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How do European film funds award money? New report on film and audiovisual funding criteria in the EU

On 20 June 2019, the European Audiovisual Observatory launched a new report commissioned by the European Commission with the support of the Creative Europe MEDIA programme in order to have a better understanding of the criteria of public funding to European films and audiovisual works in the EU Member States.

The analysis covers over 800 schemes of public funding in the EU for pre-production, production, distribution and promotion for cinema films, TV films and series as well as other audiovisual content in order to provide the big picture of film funding criteria in Europe today.

Cover of the publication
European Audiovisual Observatory - Cover of the publication

The purpose of the study is to serve as a source of information for professionals, researchers and public authorities active in this area. It can also be a source of inspiration and serve for the purpose of exchange of best practices while the audiovisual landscape is undergoing profound changes with the digital shift.

The main findings of this mapping work include the following facts:

  • The most frequently awarded maximum funding amount for production in Europe is € 300 000
  • Europe’s film funds require on average a national minimum funding spend of 109% of the money awarded.
  • Only 17% of the funds tracked have mandatory criteria related to nationality of talent, cast and crew
  • 26% of theatrical production schemes require a distribution agreement; 18.5% of TV production schemes require a broadcaster’s pre-sale agreement. VOD distribution and visibility requierements are rather infrequent.
  • Funds in 15 EU countries have off-screen gender equality support measures (mainly monitoring mechanisms), but no gender quotas have been implemented so far.

In addition to the above, only 20.1% of the tracked funding schemes actually require a minimum contribution by the applicant (usually a one-digit share of the overall costs); as yet, no gender quotas have been identified in any of the funds tracked; most funds require that funded theatrical films are intended for or have proof of expected theatrical release in the country and that TV productions have the commitment of a broadcaster.

The report features as well five case studies to dig deeper into some examples of cutting-edge developments and country by country national fact sheets with detailed information for each EU Member State.

The authors of the report conclude that regular data gathering on European film funds could make possible the monitoring of changes in trends or the new mechanisms and tools related to assessing the eligibility for and the granting of public funds devoted to film and audiovisual pre-production, production, distribution and promotion.

Full report.



Film funds - Final Report.pdf