On 27 February European Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou has welcomed the major success of European films at last night’s 84th Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood. ‘The Artist’ was crowned with five Oscars and ‘The Iron Lady’ with two. This year, nine nominated films received support from the European Union’s MEDIA programme for cinema. ‘The Artist’ scooped the big prizes for Best Picture, Best Director (Michel Hazanavicius), Best Actor (Jean Dujardin), Costume Design (Mark Bridges) and Best Music (Ludovic Bource). ‘The Iron Lady’ collected the statuettes for Best Actress (Meryl Streep) and Best Makeup (Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland). Commissioner Vassiliou said: “What a great night for the European film industry and the MEDIA programme. My congratulations to ‘The Artist’ and ‘The Iron Lady’. Once again, the European film industry has shown it can compete with the best and come out top.”
‘The Iron Lady’, a UK-French co-production, received €1.5 million in distribution support to encourage cinemas to screen the film outside the country where it was made. ‘The Artist’ (France-Belgium) received €17 000 for the same purpose.
Seven other EU-backed films were also nominated for Oscars:
• ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ (Tomas Alfredson, UK/France/Germany), nominated for Best Actor, Best Actress in a supporting role, and Best Original Score, was awarded €300 000;
• ‘Albert Nobbs’ (Rodrigo García, UK/Ireland), nominated for Best Actress and Best Actress in a supporting role, received €130 000;
• ‘A Cat in Paris’ (Alain Gagnol, Jean-Loup Felicioli, France/Belgium/Netherlands/Switzerland), nominated for Best Animation Film, got €122 000,
• ‘Chico and Rita’ (Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal, Spain/UK), nominated for Best Animation Film, was awarded €3 000;
• ‘Bullhead’ (Michaël R. Roskam, Belgium), nominated for Best Foreign Language film, received €20 000;
• ‘Jane Eyre’ (Cary Joji Fukunaga, United Kingdom/USA), nominated for Costume Design, was awarded €450 000;
• ‘Pina’ (Wim Wenders, Germany/France/UK), nominated for Documentary feature, received €550 000.
The amount of funding distributors receive from the MEDIA fund is based on various criteria including previous ticket sales for non-national films. The funding is re-invested in future distribution costs and in helping to off-set risks. Films can also receive pre-production development funding from MEDIA