Distribution and training programmes face budget cuts in 2015.

 Creative Europe’s MEDIA sub-programme will reduce budgets for cinema automatic distribution and training programmes in 2015 due to the planned 1.75% reduction in the framework programme’s overall budget to €163.3m from this year’s €166.2m.

Speaking at the first sitting of the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education, the European Commission’s Brigitte Devos from DG CULT explained: “It’s clear that the small cut we have in 2015 for Creative Europe is really the maximum we can afford if we still want to achieve the 9% goal increase [for 2014-2020].”

“It means that any further cuts which would be decided during the budget procedure, would really be damaging for the programme, the SMES and all the other cultural operators. It is essential that Creative Europe gets at least the appropriation the Commission has proposed.”

“The Commission has proposed to reduce the European networks and, for MEDIA, the cuts would be made on small actions like television programming, the cinema automatic scheme and on training,” Devos said.

According to 2014’s work programme for Creative Europe, the budget for supporting television programming is set this year at €11.8m for 50 projects, €22.7m are being made for 800 actions in the cinema automatic scheme, and €7.5m for 80 training measures.

Devos pointed out, though, that “under the cross-sectoral strand, we will launch the capacity building module of the financial instrument for Creative Europe [next year] which should help the financial intermediaries to become [acquainted] with this new instrument so that they can start effectively in 2016 with the guarantee facility for SMEs in the cultural and creative sectors.”

Balkan countries join Creative Europe

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) are the latest Balkan countries to join the EU’s Creative Europe programme.

As in the case of Serbia and Albania who joined Creative Europe last month, Montenegro and FYROM can only participate in the Culture sub-programme at the moment. The MEDIA sub-programme will be open to these four countries once they have brought their audiovisual legislation into line with EU law.

However, Bosnia and Herzegovina can participate in both Culture and MEDIA sub-programmes since the Sarajevo-based administration signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the European Commission last July in order to also have full access to the MEDIA Programme’s actions.

FYROM and Montenegro are members of the Hamburg-based pan-European promotion organisation European Film Promotion, the latter since December 2012.

LUX Prize finalists named

Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida is one of the three finalists along with Rok Biček’s Class Enemy and Céline Sciamma’s Girlhood for the European Parliament’s annual LUX Film Prize.

The finalists will be subtitled into the EU’s official 24 languages and be screened in all 28 member states in more than 40 cities and 18 festivals during the LUX Film Days this autumn after being presented in the Venice Days next month.

The winner, which will be chosen by MEPs and announced on 17 December, will be adapted for the visually and hearing impaired and also be promoted during its international release.

For the second consecutive year, European cinema-goers will be able to vote for their favourite film, with one of those voting being picked to attend the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in 2015.