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# 1939 Baird

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London—Oct 25, 2006

European Film Agencies issue statement of support for the development of digital cinema in Europe

Europe’s film agencies, the lead organisations for film in Europe, have released a joint statement this week offering their support to the European Commission in looking at ways of stimulating the uptake of digital cinema in Europe.

In their common declaration on digital cinema, the chain of national film agencies across Europe which includes the UK Film Council state:

“The directors of Europe’s national film agencies (the EFADs) consider that digital cinema represents a major challenge for the whole of the European film industry, especially in relation to the development of online services (VOD) and the digitisation of theatrical distribution and exhibition.

“Effective support measures with a view to encouraging the digitisation and digital distribution of films are critical to the development of digital cinema exhibition and VOD platforms and are needed at both the national and the European level.

“At a time when the guidelines for the MEDIA 2007 programme are in preparation, the EFADs are at the European Commission’s disposal to discuss further possible new means of support to stimulate the uptake of digital cinema in Europe.

“The European Film Agency Directors (EFADs) are committed to helping ensure European film fulfils its important cultural and economic role in Europe and internationally. The prerequisite for achieving this goal is the development and maintenance of vibrant film sectors, sustained by national and European policies that support the production, distribution and exhibition of films, promote the diversity of film in the respective countries while at the same time securing exchange and co-operation between EU-countries as well as between the EU and the world at large.

“While many technological and economic issues related to digital theatrical distribution and exhibition are still in discussion, to ensure that European film in all its diversity is made available to European audiences, it is vital that European cinema is fully prepared for the transition to digital.

“The EFADs therefore believe that it is absolutely necessary that the largest possible catalogue of new and classic European films is available in the appropriate HD digital format for VOD, web and cable-based home video services, or in the DCI-compliant 2k to 4k digital format for theatrical screening. With the American majors moving quickly into the VOD and digital cinema market, with large and compelling libraries of American titles, there is a real risk that European films lose out and never reach a new and committed audience if European producers, distributors and exhibitors are unable to respond speedily to the digital challenge.”

Other common declarations released by the European Film Agencies can be found at http://www.ukfilmcouncil.org.uk/information/downloads/?subject=15

Signed by:

Österreichisches Filminstitut (Austria)
Centre du Cinéma et de l'Audiovisuel de la Communauté française (Belgium)
Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds (Belgium)
Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education and Culture (Cyprus)
Czech Film Chamber (Czech Republic)
Danish Film Institute (Denmark)
Estonian Film Foundation (Estonia)
Filmförderungsanstalt (Germany)
Greek Film Centre (Greece)
Finnish Film Foundation (Finland)
Centre National de la Cinématographie (France)
National Film Office (Hungary)
Irish Film Board (Ireland)
Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali - Direzione Generale per il Cinema (Italy)
National Film Centre (Latvia)
Ministry of Culture - Department for Cinema (Lithuania)
Film Fund Luxembourg (Luxembourg)
Malta Film Commission (Malta)
Nederlands Fonds v.d. Film (Netherlands)
Ministry of Culture - Department for Cinema (Poland)
Instituto do Cinema Audiovisual e Multimedia (Portugal)
Instituto de la Cinematografia y de las Artes Audiovisuales (Spain)
Ministry of Culture - Department for Cinema (Slovakia)
Slovenian Film Fund (Slovenia)
Swedish Film Institut (Sweden)
UK Film Council (United Kingdom)

About UK Film Council : The UK Film Council's Distribution and Exhibition Department is investing £18 million in a range of projects to widen the opportunity for people to see a broader range of films across the UK. Initiatives include: up to £13 million for the first ever digital screen network across the UK; £1.5 million to date towards the release of specialised films (such as Goodbye Lenin!, The Motorcycle Diaries, The Station Agent and The House of Flying Daggers) through supporting Prints and Advertising costs; funding for the installation of subtitling and audio-description equipment at more than 78 cinemas across the UK; funding towards equipping film clubs and local film societies, community groups and mobile film exhibitors with high quality DVD-based digital projection equipment. UK Film Council Directory page
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