U.K. Media Sector Corrals $17.2 million from European Union

 The Weinstein Company

LONDON – The British audiovisual sector enjoyed largesse from the European Union's MEDIA funding program to the tune of €14 million ($17.2 million) in 2011.

The Media program, publishing its annual report Thursday, said the funding had been channeled across the industry to positive effect.

The report comes at a time when the funding coming from the MEDIA Program is under scrutiny by the Eurocrats.

The funder also produced results from a survey from the industry recipients enjoying part of last year's $17.2 million largesse.

According to a MEDIA poll 82 per cent of producers who received a MEDIA development grant felt the funding had been “very effective” or “effective” in improving the quality of the script.

And in another example of those not wishing to look a MEDIA program gift horse in the mouth, 80 per cent said the grant was “very effective” or “effective” in helping maximise the international market potential of the project.

Since 2007 UK companies have received €40 million of direct funding from the program, it says.

Last year’s $17.2 million total dished out included a €1.5 million ($2.1 million) cash boost for the Europe-wide rollout of the Meryl Streep starrer The Iron Lady.

MEDIA Desk U.K. director Agnieszka Moody said: “As the main point of interest for politicians and decision makers is economic growth, we wanted to be in a position to provide evidence that the MEDIA Program contributes to the sustainability of the UK’s audiovisual companies, creating jobs and opening international trade opportunities. In the survey results, overwhelmingly, MEDIA appears as a vital, indispensable supporter of the audiovisual industry in all nations of the U.K., making it more competitive and helping its product increase its potential beyond the domestic market.”

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