Following such initiativesas Shooting Stars in Berlin and showcasing young European filmmakers in KarlovyVary, European Film Promotion is planning a new series of screenings under thebanner of Picture Europe! The Best of European Cinema to highlight nationalbox-office hits from across Europe.

The new initiative willscreen European films in three European capitals in early 2007. EFP presidentClaudia Landsberger noted that 'not enough effort and investment is beingmade to enhance the ability of 'successful' national European films to be shownin other European countries. It is an unsettling reality that the majority ofour films are limited to their national release.

According to the EuropeanAudiovisual Observatory in Strasbourg, only 10 European films sold more than 1mtickets in the European Union outside of their national market in 2005,compared to 12 films each in 2003 and 2004.

'EFP has thereforedecided to create a new form of cross-border marketing of European films inEurope,' Lansberger said. 'The aim is to create a brand which has thepotential to attract a new public in Europe for quality European film.'

In EFP's 28 membercountries, recently produced films which have had success in their native lands- and the potential to do so in other countries - will be pre-selected forPicture Europe. From this pool of films, the partner cinemas in the threecities will select 10-15 films they deem appropriate for their country. Thefilm programme of two films per evening will run for one week in each cinemawith an opening film and celebration to which the local press and selectedguests from the film and television world will be invited.

According to EFP boardmember Christian Dorsch, this project should 'be seen as a long-terminitiative to acquire and educate additional audiences for European cinema. Wedon't want to copy existing festivals at all as they are doing a fantastic jobalready. But, with our marketing concept and the idea of highlighting nationalbox office hits, we are convinced that we will attract a new audience righthere in Europe.'