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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE: European AudioVisual Production, CO-Productions+Exports Boom: Fairy Tales or Not ?

CoE: European AudioVisual Production, CO-Productions+Exports Boom: Fairy Tales or Not ?

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 21 February 2018

*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- It looked like a Fairy Tale ! However, the Reality is More Complex, but, anyway, Interesting...

 A Series of recent Statistics on European AudioVisual creations, published these Days by CoE's PanEuropean AV Observatory (EAVO)'s Experts in Strasbourg, at First Sight, Boom by Optimism :

- F.ex.: There was a Strong Growth of Film Production in Europe, during recent years ! European Co-Productions generated 3 Times More Cinema Admissions ! And European Films Released in Foreign Countries had Grown by +8,5% ! Etc...

It's not inaccurate. But it's not all...


- Indeed, "Overall Production in Europe" was "Growing by + 47%", jumping from 1.444 feauture Films in 2007, up to 2124 in 2016.

However, it's mainly "Documentaries" which "Boomed, almost Doubling" (X 200 %) "to 698 Films in 2016". While "production of Feature Fiction" rose just for 1/3  ( X 33 %), which is not bad.

And among the 36 Countries that EAVO covers, it's "the Top 5 producing" which accounted for an absolute Majority : "53,6% of overall Production", (UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy).

On the Contrary, "18 Countries produced Fewer than the average" (25 Films a Year), and 5 Countries' production "Declined", (even among the "Top" : f.ex. the UK, followed by Belgium, etc).

But it's also true that other "10 Countries more than Doubled their production volume", while "the Fastest Growth" was "Mostly .. located in Eastern Europe".

F.ex., Russia comes 6th, just After the "Top 5" (Comp. Supra), with more than 1.000 Films. To Note also Spain's Recent Growth, particularly on Documentaries. (While, on the Contrary, UK recently Lost the 1st Place)


- European Co-Productions, indeed, generated "3 Times More Admissions" to Cinemas, "than purely National Films" : I.e., with 24,2% of the Total Production, they got 50,3% of Admissions, (with the UK sky-rocketing).

But, if the Particular case of UK's "GB inc." Companies is Excluded, (since they may have a Majority of Capital, or even All of it, coming from Abroad, resulting, in Fact, f.ex, in a ...American-American Production !), then, the above-mentioned Ration of 3 : 1, is Lowered to just 5 : 3, (and the relevant Percentage Diminishes from 317% Down to 171%).

=> Then, France comes First, followed by Germany and Spain, (while even the Czech Republic outnumbers the UK !)...

However, Co-Productions are Not used so much for Documentaries, (which are the Fastest-Growing AudioVisual products and stay predominantly National : Comp. Supra), but Mainly for Fiction features.
And, concerning Co-Productions with Foreign (Extra-European) Countries, it's Russia which Leads from the European continent, (bypassed only by the Particular case of the UK : Comp. Supra, and Followed by Spain and Portugal).

Last, but not least : Even inside Europe, Russia, which has a Comparatively Low Number of European Co-Productions, nevertheless, appears Interesting in practice, since it's almost the Only one to ...Always Fund the Majority of the Co-Production Costs !


- As for the "Circulation of European Films Outside Europe", Indeed, the Number of those Released in Foreign Countries regularly Grows, from 2012 up to 2016, Jumbing from 509 Up to 650 Films per Year.


But, it's also a Fact that, on the Contrary, the Admissions in Cinemas, for these Films, Curiously ... Fall Down, from 131 Millions to Only 108 or even 82 Millions (between 2012 - 2015/2016) !


 Nevertheless, an Astonishingly Small Part of European Films Released in Foreign Countries (just 9%) has Managed to Attract ..90% of the Total of Admissions ! I.e. showing that Success on Europe's AV Exports is possible, but may depend also on Focusing on certain Key Products...

However, it's also True that these Numbers do Not take into Account the "VOD", on-line and Other Kinds of Releasing Audio-Visual products, (reportedly because there is Not yet a sufficient "Transparency" of those New and Booming ways of Distributing Films Worldwide, Nowadays).

So, as things stand, it's obviously the Uk which came recently First in Admissions of "European" Films Outside of Europe, Followed by France and Russia, (Comp. Supra).

As for the Markets where those Admissions take place, naturally USA comes First, closely followed by China, and, in a Distance, by Mexico, further away : Australia and South Korea, etc.

Among the Smaller Markets, just don't look for Countries as Turkey : Because there, Exceptionally, a large Absolute Majority of Films are simply ...Turkish ! Contrary to Most Other Countries in the World, where the Majority of Films released and seen come from Elsewhere.

On the Contrary, in the Pan-European area, the Russian Market for Films is seriously Growing Nowadays, according to CoE's Audio-Visual Observatory.




In other words, as the Number 1, Top Selling Abroad, European Film Co-Production indicates, (Picturing a ..."Cat" with "Nine Lives" : See relevant PHOTO), Fairy Tales or not (Comp. Supra), at least one thing seems clear : At any case, the European AudioVisual works have ... Many Lives !...








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Former "Green-Red" German government's Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer's job at the controversial Turkish pipeline "Nabucco" was denounced as "not proper", "very bad", and "incompatible with Democracy", by the new President of EU Parliament's EuroLeft Group, German Lothar Bisky, replying to an "EuroFora" question.

For once, criticism of Joschka Fischer's doings with Turkey affecting Europe, didn't come only from the Center-Right of the political spectrum, but even from his Left side : The experienced Bisky, who has been chairing all over 1993-2009 the PDS - Die Linke party :  

- "Former Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer got involved in dealings with oil-gaz business in a foreign country, Turkey, and its controversial Nabucco pipeline. This raises questions about Democracy, also because of the well known problems of Human Rights violations in that country. Do you thing that this might be abused in order to cover up and close EU's eyes on Human Rights violations ?", "EuroFora" asked Bisky.


- "Nabucco pipeline is (only) at the planning stage". And "there are some difficulties",  he observed from the start. But "'I don't want to get into the details of Nabucco pipeline, because I don't think that there is any point for it at the moment".
At any case,  "we  (EU Parliament's EuroLeft Group) strongly believe that Politicians should not get involved in the Energy Business, and all these commercial transactions", President Bisky declared on the Joschka Fiischer's affair.

- "We feel that it's something that shouldn't be done. It's not proper !"           

- "We don't think that it's compatible with Democracy either, and it gets politics into a very Bad track", Bisky went on to denounce.
- "EuroLeft  and "Die Linke" always spoke against that, saying that politicians should not get directly into the arms of private enterprises"

- "It is pretty bad if a former Minister takes a job f.ex. in a major Energy producer. So, it's an issue if a Minister who may have seen excellent opportunities, subsequently gets personally grasp of them, in very serious parts of the economy, once he has given up his (Government) job."

- "It doesn't really make politics in general look any better'", Bisky concluded.


Earlier, this week in Strasbourg, other Journalists had also raised critical questions on former Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer's involvement in the conroversial Turkish Nabucco pipeline to the President of his own EuroParty : Kohn-Bendit of the "Greens", who, contrary to Bisky, tried to find excuses for Fischer, while criticizing his long-time partner, Schroeder for having done a similar move :

- "Shroeder was chancellor", and he "negociated" with "Russians", who gave him a job only "3 Months" after he resigned from the Government. While "Joschka Fischer", on the contrary, got a job with the controversial Turkish Nabucco pipeline only "4 Years after" he left the Government. "He didn't negociate Nabucco", so I have "no objection", Kohn Bendit claimed.

But, many Facts indicate the contrary :

Joschka Fischer was Foreign Minister in Germany from 1999 up to 2005 : I.e. from the year that EU took the controversial decision to give Turkey a "Candidate" status, until he year it started controversial "accession negotiations, (later declared "open-ended" after Sarkozy-Merkel's arrival from 2005-2007).

During that period was prepared the controversial so-called "Annan" Plan (in fact, drafted by others and attributed afterwards to the former UN SG) on Cyprus, which failed after a Popular Referendum said "No" on 2004 with a large Majoriy of 3/4 : 75%. Mainly because it was criticized for making too much concessions to the Turkish side :  Particularly by restricting Greek Cypriot Refugees' Human Right to return to their ancestral Land and/or get restitution of their Familiy Homes and private properties, usurpated by Ankara's Army since the 1974 militay invasion and continuing occupation of the northern part of Cyprus. And by weakening the Central Government, leaving to 2 "constituent States" so much powers and separate interests that more conflicts appeared inevitable, provoking the danger of a break-down in the foreseable future, with more crisis, troubles, perhaps bloodshed, etc., instead of creating an harmoniously integrated, really one federal State.

The controversial Plan was finalized on March-April 2004 at Burgenstock (Switzerland), curiously in the presence of an Envoy by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany, then governed by Joschka Fischer, but in the absence of a French and not even an European Union's Envoy, contrary to what was usually practiced on similar occasions in Switzerland (fex. in 1997 at Montreux, in 2000 at Geneva, etc).

Turkey notoriously exploited the failure of the "Annan" Plan in order to convince the EU to decide to start accession Negotiations on December 2004. This provoked an unprecedented series of Institutional Crisis inside the EU, shortly afterwards, when French and Dutch People rejected, 2 popular EuroReferenda by a majority "'No" vote to the EU Constitutional Treaty on 2005, aggraveted in 2004 a Majority Abstention to EU Elections, etc., followed by the recent Irish "No", etc.

"Nabucco" Gas pipeline was notoriously planned since ..2002. It follows an even earlier idea, for an Oil pipeline Baku-Ceyhun, which started to be prepared on 1999-2001 and was meanwhile recently completed.  

So, facts indicate that what is now at stake is based on decisions made during Joschka Fischer's term as former Foreign Minister, closely interested in Turkey's controversial EU-bid.

To the point that he now practically ...switched jobs with a poliician from Turkey, (the State which pays today openly Joschka Fischer), Mr. Ozdemir, who came earlier in Germany, got fast the nationality, and became EiuroMP in a few years, continuing now as head of the "Greens" in Germany, i.e. in Joschka's former job !...

Such astonishing facts risk, unfotunately, to give to German politician Lothar Bisky's criticism of  representative Democracy a topical meaning :

 - "We (EuroLeft Group) think that what is really at stake is Democracy. It's not only about Gas Pipelines or Energy sources", President Lothar Bisky went on to add in his reply to "EuroFora"'s question on Joscka Fischer's personal interests in the controversial Turkish "Nabuco" pipeline.

Such facts, "make People get more distance from Politics. ...People had had enough, and they are fed up !".

- "That's why we (EuroParliament's "EuroLeft" Group) want to strengthen Direct Democracy in Europe. Citizens should be involved in the (EU) Decision-making. In the end of the day, it's not going to help anyone if Politicians are always taking decisions, without involving Citizens. We want to give a voice to the People of Europe. They've got to have their say in the decisions that are taken. That's one of our absolutely fixed and steadfast views. We want more Direct Democracy in Europe. That's how it can become more effective and stronger", he concluded.




2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?


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