GENEVA, November 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and 26 of its Members, with cooperation from the European Film Academy (EFA) have joined forces to launch EUROVISION FILM WEEK - the most accessible film festival anywhere, and the first ever based exclusively on TV and radio.
In the week leading up to the European Film Awards (7 December)*, these public service media will devote their schedules to the rich cultural phenomenon that is European cinema.
As well as airing top quality European films, the 26 broadcasters have scheduled interviews with luminaries of European cinema, debates and an array of other programmes related to film. Radio stations will also be a key pillar, airing programmes on film music, interviews and behind-the-scenes reports.
As Europe's hub for public service media, the EBU has set up a film exchange platform on its EUROVISION SHOWCASE platform, where the EUROVISION FILM WEEK participants can share rights-free films in broadcast quality. There are 25 films in the pool, and any participating broadcaster is at liberty to show whichever films appeal. Twenty-two of the participating Members have announced they will broadcast films from the exchange, while three will show films from their own archives.
EBU President Jean-Paul Philippot said EUROVISION FILM WEEK would highlight the strong ties between Europe's film industry and public service media.
He said: "Public Service Media (PSM) are key partners of the film industry, in terms of financing, promotion and broadcasting of films, but also often as the commissioning parties. We want to celebrate this contribution and highlight European cinema's close ties to public service media. This partnership gives rise to a very rich cultural offering, both in Europe and beyond. And at a time when funding of European cinema and public service media is under threat, we want to find ways to ensure this can continue."
German film director and Deputy Chairman of the European Film Academy Board, Volker Schlöndorff, who is acting as a EUROVISION FILM WEEK ambassador said: "The big problem for European cinema is that the films are not exchanged between one country and another. Nowadays we observe that the cultural borders have been closed. Everything is nicely separated into compartments and everyone has their own national drawer. And that is a task for European films to tackle."
As well as Volker Schlöndorff, EUROVISION FILM WEEK has drawn strong support from three other prominent European filmmakers, namely Costa Gavras (France), Agnieszka Holland (Poland) and Jiří Menzel (Czech Republic).
*France Télévisions has scheduled EUROVISION FILM WEEK during the last week of November.
BEN STEWARD, Communications Officer