EFP snaffles $1 mil-plus in funding per year

Cash for overseas and EU activities through 2011

LONDON -- Movie promotion and trade body European Film Promotion breathed a sigh of relief Tuesday after sealing an agreement with the European Union's MEDIA Program for three years.

The deal, dubbed a "framework partnership agreement," means that the EFP is allocated media funding for promotional activities in and outside the EU from 2009-11.

The MEDIA program support is twofold. EFP will receive 480,000 euros ($605,400) annually for promotional activities in Europe and 766,000 euros ($966,000) annually for events and activities outside Europe, such as taking delegates to Korea's Pusan International Film Festival and its Film Support Plan for companies selling titles at markets annually during the next three years.

FSS puts special emphasis on North America and South America as well as East Asia to help with the visibility of European films in these countries.

FSS offers maximum grants of as much as 5,000 euros ($6,300) for one film and 2,500 euros ($3,000) for a second film per festival "to cover up to 50% of the costs for promotional activities undertaken by the sales representatives."

Costs incurred at international markets, such as stand rentals and market screenings, also are now reimbursable.

"We believe that all of these efforts will go far in improving the conditions for European film and European filmmakers worldwide," EFP managing director Renate Rose said. "We are particularly grateful to the MEDIA Program for this three-year agreement which allows the organization to devote more time to actual activities, establish long-term goals and solidify ongoing partnerships while at the same time developing new ones."

EFP's efforts include the annual Shooting Stars held during the Berlinale and Producers on the Move during the Festival de Cannes every year.