At the EFM, experts reveal the ambitious plans for the CRESCINE European research project
- BERLINALE 2023: The deliverables of the EC-backed study include toolboxes for green innovation and IP management, a European industry skills report, and the piloting of new business models
On 21 February, the Berlinale’s European Film Market hosted a panel titled “CRESCINE – Promoting the Competitiveness of the Film Industry in Small European Countries”. The event focused on the titular European research project, the primary aim of which is to increase the competitiveness of the film industry across small countries in Europe, and improve the circulation of movies and audiovisual content coming from small markets internationally.
The talk, moderated by Sten-Kristian Saluveer, took place in the Event Hall of the Berlinale’s Documentation Centre for Displacement, Expulsion and Reconciliation, and saw the participation of imec-SMIT-VUB’s head of Media Economics and Policy, Tim Raats; Lisbon-based Lusófona University’s head of the Film and Media Arts Department, Manuel Jose Damasio; and Baltic Film, Media and Arts School academics Indrek Ibrus and Ulrike Rohn.
After Saluveer’s introduction, the floor was given to Damasio, who explained that CRESCINE is one of the three Horizon projects aiming to increase the competitiveness of the European film industry that the European Commission (EC) has funded. Horizon is the EC’s largest research fund to date, and it has evolved significantly over the last few years. One of its focuses is now on the development of the cultural and creative industries.
“CRESCINE has the ambition to increase the competitiveness of Europe’s small markets. We’re focusing [our efforts] on seven countries that form a ‘ring’ around Europe: Estonia, Lithuania, Denmark, Ireland, Belgium – and, in particular, the Flanders region – Croatia and Portugal,” Damasio continued.
The project’s goal will be achieved by understanding, engaging with, empowering and ultimately transforming small European markets through original research and piloting the results in the seven aforementioned countries. The project will officially kick off in March. The main areas of focus include policy and regulations, film-data pool and analytics tools “to help companies and stakeholders”, new comparative and cross-sectional perspectives, as well as “a core understanding of [the sector’s] innovations” (in terms of intellectual property management, distribution, protection of data, exhibition, audience and diversity). The partners on the project include different industry players such as Cannes’ Marché du Film, the European Film Academy, EFAD, Cineregio and the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival.
Later, Ibrus further elaborated on the data-science work carried out for the project. In particular, the team is working with Cinando and other databases to study festivals and market dynamics as well as film distribution trends on TV.
“When we’re working with these rather different data sets, [...] we realise we can start interconnecting [all of] this stuff and can understand the much broader dynamics of how the film industry is working,” Ibrus stated. Data analysts from Tallinn University, Lusófona University and DAIN Studios are collecting “granular data” through sources such as IMDb, OLFFI and the European Audiovisual Observatory, and thus they will be able to identify a number of useful research questions.
“The idea is to try to work on this kind of new public data pool, which we have provisionally called FIDA [European Film Data Pool],” he said, adding that the aim is to analyse both past trends and simulations of future strategies.
Rohn (attending remotely) stressed the importance – within this project – of helping smaller businesses to achieve growth sustainability: “The key driver [for improving processes as well as products and services] is entrepreneurship, which includes identifying and creating new opportunities for innovation and turning them into ideas, into reality.”
She disclosed that the research’s ambitious deliverables will include a toolbox for green innovation aimed at smaller players and interactive, scenario-based guidelines; a toolbox for IP management with a focus on blockchain technology;an extensive mapping of innovative business models; the piloting of collaborative models made possible “by matching startups with production companies”; as well as the publication of a European industry skills report. Moreover, the study of successful models implemented in foreign markets – in particular in the USA and South Korea – will allow the piloting of new co-operation alliances in Europe at the international, national and regional levels.
Finally, Raats touched upon the topics of exhibition and distribution, including some of the key challenges in the sector affecting screen agencies, policymakers, theatres and platforms. Relevant deliverables to help these players will include, among others, a policy toolbox assessing the impact of different policy interventions; a guide for collaboration with VoD providers; a guide to strengthen the “alternative distribution circuit”; and a set of strategies to increase the effectiveness of promotional campaigns.
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