Page last updated at 23:55 GMT, Friday, 29 August 2008 00:55 UK

Europe seeks overseas film boost

By Vincent Dowd
BBC News, Venice

(Left to right) Inju actor Lika Minamoto, director Barbet Schroeder and actors Ryo Ishibashi and Benoit Magimel.
Inju - the Beast in the Shadows has an international cast and setting

The European Commission is to expand a pilot scheme to put more European films into Asian and Latin American cinemas.

One of the scheme's co-ordinators said the plan would provide a counterbalance to the large amount of Hollywood product in cinemas around the world.

European film officials are promoting the scheme at the Venice Film Festival.

In return for a subsidy, some 50 companies have already agreed to show a certain number of European titles each year. That network will now expand.

Getting its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival this weekend is Inju - the Beast in the Shadows, directed by Barbet Schroeder, a veteran both of Hollywood and of French cinema.

The thriller, which is gruesome at times, stars French actor Benoit Magimel and is set in Japan.

So it is appropriate that the EU's Europa Cinemas scheme has just announced it is to build on a small pilot scheme subsidising the distribution of European film within Asia and Latin America.

US dominance

In Latin America the films tend to be Spanish or Portuguese.

In Asia, the project leaders think audiences in Japan, India and elsewhere have a hunger for European fare generally.

Fatima Djoumer, of the Europa Cinemas project, says Europe's films need help to fight a system of distribution dominated by the US.

"These countries are dominated by Hollywood products," she says.

"In a lot of these countries a lot of cinema chains belong to American companies. American companies show American products - that's it. And Hollywood products are dominating the world anyway. "

People sometimes talk loosely of American domination of the movie industry.

But as this year's Venice Festival shows once again, there are plenty of European and other films getting made.

What US companies do dominate is international movie distribution.

It is that fact that this scheme is designed to counter - in however limited a way.

Venice gala starts awards season
26 Aug 08 |  Entertainment
Venice festival line-up revealed
30 Jul 08 |  Entertainment
Director slates 'lousy' US cinema
21 May 08 |  Entertainment
EU extends state help for movies
13 Jun 07 |  Business

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific