The European Union's Media Programme has just secured over $970m (Euros 755m) to bankroll the European film industry.
The Media 2007 fund will be used for training,development, distribution and promotion from 2007-2013, including atleast 20% going on development, 55% on distribution, 7% on training, 9%on promotion, 4% on pilot projects.
The total fund is up from the $659m (Euros 520m)handed out between 2001 and 2006. Antoine Virenque, generalsecretary of FIAD, the international association of film distributors,said he is "quite happy" with the Media 2007 scheme.
However, Viviane Reding, commissioner for the EU'sInformation Society and Media Directorate, says the funds are still shortof the $1.28 bn (Euros 1bn) she was seeking.
"Some governments, such as France, asked the EUcommission's budget to be cut, so all the EU programmes got less thanneeded," Reding said.
At a meeting in Cannes, Reding and European ministerssaid the circulation of films outside the EU should be given greaterpriority in foreign and trade policies of members states.
Reding admitted "the numbers aren't verygood."
"Australia was the best with 12%. The US had 4%and India had 0%. We can do better," she said. Redingsaid the presence of European films in festivals should be reinforced.
"We must also help distributors in othercountries with networks such as Europa Cinemas."
"The main thing is that the Media Programmeworked perfectly when there were 12 or 15 member countries. It's moredifficult with 25 countries," Virenque said.