On the face of it European cinema appears to be in rude health. This year 13 out of 20 movies competing for the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes film festival are from Europe.
A lot of the success is being put down to funding from the EU.
Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Culture, said: “I’m a very happy to say that as we celebrated 20 years of the media programme, we have twenty films which are supported by the Media program, and some of them are also competing for the Palme d’or”
But it’s not just EU big wigs, who are lauding the current crop of European films. Many in the industry, including film director Michael Radford, who directed 1984 and the Postman, are praising the programme to.
“It helps you to create an industry. It helps to create jobs, ……and most of all, it pays back itself in the economy of cinema which is very important to the whole world,’‘ he said.
There appears to be a broad consensus then that the funding has been vital to Europe’s recent cinema success. Greek filmmaker, Costa Gravas said the money must continue.
‘‘We need European film to be seen by other Europeans, otherwise it would be a huge problem. Obviously, now, the system is getting better and better and one can say we have asked, even today, to strengthen this programme, because we’re seeing a lot, a lot of American films. It’s great, I’m not against it. Even so, we should know each other through films. Finally, what is a film? It is a mirror in which a country can see itself, yet it is also a mirror we can send elsewhere, for others to see.’‘