Magazine article Screen International

EU Commissioner Begins Euro Film Industry Talks

Magazine article Screen International

EU Commissioner Begins Euro Film Industry Talks

Article excerpt

Keynote at the Creative Europe MEDIA day conference was Oettinger's first face-to-face encounter with the European film professionals.

Tapping European cinema's full potential through digitalisation was highlighted by European Commissioner Günther Oettinger in his keynote at the Creative Europe MEDIA day conference this morning.

The visit to the Berlinale is Oettinger's first face-to-face encounter with the European film professionals and had been hotly anticipated as a chance for him to state his strategy vis-a-vis the cinema sector and its future within the digital age.

Win-win situation

¨We are living in a digital revolution and with revolutions, you can win or lose,¨ he argued, declaring that digitalisation could offer a win-win situation for the film industry and make an important contribution to understanding between cultures and the promotion of the European identity.

Speaking to around 700 professionals from all over Europe and beyond, Oettinger explained: ¨A digital economy and society is not only about fast internet, new digital services or industry 4.0. It is also about innovative, creative industries which generate ideas for the benefit of the whole digital market. European content, films and music, are a vital part of our digital society.¨

¨In an age, where more consumers are watching more films online, we should work together to ensure that our creative potential and European diversity are preserved and are accessible for everyone. We want to help film professionals to experiment with new business models and take advantage of the European digital market, rather than seeing it as a threat. The European film industry can and should reach out to new audiences¨

Challenge

Oettinger suggested that the ¨ real challenge¨ was to break down national borders and restrictions for a wider circulation of European films throughout the EU.

¨I want more choice for consumers. They should also benefit from the advantages of digitalisation and be able to shop for more films across-borders,¨ he added, pointing out that there was a need to ¨think about new ways to bring content to audiences¨.

In first reactions after the speech, some said that it had been important that he had come to Berlin and shown that he takes the film industry seriously. …

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