Methodology, Skills and Professional Benefits Participants Participants' Comments MEDICI Head of Training «The 12 Labours of Hercules» Report of the Reports – Workshops 1 to 4

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Second Workshop Report – 7 to 9 November, 2012 – Retz (Austria)

Module 2 – Coproduction, Minority and Agreements

Some years ago, it was still possible to finance a project exclusively at the national level. Today, given the changes in the environment (less money from the market, and more competition to access public funds), financing a project through coproduction with more than one country has become unavoidable. This supposes that film funds of the minority partners are willing to finance films with a non-national director and less creative input. For producers, this increases the number of funding requirements to be met, and creates the expectation that their coproducers will be financing their next project.

Or, in other words:

Please also see Danny Krausz (Dor Films)’s presentation “(Minority) Co-productions, a gift, a burden, a must, a need” (PDF)


1. Reciprocity within the concept of coproduction

Eight reasons why reciprocity does not fit in with the concept of coproduction

  1. Reciprocity has to do with money and not with content. Purely financial reciprocity schemes usually do not survive in case of cultural funds where evaluation is based on quality (the terminated agreement between the Austrian and Danish Film Institutes is an example).
  2. Reciprocity means “obligation to coproduce” whatever the quality of the project. It may not help producers make better films. Reciprocity should be more about enabling easier access to composers, scriptwriters, etc. Such reciprocity does not impair the quality of projects, whatsoever.
  3. Reciprocity means equality in the balance of support afforded projects by each partner. Should there be a disbalance, trying to restore the balance will counter the cultural objectives of the funds.
  4. Reciprocity cannot be an evaluation criterion for funds or an argument used by producers to justify a negative decision.
  5. For producers, it is easy to find the first project. It is more difficult to find a second project that offering the right timeframe and requirements.
  6. Reciprocity is a concept more appropriate for production companies seeking long-term co-production deals with foreign partners in order to coproduce several projects.
  7. Reciprocity would make sense if the majority producer’s main funder is made responsible for achieving and monitoring reciprocity, which is very difficult for small countries.
  8. Long-term cooperation between co-producing countries is impaired and frustrated if one country keeps denigrating the other country's projects as not good enough.

2. Important coproduction issues

For minority coproducers

Between coproducers

3. A lack of knowledge

how to support art-house film?

4. How can the public funds facilitate coproductions and procedures

By improving communication with the producers involved in coproductions

By clarifying their guideline rules

By organizing coproduction training sessions and seminars for producers

5. Shared questions

group photo

Illustrations by Rudi Klein, photos by Nora Friedel

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