distribution and the establishment of a European guarantee fund are among the features of the new programme, Creative Europe

Aviva Silver and Michel Magnier • European Commission

Digital Distribution and the establishment of a European guarantee fund are among the features of the new programme, Creative Europe. Within a pilot project, there will be around 15 films released by day-and-date in Europe. Interview with MEDIA head of Unit Aviva Silver and Michel Magnier, Director for Culture and Creativity, on Creative Europe.

Cineuropa: What budget volume do you expect for Creative Europe now the EU budget has been approved?
Michel Magnier (M.M.): The situation is that there has been a reduction in the global EU budget for the next seven years, but marginally less of the heading of the budget, which is about Creative Europe. We are reasonably confident that we can increase the budget compared to the previous period although we don‘t have clear indications.
Aviva Silver (A.S.):We understand from the first indication there will be cuts. But we will still be able to carry out what we intended to carry out in our proposal of November 2011. So there will be a MEDIA strand, a cultural strand and a trans-sector strand including a financial instrument.

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What is the timetable like?
M.M.: We expect Parliament to have a vote on this package soon. At the same time, we are negotiating with the Parliament and the Council of Ministers on a legal basis for the programme. This discussion will happen from April this year. At the moment we expect the programme to be introduced as scheduled next year.

 What were the key issues at the MEDIA Information Day during the Berlinale?
A.S.: We looked at some important ideas that have been the basis for some preparatory action on the simultaneous distribution of films across different platforms. We had presentations on the three projects that were chosen in the first year of this preparatory action for two million euro. That is Speed Bunch by Wild Bunch, EDAD (European Day-and-Date) by Artificial Eye and TIDE, of which the coordinator is ARP, the producers and directors association in France. We also heard about The Match Factory Project 2.0 that is working with a group of sales agents, distributors, festivals, etc. on new ways to effectively reach audiences.

How has the reaction been to the day-and-date release?
A.S.: We are talking about a very emotional and controversial topic. What we are trying to do with the preparatory action is to de-dramatize the situation and see if there is room for experimentation and flexibility. Those who want to try it should be able to try it and we can draw conclusions afterwards on the basis of the experiences we will have received. On the projects that we are supporting we are planning a big conference in 2014 in May at the Cannes film festival to talk about the results of the day-and-date projects that we have been supported. We are hoping by then we will have distributed between 80 and 100 films and actually have some experiences to share. We need to have some idea of territories, languages and types of films.

Is the guarantee fund going to happen?
A.S.: The banks have an enormous interest in the guarantee facility. We have a public commitment from the Association of the Public Banks that they will do everything possible to support this. We are running marketing testing. We recently launched a study on access to financing in the other cultural and creative sectors. And we launched an online market survey

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