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Creative Europe MEDIA — Supporting audience development for European audiovisual content

The MEDIA programme will support innovative ways of engaging with audience at all levels to ensure the widest audience for European audiovisual works.

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The COVID-19 crisis has dramatically affected the viewing habits of European audiences. The progressive shift from cinema to platforms that the sector has witnessed in the last year was accelerated due to the closure of cinemas theatres during lockdowns in most Member States. The challenge for the sector now will be to maximise the opportunities in terms of audience outreach of the digital transition.

The objective of the audience cluster is to connect European audiovisual works with their audiences and to support audience development across Europe and beyond.

The supporting actions in 2021 under the audience cluster are:

  • A network of European cinemas: to increase audiences for European works through incentives and collaborative projects. Funding will promote innovative approaches to the cinematic experience that combines visibility for European works and the largest audience outreach. For 2021, adjusting cinema theatres to the changes brought about by the  COVID19 crisis will be a priority.
  • Festivals: to foster the circulation of European works. In 2021, funding will be given to individual festivals in the form of a biannual grant. This will be an exceptional support measure for festivals which have been disrupted by the COVID-19 crisis. Support to individual festivals under this work programme for 2021 will subsequently be complemented in 2022 by support to European networks of festivals, building on the successful networks funded previously. Festivals will be encouraged to share innovative practices and maximize outreach through online dissemination.
  • European Video-on-Demand (VOD) networks and operators: to increase audiences for European works through incentives, curation of catalogues, collaborative projects and audience data analyses. Networks of VOD platforms in Europe screening a significant proportion of non-national European films and cooperating to foster the circulation of European works will be supported.
  • Films on the move: to increase the circulation of European works and widen their pan-European audience by supporting theatrical and online distribution of non-national European films. Support will focus on pan-European distribution strategies coordinated by European companies for the distribution of European films with a focus on emerging talents and films for new audiences.
  • Subtitling of cultural content: to increase the circulation of the European cultural programming across Europe. This action will support the provision of subtitles covering content in at least 3 languages on diverse European cultural content. It shall also aim at guaranteeing the online dissemination of this subtitled content.
  • Audience development & film education: to stimulate the interest of audiences, in particular young audiences, in European films and audiovisual works. Cooperation between film institutions and online platforms will be encouraged. Supported projects should have a pan-European audience reach. Activities to be funded shall include audience oriented events and innovative audience development or cross-border film education initiatives.


Preparatory Action "Writing European"

The Commission is launching a 3M € call for proposals to strengthen the capacity of the European audiovisual industry to create cutting edge fiction series that can attract audiences across borders, and to nurture a community of European talents able to work across national and linguistic borders. It should enable European companies to scale up their collaboration and to offer talents continuous opportunities in Europe throughout their career. While the audiovisual industry has been severely hit by the COVID-19 outbreak, this new action should support talents as well as European companies, and

Media representation and inclusion for refugees and migrants

Media (re)presentation and visibility of vulnerable groups like migrants and refugees remains very marginal in the mainstream media across Europe. This call aims to improve the visibility of these vulnerable groups in the media by supporting them to use their skills and knowledge to contribute themselves to shape their portrayal in the media. It aims to give a voice to these groups and support them in their media coverage, helping to offer new positive narratives on migration.

Preparatory Action "Cinemas as Innovation Hubs for Local Communities"

The Commission is launching a 1,5M € call for proposals to create innovative cultural hubs around cinema theatres, notably in areas where there is limited cinema and cultural infrastructure and where the the Covid 19 crisis has had a very strong impact. The Covid 19 pandemic has deeply affected the cinemas and has changed the cinema going experience in a dramatic way.

Pilot Project "Platform(s) for cultural content innovation" - Call for proposals

In order to incentivise European content industries to nurture and embrace innovation and take up new technologies and to help them to sustain their position as pioneers in the digital era, the Commission will implement the pilot project "Platform(s) for cultural content innovation".

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Creative Europe MEDIA Programme

The MEDIA strand of the Creative Europe programme is designed to support European film and other audiovisual industries.

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