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European cinemas are showing more European films than TV or VOD

European Audiovisual Observatory publishes new free report on the circulation of European films in cinemas, on TV and VoD
Strasbourg 06/03/2018
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European cinemas are showing more European films than TV or VOD

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  • European non-national films make up 31% of all films shown in European cinemas
  • There are more non-national European films shown in cinemas, on TV and TVOD than national films
  • European co-productions travel extremely well through Europe’s cinemas

European films are crossing borders in cinemas, on television and on VOD in Europe. This is the conclusion of the latest report by the European Audiovisual Observatory, part of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. The report, authored by Observatory Analyst Christian Grece, is entitled The circulation of EU non-national films - A sample study: Cinema, television and transactional video on-demand. The report was financed by the DG Connect of the European Commission.

1. More non-national European films than national films are shown in cinemas, TV and TVOD.

European Union non-national films represent between 19% and 31% of all films on offer in cinemas, TV or TVOD

Source: LUMIERE, OBS on EurodataTV, OBS

On average, there are more EU non-national films than national films on offer in cinemas, TV or TVOD.

  • In cinemas, only Italy, France, the United-Kingdom and Germany show more national films than EU non-national films.
  • On TV, Finland, the United Kingdom, France, the Czech Republic and Sweden broadcast more national films than EU non-national films.
  • On TVOD, the only United Kingdom and France propose more national films than EU non-national films.

EU non-national films vs. national films in cinemas, TV and TVOD, in %

Source: LUMIERE, OBS on EurodataTV, OBS

The report concludes that the flow of films between countries is linked to volume of national production, language and cultural proximity.

  • For TVOD, the main export market for Austrian films is Germany, Belgium is the main export market for French films and Ireland was the main export market for British films.
  • Sweden and Denmark are the main markets for Finnish film exports.
  • The Slovak Republic is the main export market for Czech films and the Czech Republic is the primary export for Slovak films.

2. Co-productions travel better

  • Co-productions represented between 41% and 55% of EU non-national films but only 22% of EU film production, showing a proportional over-representation of co-productions in the circulation of EU films.
  • Co-productions are the main way for smaller volume-producing countries to export their films to other European markets.

Share of co-productions among EU non-national films by distribution, in % of total

Source: LUMIERE, OBS on EurodataTV, OBS

Methodological note:

The film data in this report concerns 2015, the TV data covers the 2015 – 2016 TV season and the TVOD data concerns 2016.


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LUMIERE VOD - the European film directory.

This directory of European films will help professionals, public authorities and film fans to find information about European films and their availability on-line via video-on-demand (VOD) services throughout the European Union.

The database contains information on over 35 000 European films offered 150 000 times on VOD in 250 different catalogues available in 28 European countries.
Access it here                                                              
Watch the tutorial here

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The legal framework for international co-productions

This Iris Plus report suggests that these films travel better than their purely national counterparts. They cross borders and reach more international audiences. But entering into a co-production can be a risky business, and just like a bad marriage, can end in a messy and painful divorce! So what are the legal safeguards? What frameworks exist to lay some basic ground rules for co-productions in Europe?

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