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Village International, Cannes

Levelling the playing field? The European Audiovisual Observatory 2012 Cannes Workshop

The European Audiovisual Observatory, part of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, has announced that its annual Cannes workshop will focus this year on the current discussions on film funding rules in Europe: Levelling the playing field? Towards new European rules for film funding.

The workshop will take place in the Salon des Ambassadeurs (Level 4, Palais des Festivals) on Saturday 19th of May from 11:00 to 13:00. Last year's event attracted over 350 participants and this year's workshop should follow the trend.

The European Commission has recently launched a public consultation on its draft Cinema Communication. This document sets down the criteria which determine whether European film support schemes are compatible with EU competition rules. This consultation process will end in mid-June 2012 and the final Cinema Communication, defining the rules of the game for film funding in Europe, is due to come into force in 2013.

The Observatory's Director, Wolfgang Closs, points out that this year's Observatory workshop "takes place at a crucial phase in the consultation process" and sees the event as providing a forum for film funders, producers, investors, professionals and European institutions to tackle some of the more controversial points of the Cinema Communication.

This year's Observatory workshop, which also marks the 20th anniversary of the organisation, kicks off with the latest film industry findings from the Observatory team. Cinema Analyst Martin Kanzler will open with the overall 2011 box office trends, passing to Funding Analyst Susan Newman who will present the latest facts and figures on film funding in Europe. Coming in from the wings, Francisco Cabrera, the Observatory's Legal Analyst will give an overview of the content of the current draft Cinema Communication and a round-up of reactions from film professionals so far.

In the second half, representatives from the European Commission, the film funds themselves and the film producers will take to the field to discuss the contents of the draft Cinema Communication and their implications for film funding in Europe.

The Observatory will have its stand, as ever, on the Cannes Film Market (A6 Riviera) and will be giving away its FOCUS -- World Film Market Trends publication produced for the Marché du Film (author, Martin Kanzler, will be present on the stand). The Observatory will also be presenting on its stand its latest publications on the cinema: Public Funding for Film and Audiovisual Works in Europe (author Susan Newman will be present on the Observatory stand) and The Future of State Aid, the latest IRIS plus report by Francisco Cabrera (also in Cannes). As every year, the Observatory's volume 3 of the Yearbook -- Film and home video, will be available.

To register for the Observatory's conference download and fill in the registration form (Microsoft Word) and email it to: cannes@coe.int.

As usual, the Observatory can be found on the Marché du Film on stand A6 Riviera (tel.: + 33 (0)4 92 99 33 12).

A full rundown on the 2025 Cannes Film Festival, is available in the book, Cannes - A Festival Virgin's Guide (7th Edition).
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