Aviva Silver, who was head of unit at the MEDIA Programme until June 2013, is set to resume playing a key role in forging future European audiovisual and cultural policy.

With the changeover at the head of the European Commission’s Directorate-General Education and Culture (DG EAC) at the beginning of this month, UK-born Silver has been appointed as an advisor to Xavier Prats Monné, the new Director-General at DG EAC.

Spanish-born Prats Monné, who had been the DG EAC Deputy Director-General with responsibility for the EU policies in the fields of education and training since 2011, succeeds Poland’s Jan Truszczynski in the post of Director-General.

He is now also responsible for the EU policies in the fields of culture, youth and sports as well as for the Creative Europe programme.

Prats Monné’s other two advisors are Filip Van Depoele and Sergej Koperdak who have backgrounds in education and youth policy, respectively.

Distribution study launched

This week has seen the European Commission (EC) announcing plans to finance an analysis on the drivers and obstacles for the circulation of non-national European films within the EU and beyond.

The study’s findings would be used to support the EC in its drafting of annual work programmes and calls for proposals for Creative Europe’s MEDIA sub-programme. Moreover, the analysis is envisaged as feeding into the mid-term evaluation report which will be submitted to the European Parliament and the Council by the end of 2017.

As the DG EAC notes, the outcome of the study will serve as “a basis to trigger the dialogue with Member States the Commission has called for in the Communication on European films in the digital area”.

The Communication was adopted last May to provide a stock-take of recent developments in the field of cinema and identify current challenges in public policies.

The study’s authors will be expected to provide a statistical overview of the players – sales agents and distributors - operating in the distribution sector, a comprehensive picture of the ‘distribution value chain’, looking at such features as the nature of contractual relationships between producers and sales agents, the impact of the level of MGs on distributors’ strategies, potential synergies between theatrical exhibition and other exploitation windows, and the level of revenue coming back to upstream players.

A second part of the study would focus on the detailed analysis of the life cycles of a sample of films supported by the MEDIA Programme since 1996 – from the first theatrical release through all platforms (DVD, TV, VoD, SvoD, etc.) to back catalogue exploitation – in order to identify patterns underlying the circulation of European films within and beyond the EU.

According to the EC, the study’s goal is to distill a series of operational recommendations which would “in particular, highlight levers helping the Commission better tailor the Creative Europe MEDIA sub-programme schemes addressing film distribution issues” and also “bring to the fore potential areas of discussion with Member States on their own policy instruments and of improvement to the complementarity between EU and national interventions”.