Audiovisual summit “From MEDIA to CREATIVE EUROPE” broadcasted online

The audiovisual summit “From MEDIA to CREATIVE EUROPE. The experiences of the MEDIA Programme in New Europe countries. Challenges for the Future” will begin on Wednesday, Dec 11th at 9.55 am. The conference aims for exchanging the experiences and views on the influence of MEDIA programme on the development of audiovisual markets in new Member States of the European Union. It will investigate the ways in which  common experiences can help new Member States participate in the new CREATIVE EUROPE Programme. It will open with keynote speeches by Agnieszka Holland – acclaimed film director and Jan Truszczynski - Director General for Education, Training, Culture and Youth at the European Commission. Monika Smoleń – Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of Poland and Witold Graboś – Vice- President of the National Broadcasting Council of Poland will  follow with their opening speeches.

Discussion panels will begin at 11 am. The first panel will focus on the impact of EU cultural and media policies on the production and consumption patterns related to film and TV drama in Europe. The panelists will also take a look at the consequences of political transformation in Europe  and reflect on the question whether speaking about ‘East’ and ‘West’ of Europe is nowadays an anachronism, since these two parts of Europe have been coming together by means of a closer integration,  to the point that we can speak of old divisions being obliterated. The panel will be moderated by Ewa Mazierska, Polish film critic, publicist and professor of contemporary Cinema at University of Central Lancashire. The participants will be Gyorgy Karpati -  Vice President of FIPRESCI, The International Federation of Film Critics, Anamaria Dutceac Segesten - Assistant Professor in European Studies at Lund University (Sweden) and Andre Lange - Head of the Department for Information on Markets and Financing at European Audiovisual Observatory.

Next panel will attempt to analyze the problems and advantages related to being a producer, distributor etc. in a country   with a small language group, the meaning of a strong national funding system for the audiovisual industry and co-productions and partnerships between small countries. Discussion will be led by Irena Strzałkowska - Deputy Director of Sales and Distribution at TOR Film Studio and Polish Representative of European Film Fund Eurimages with Agnieszka Odorowicz, General Director of Polish Film Institute, Kestutis Drazdauskas - President of Lithuanian Independent Producers Association,Uljana Kim – successful Lithuanian producer (e.g.  „The Gambler” – laureate of Special Jury Prize at this year’s Warsaw Film Festival) and Ieva Norvilienė – producer, laureate of MEDIA New Talent Award at Cannes Film Festival.

Did the MEDIA Programme help strengthen audiovisual companies? How much funding has been provided by private investments and how much by financial institutions? What challenges will be faced by CREATIVE EUROPE’s Guarantee Fund? These and other questions will hopefully be answered by Linda Beath - consultant to production companies and governmental organisations which work in the film, television and new media sector and EAVE and Screen Leaders finance expert, Tomasz Kozlowski - Senior Manager in the Strategic Development division of the European Investment Fund in Luxembourg, Ilona Bicevska - award winning producer from Latvia, producer of “15 Young by Young”, which involved 15 post Soviet countries and 15 directors and was a co-production with ARTE France and Algeria, Renaud Redien-Collot - Director of International Affairs at Novancia Business School in Paris and Ewa Puszczyńska – producer of Pawel Pawlikowski‘s “Ida “ which won prizes at all the festivals where it has been shown so far: FIPRESCI Award at TIFF, Best Film and Best Producer at Gdynia Film Festival, Best Film at the BFI London Film Festival and at the Warsaw Film Festival and co-producer of “The Congress” by Ari Folman.

Participants of “Going international for real” panel will discuss the sense  of networking and making the company international, gaining international recognition for the projects and the impact of significant European on the position of the producer. The panel will be moderated by Anna Wydra - producer and production manager of many award-winning films, both documentary and fiction, Oscar - nominated for the documentary “Rabbit a la Berlin”. The experiences and views on the subject will be shared by Patrik Pašš – Slovak producer, laureate of numerous prestigious awards, Ioana Draghici – Romanian producer of films presented at Locarno or San Sebastian, among others and the graduate of Nipkow Programm, and  Uldis Cekulis – documentary producer, laureate of International Trailblazer Prize at Cannes MIPDOC.

The ways in which the MEDIA Programme has  acted as an incubator for change and innovation in audiovisual industries of new Member States and how it altered working practices in almost all  of our countries, constituting an inspiration to change the rules governing operational programmes of national film institutes and centres and influencing the contracts between TV stations and independent producers, will be debated upon by Martin Blaney - correspondent for the British trade magazine “Screen International” and a jury member at numerous international film festivals and industry events, including Connecting Cottbus, Sofia Meetings, Moscow Business Square, Baltic Event, When East Meets West  and Odessa IFF, Riina Sildos – founder and Managing Director of international co-production market Baltic Event and international program for producers “Baltic Bridge East by West”, Hrvoje Hribar –  Chief Executive of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, the main audiovisual agency in Croatia and Tereza Šimíková – documentary director, journalist and program coordinator of MEDIA- financed DOK.Incubator rough cut workshop.

The second day of the conference will begin with group work in 4 groups moderated by the heads of MEDIA Desks from New Member states. Every group will learn about 2 specific issues that its members will need to address and in relation to which they will elaborate solutions and recommendations (part will not be broadcasted). The answers provided in connection with those 8 issues will form a kind of manifesto, which will be a list   of recommended actions aimed to solve the problems and to improve experiences of the new Member States. The manifesto will be presented and broadcasted at 3 pm.

At 11 am Renate Rose, the Managing Director of European Film Promotion, will give a presentation on her organisation - the network that comprises professional organisations from 35 European countries who are experts in promoting and marketing their own national cinema. Under the EFP umbrella, all of these organisations work together on the promotion of European cinema and talent around the world. Over the past 15 years, EFP has pursued a two-fold strategy to support European film worldwide: implementation of original approaches to promotion & networking and creation of viable methods to increase access to markets. EFP’s strategies span a broad spectrum and include artistic and business-oriented platforms which support the goal of increasing the visibility and marketability of European films globally.
EFP is financially supported by the MEDIA Programme and by its member organisations. EFP annually presents ten up-and-coming European actors and actresses from ten different European countries to the international press, public and industry at the  Berlin International Film Festival. The aim of “Shooting Stars” initiative, which began in 1998, is to bring talented young actors and actresses directly into the promotional process, and thereby encourage the development of a “star system” of recognizable, young faces in Europe, which has become an increasingly fundamental part of the worldwide promotion and marketing of European cinema. Since 2000, EFP has offered support and guidance to European producers during the Cannes IFF through “Producers of the move”  initiative which aims to assist European producers in finding partners for their upcoming projects, to strengthen industry networking opportunities and to offer a platform where the producer’s potential can be recognised.

Very few of the films produced in our region end up being distributed across Europe. Why aren’t sales agents interested in films from new Member States? Does the networking between producers and agents prove to be insufficient? Or are marketing budgets too low? Will the digital revolution and new ways of distributing audiovisual works help our films to have an international “career”? How can we put these new distribution opportunities to best use? These questions will be raised in the “Films from new Member States do not travel” discussion panel, moderated by  Nikolaj Nikitin – Berlinale delegate and head and founder of SOFA – School of  Film Agents workshop initiative which kicked off in Wroclaw (Poland) this year. The panel participants include Irina Orssich from MEDIA programme,Marketa Hodouskova – journalist for Film New Europe and  festival curator of the ‘A l’Est du Nouveau’ film festival of Central and Eastern European Films in Rouen, France and Izabela Kiszka-Hoflik - Head of International Cooperation Department at the Polish Film Institute.

On 12.45 pm Maciej Dydo, Head of Copyright Division at the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage will present the report from „Audiovisual market study. Competitiveness of the Polish audiovisual industry – a challenge for distributors” prepared by the Ministry in collaboration with MEDIA Desk Poland and Polish Filmmakers Association. The electronic version of the report will be available for download at the MEDIA Desk Poland website.

The last conference panel will focus on the role of public television in developing audiovisual industries in new Member States. It will be led by Juliusz Braun, the President of Polish Television (TVP S.A.) and will include Vaclav Mika -  Director General of Radio and Television Slovakia, Rasa Miškinytė – producer, long-term Head of film production department and the Commissioning Editor at LRT, Lithuanian Radio and Television Public broadcaster (2001-2006) and Michał Kwieciński - producer, director, founder and owner of Akson Studio, one of the top production companies in Poland which produced 30 films for cinema and television and 35 TV series.

The organizers of the audiovisual summit are aiming for the diagnosis of the condition of audiovisual markets, especially those located in Central and Eastern Europe, and to point the direction of their future development. Everyone who’s unable to participate in the conference is invited to watch it live at MEDIA Desk Poland website. English is the working language  of the conference.