Producers, directors and institutions from the Mediterranean countries will be meeting with representatives from Eurimages, CNC, the World Cinema Fund and Europa Cinemas, among others, at the first regional conference of the Euromed Audiovisual II Programme being staged during the Berlinale from Feb 10-11.

The conference will take stock of the first year of the European Commission programme which was launched in March 2006 to develop cooperation between the European Union and 10 Mediterranean partners (namely Algeria, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey) in the field of cinema and audiovisual works.

With a budget of $19.4m (Euros 15m) over three years, Euromed supports 12 selected projects spanning the entire process of film development, promotion exhibition and distribution and providing vital opportunities for training, networking, and knowledge-transfer.

The regional conference will be preceded by a workshop dedicated to combatting piracy on Feb 8-9. Mediterranean audiovisual authorities from the 10 MEDA countries will come together with European officials and experts to identify the most effective strategies for discouraging audiovisual piracy in Mediterranean countries.