The number of locally-produced films released annually is on the increase across Europe, with homegrown films now accounting for an average 16% of new releases, according to new figures from Screen Digest. This compares to just 12% a decade ago.

Unsurprisingly, France is Europe's strongest market for domestically produced films. In 2000, the country's local productions accounted for 38% of releases - at least three times as many as any other European territory.

Other strong territories were Germany, Italy, the UK, Poland and Spain, although in 2000 both the UK and Spain saw a decline in domestically produced releases over the previous three to four years.

In comparison, smaller countries are witnessing a decline in domestic releases, with Belgium, Portugal, Finland, Austria and Norway all producing less than 7% of releases locally.

Screen Digest's report also finds that the number of first-run releases over the last 10 years is up from an average of 260 to over 300 per year. While territories such as France, Spain and Belgium all see over 500 first run releases annually, territories such as Denmark, Finland, the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary all see less than 200.

And with most major European territories this year witnessing unprecedented success of domestically produced films (see Screendaily side bar) it looks likely that the growth has continued well into 2001.