The Minister of Culture has initiated a joint appeal to the European Commission for funding of cinema festivals


2021 03 25


Minister of Culture Simonas Kairys, together with his counterparts in Czechia, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Poland, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia, appealed to the European Commission regarding funding for cinema festivals in accordance with the Creative Europe programme for 2021–2027.

According to the new conception for implementation of the programme, film festivals held in Europe from now on would be funded only through festival networks and could no longer themselves submit applications for projects administered by the European Education and Culture Executive Agency. This could mean that some festivals, especially those which do not belong to any network, will be left without any funding whatsoever.

Due to this situation, representatives of the Scanorama and the Vilnius International Film Festival have already appealed to the European Commission. The Minister of Culture has initiated a joint letter signed by the ministers of culture of nine EU member-states to the European Commission, requesting it not take any hasty decisions.

“During the pandemic, the film industry throughout Europe has found itself in a difficult situation. We hope that the European Commission will take into consideration the joint appeal of the ministers of culture of EU member-states, and take a fresh look at all the circumstances and dispel the apprehension felt by the representatives of the sector,” said Minister Kairys.

In the letter from the ministers of culture of the group of EU member-states, it is emphasised that the conception presented in January makes representatives of the cultural and creative sectors anxious for several reasons. It remains unclear how the collective activities of the festival networks will be funded, and the new funding conditions, it is likely, will impose an even greater administrative burden, requiring additional funding resources. In addition, the ministers of culture draw attention to the fact that not all film festivals belong to festival networks, so the new requirements may have a negative effect on existing relationships among festivals, especially with those held outside Europe, and may weaken the festivals.

According to the ministers of culture who signed the letter, the new funding scheme should be approved only after assessing its impact on film festivals and festival networks.

“Fundamental decisions regarding the new Creative Europe 2021–2027 support scheme should be taken only after pilot projects and discussions with the cultural and creative sector. We think that film festival funding through festival networks in this case will not create added value, so we encourage the European Commission not to take any hasty decisions, and to keep the existing funding scheme,” it is stated in the letter from the ministers of culture of nine EU member-states.