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.