Tuesday, September 26th, 2017
A new public policy mindset is emerging in Europe. Moderated with brio by SampoMedia/Michael Gubbins, himself head of Wales Film Cymru, a San Sebastian panel, The Bigger Picture: A Fresh Approach to Public Film Funding, set out evolving priorities. Five major takeaways:
The phrase was first used by the Media Program’s Lucía Recalde, suggesting collaboration between Media and Eurimages. “De-siloing,” across national boundaries or sectors, was, however, approved by many panelists who took in producers – Czech Artemio Benki, analysts – Ilse Schooneknaep at SMIT/Brussels Vrij U; - and Gubbins, the Wallonie-Brus- sels Federation’s Jeanne Brunfault, Eurimages’ Enrico Vannucci and Bérénice Honold, at Germany’s FFA. “We need to step back from cultural protectionism. Not only producers but also film funds should share knowledge,” said Schooneknaep.
Public interventions that really shows up on a screen have to happen in early development,” said Gubbins. Brunfault said that the Wallonie-Brussels Center
was thinking about moving more money from production to development. Czech Republic authorities have already done that, per Benki.
Funds in Europe and Latin American are focusing ever more on larger movies. Last year, the FFA decided Germany had “too many films and most of average quality,” said the FFA’s Honold. “One strategy is to focus more on higher-budget productions. We try to give our money to less films, but films that can reach larger audiences,” she added.
“There is a wealth of data that could be useful for the whole value chain of the industry. Media could contribute to fin- ding and sharing it,” Recalde said.
Originality and great screenwriting are tow of the only things first time or smaller films have got going for them. Singularity implies risk, however. Putting distributor’s knowledge and experience to work in the early stages of a project may allow the film, by giving some sense of its risk, to be more not less adventurous, Gubbins argued. And, he added, you might just end up with a better film.