Europa International, the organisation representing the interests of international sales agents, has given an enthusiastic welcome to The European Commission’s recently published call for proposals related to a new preparatory action Circulation Of European Films In Digital Era.

Europa is supporting the EC’s move to initiate an in-depth discussion of some of the key issues affecting European sales and distribution. Prime among these is the debate around the window for VoD transmission following cinema release.

Last autumn, the European Parliament announced a €2m budget for this initiative. The aim now is to test innovative strategies for the dissemination of European films (cinema screenings, DVDs, VoD, festivals, television channels, etc) and thereby help European films cross national borders more easily.

Through this funding, there will be support for projects “designed to test the simultaneous (or virtually simultaneous) release of films across all media and in several European territories.” Any consortium hoping to apply must include at least two sales agents.

Europa International managing director Daphné Kapfer confirmed that some of the organisation’s members were already looking to set up a grouping together.

“It is really nice that sales agents’ interests are taken into account,” Kapfer commented of the new EC initiative. “The sales agents are really at the heart of the project.”

Europa International was launched at the Berlin Festival last year. The organisation currently has around 30 members, among them many of the most powerful and respected European sales agents.