Warsaw AV Summit: Central and Eastern Europe issues a call for a stronger presence of their AV industries across Europe


    WARSAW: Film industry leaders and AV policy makers from central and eastern Europe see a new and more active role for their AV industries in the upcoming Creative Europe programme that kicks off next year.

    The AV Summit “From MEDIA to CREATIVE EUROPE” took place in Warsaw on 11-12 December 2013 brought together the top leaders and decision makers for a unique meeting. Leaders and organizers described the summit as a pivotal moment for the region’s AV industry and a watershed for all future developments.

    The summit finished a diagnosis of the major problems the industry faces in the region and a presentation of a manifesto of the need for greater circulation of films from the region beyond their borders and the fuller role regional leaders expect to play in European AV policy.

    “It’s time that we moved away from this victim mentality,” said Lithuanian producer Uljana Kim, “we have just as much to contribute to the European film industry in terms of expertise and creative talent as we have to learn. Our region needs to be fully represented in all European initiatives.”

    The Polish Film Institute which has been one of the most successful national bodies in Europe for supporting and developing its AV industry was one of the main sponsors of the event. PISF helmer Agnieszka Odorowicz addressing the summit said: "The co-operation between the countries, especially from our part of Europe is not a sufficient solution. Therefore the idea of creating a fund that would support the film industry, especially from smaller countries, who are currently having trouble with the distribution of their film cultures is a wise one. The next issue is encouraging the authorities to introduce tax incentives, because that is the best way to bring in private money to the market"

    Odorowicz also stressed the importance of the participation of public broadcasters in the film industry. "The public broadcasters should be our strongest partners. It is the most economically logical connection and in the end the cheapest way to reach the viewers with the finished product. In Poland the local television still doesn't have enough funds to support us in developing our production to the next level. We need this to change." said Odorowicz.

    The problem of AV piracy online and the creation of cheap accessible platforms to pay for the movies legally as one solutions was also discussed. "People who pirate our films are also a potential source of income for us, they could be our partners. We should find a way for them to have cheaper and more accessible ways to pay for films on the internet," said Irina Orssich  from MEDIA.  

    Film New Europe was one of the main partners of the summit taking an active role in its preparation and preparing all the research for the country profiles which FNE will be publishing online starting today.

    The participants of the summit issued four manifestos that will serve as a direction for further European co-operation on the pressing issues discussed at the summit which will be available online soon here. Participants also especially thanked Joanna Wendorrff-Ostergaard head of the Polish MEDIA desk who organized the event.