At a time when isolationist forces threaten the European ideal, FERA believes in the continued importance of Creative Europe, and that its success and financial integrity are essential to fostering cultural diversity and the sustainability of a dynamic European audiovisual sector in the digital era.
FERA however is concerned that in its current form, while paying lip service to the importance of creativity and creators, MEDIA has diverged from what should be at the heart of its work: support for audiovisual authors, particularly film and television Directors.
For this reason, in its recent contribution to the Creative Europe review FERA (see below) is now calling on the Commission to redress the balance within MEDIA in favour of creators themselves.
FERA proposes a number of initiatives, in particular the introduction of a creative capacity-building networks support scheme open to audiovisual creators themselves (something not permitted under the current rules).
At a time when the European audiovisual landscape is changing rapidly, the sustainability and creative strength of the sector must ultimately depend on the quality of the works it produces. To fully reach its objectives and promote a high-level of quality for audiovisual works funded by its different support schemes, FERA believes MEDIA must increase its focus on talent and creation.
With this in mind, FERA is calling for action to make MEDIA’s Training support scheme fit-for-purpose by addressing the actual training needs of film and television Directors at a time of significant and rapid change in the sector.
MEDIA’s activities and policies should recognise the essential place of Directors at the beginning of the film value chain, taking account of their specific needs through for example, the introduction of individual grants, closer to industry practice, in project development funding. In production funding, introducing a micro-budget programme would allow for much needed talent scouting in MEDIA.
In this regard, FERA supports the stance taken by the European Parliament, who have already asked the EU Commission to « strike a better balance, in both sub-programmes and the guidelines for evaluators, between [their] artistic and creative component, and [their] managerial and innovative aspects ».
Overall, MEDIA should make fair conditions to directors and audiovisual creators a systematic eligibility criteria to get funding on projects, and include gender equality as an horizontal requirement in MEDIA support.
FERA Chair Dan Clifton commented, “Europe’s film and television Directors are at the heart of our audiovisual sector. For that sector to grow and flourish, Creative Europe should act to promote and sustain the craft of directing in all its forms, right across the European Union. We believe such a reform would bring the new MEDIA programme and the audiovisual works it supports the high-level of quality they deserve.”