The Euromed Audiovisual II programme has opened its final conference in Cairo as its three year mandate nears to a close.

The $19.2m (Euros 15m) EU funded programme was established to bring European and Mediterranean cultures together, through the medium of audiovisual and cinema.

The two day conference runs from November 10-11 and will focus on the increasing professionalisation of the region's audiovisual sector in terms of development, distribution and audiences.

150 participants will take part in discussions on topical issues including the problems posed by ailing regional markets on an emerging Mediterranean film industry.

In addition, the programme's impact will be examined, particularly on the circulation of professionals, films and information.

To date Euromed II has provided support for:

  • 160 film releases in 24 European and Mediterranean countries;
  • 50 films to go into production;
  • 12 projects covering the entire film development, distribution, promotion and exhibition chain; and
  • 550 professionals to benefit from training and development workshops

Significantly the programme claims to have laid the foundations for ongoing partnerships and networks among emerging Mediterranean audiovisual professionals.

The conference will also turn to potential strategies for the future of audiovisual cooperation in the southern and eastern Mediterranean, looking at public and private initiatives.

'Recommendations for Action', produced by European and Mediterranean professionals brought together by the programme, has been endorsed by Euro-Mediterranean Ministers of Culture and will be examined in detail before the conference comes to a close.