European cinema industry welcomes exemption
The European cinema industry has had the welcome news that the culture and audiovisual sector is to be excluded from the EU-US trade talks.
The European Film Agency Directors (EFADs) - the body of managers of European cinema agencies - have been celebrating the official news that audiovisual services are to be ringfenced from the complex negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
EFADs is an informal organisation made up of the heads of the national public film bodies in the EU member states, plus Switzerland, Iceland and Norway. Informal they may be, but the pressure they have applied over this has clearly worked.
Their campaign was bolstered by the likes of American film heavyweights Steven Spielberg and Harvey Weinstein, who declared their support for the exemption during this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
The decision, taken at a meeting in Brussels attended by the 27 EU Ministers of Commerce, should mean that the European film community should be safeguarded against centralised restrictions as they continue to face the challenges presented by fast-moving digital developments within the industry.