Supporting Film Distribution in Europe: Why Is Overcoming National Barriers so Difficult?

  • Tim Raats
  • Ilse Schooneknaep
  • Caroline Pauwels
Part of the Media Business and Innovation book series (MEDIA)


MEDIA and Eurimages are well-known supranational programs of the European Commission and the Council of Europe which aim at promoting the European film industry by encouraging the production and distribution of films and fostering cooperation between professionals. National film funds, however, still remain the most important mechanisms for supporting film in Europe. Typically, these funds prioritize support to film production over distribution in a national context. This chapter investigates the extent to which national support schemes have included measures to enable cross-border distribution, to what extent these support measures take the form of direct or indirect forms of support, and how differences in support mechanisms applied have been accentuated over time in the European Union. We find clear improvements of smaller nations in developing support mechanisms that target both domestic and cross-border distribution. Nevertheless, domestic production remains the dominant support focus of national film funds, with distribution support being restricted to promotion and marketing rather than substantial support for theaters, retailing, and online.


Audiovisual policy toolkit Cultural policy toolkit Day-and-date release Distribution support Domestic market Non-national European productions Production Promotion Quota quickies Structural barriers Subsidies US blockbusters US majors 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tim Raats
    • 1
  • Ilse Schooneknaep
    • 1
  • Caroline Pauwels
    • 2
  1. 1.Studies on Media, Innovation and Technology (imec-SMIT)Vrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselBelgium
  2. 2.Communication Sciences DepartmentVrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselBelgium

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