Cinema and audiovisual

Cinema and audiovisual

Cinema and audiovisual

Promote the European film industry

The Council of Europe took an early interest in building a European audiovisual space that allied human rights, cultural diversity and political pluralism. All the Organisation's activities in this field are based on the right to freedom of expression enshrined in Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Images play a crucial role in our democracies. Over the last fifty years the European audiovisual landscape has undergone some brutal changes. In those troubled times people needed reference marks, the member states needed to know exactly what the stakes were in the battle that was being waged. So the Council of Europe set up specialised bodies and produced legal instruments to show the way.

In 1988 the Council of Europe set up Eurimages, the first European fund for the co-production, distribution and exhibition of European cinematographic works. Its purpose is to promote European cinema by fostering production and distribution and encouraging co-operation among film professionals.

In 1992 the Council of Europe mandated the European Audiovisual Observatory to foster greater openness in the audiovisual sector in Europe and cater for the information needs of audiovisual professionals.

Another Palme d'Or for Eurimages in 2013

The jury of the 66th Festival of Cannes, presided over by the American director and producer Steven Spielberg, awarded the Palme d’Or to the Franco-Tunisian filmmaker Abdellatif Kechiche for La Vie d’Adèle and his two actresses, Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos. This Eurimages supported co-production between France, Belgium and Spain, based on the comic strip Blue is the Warmest Colour by Julie Maroh, conquered the hearts of the critics from the moment the screening had ended.

The prize for Best Actress went to Bérénice Béjo for The Past by Asghar Farhadi, a co-production between France and Italy also supported by Eurimages.

Lastly, the Grand Prix of Critics’ Week of the Cannes Film Festival was awarded on Thursday, 23 May, to the Italian directors Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza for their film Salvo, a Franco-Italian co-production supported by Eurimages. This film, which tells the story of Salvo, a killer in the Sicilian Mafia, a loner, cold, ruthless, upset by his encounter with Rita, a young blind woman, also received the France 4 “Prix Revelation”.

The full prize list can be consulted at the Cannes Film Festival website.

European cinema in 2012 - a year of mixed results

In 2012 attendance for EU films grew by 12% year on year, amounting to around 313 million admissions, boosted by Skyfall, the latest instalment of the James Bond franchise. The British secret agent’s latest outing, a majority UK co-production, brought the market share of European films within the EU to 33.6%, the highest level of the century. For many years now EU box office has struggled to break the 30% market share threshold. 2012 saw European films getting 33.6% of total admissions, more than a third of which were for non-national European films and an increase of 5.6% in comparison with 2011, corresponding exactly to Skyfall’s market share. In a sense, as a British hero with US support, James Bond has occupied the space left empty by the vanishing of Harry Potter. (more...)


  • Interview with Roberto Olla, Executive Secretary of Eurimages