Films to air across 26 broadcasters in the run up to the European Film Awards.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and 26 of its members have joined forces to launch Eurovision Film Week.

The event, in cooperation with the European Film Academy (EFA), will be based exclusively on TV and radio. 

In the week leading up to the European Film Awards (Dec 7), public service broadcasters will devote their schedules to European cinema. 

As well as airing European films, the 26 broadcasters will schedule interviews with filmmakers, debates and an array of other programmes related to movies.

Radio stations will air programmes on film music, interviews and behind-the-scenes reports. 

The EBU has set up a film exchange platform on its Eurovision Showcase platform, where the Eurovision Film Week participants can share rights-free films in broadcast quality.

There are 25 films in the pool, and any participating broadcaster free to show whichever feature they choose. Some 22 of the participating members have announced they will broadcast films from the exchange, while three will show films from their own archives. 

EBU president Jean-Paul Philippot said “At a time when funding of European cinema and public service media is under threat, we want to find ways to ensure this can continue.” 

German director Volker Schlöndorff, deputy chairman of the European Film Academy Board, added: “The big problem for European cinema is that the films are not exchanged between one country and another.

“Nowadays we observe that the cultural borders have been closed. Everything is nicely separated into compartments and everyone has their own national drawer. And that is a task for European films to tackle.” 

As well as Schlöndorff, other directors supporting the initiative include Costa Gavras (France), Agnieszka Holland (Poland), Jiří Menzel (Czech Republic).