Culture ministers have been mixing with the movers and shakers at the international festival.The discussions on how policy can help European films break new ground focussed interest on online services. Producer Christophe Rossignon explains a bit about Video On Demand: “You can go to a site offering all sorts of films; it makes no difference to the service providers how many they offer, one thousand or five thousand… it’s only memory capacity. It’s so simple, a child could do it, to tell the search engine to look for the title of your Italian or Belgian film and you download it. You’ll never get that kind of access at a supermarket, Carrefour or Auchan or what-have-you.” Online service is the way of the future for many European film-makers who do not always have the money it takes to promote their work. British director Michael Winterbottom, guest of honour at this year’s Europe Day in Cannes: “Even if films became more like books where somewhere like Amazon stocks thousands of books, and even books that are out of print, you can buy second- hand, almost any title can be purchased. If it were the same for films, where virtually any film you wanted you could watch simply be going online… that would be brilliant!” European support for those starting out in the business includes the MEDIA Young Talent Award. This year’s winner is Peter Boerjesson from Sweden. This year, the MEDIA programme is sponsoring twelve feature films included in the playlist at Cannes, and the Quinzaine des Realisateurs which runs in parallel with the festival.
Waving the flag for European cinema at Cannes; Shining a spotlight on new technology