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INDUSTRY Europe

A directory of European films accessible online to arrive in the spring

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- The European Commission has announced the development of a prototype European Film Directory, to be trialled starting next spring

A directory of European films accessible online to arrive in the spring
Mariya Gabriel (left) and Thierry Frémaux (centre) during the announcement of the European Film Directory at the MIFC in Lyon

On 18 October, at the International Classic Film Market (MIFC) in Lyon, Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, presented the prototype for an online European Film Directory. This project, which was announced at the most recent Berlinale, is one of the flagship actions being undertaken as part of the Digital4Culture strategy and the European Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018.

Funded by the Creative Europe MEDIA programme and developed with the support of the European Audiovisual Observatory, this new directory should allow professionals, the public authorities and, eventually, citizens themselves to access information about European movies and their online availability via video-on-demand (VoD) services in every European country. Currently still at the prototype stage, the directory contains data provided by 115 VoD services, representing around 35,000 European films; almost 120,000 individual entries have been collated within the catalogues of VoD services. The launch of the beta version is scheduled for March/April 2019, and the final version should be released at the end of next year.

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Initially conceived as a B2B service, the directory should first and foremost allow writer-directors and producers to find out in which countries and on which services their movies are available via VoD. Distributors wishing to exhibit their European films in a more efficient manner will be able to pinpoint the VoD services most likely to host them, while the VoD services will be able to identify European films available online in other territories that are likely to be of interest to their audiences. 

The tool will also provide countless benefits for public authorities in their efforts to assess the quality of the legal supply of European films online, while support funds and promotional agencies that work with films will be better able to keep track of the exhibition and circulation of the movies they have lent their support to. Regulators will also be able to monitor the implementation of the requirement for on-demand services to have a minimum 30% quota of European works, in accordance with the new Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD).

Presenting the project alongside the director of the Institut LumièreThierry Frémaux, Mariya Gabriel also highlighted the fact that the general public will have access to the directory. Thanks to the creation of this rich and varied virtual film library, the public will benefit from a more transparent availability of European films across the EU. "A directory of classic films that have contributed to the history of European cinema will be accessible for educational purposes," she stressed, reiterating her wish to see a European Film Week in full swing in schools across the EU.

(Translated from French)

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