Initiative Looks to Give European Films a Boost in U.S. Theaters (Exclusive)

DJAM - still 1 - Publicity-H 2017
Courtesy of Princes Production

The Tales of Europe initiative is being unveiled at the Art House Convergence conference in Utah.

European exhibitor and sales agent networks Europa Cinemas and Europa International have joined forces for a new initiative aimed at boosting the circulation and visibility of European films in U.S. theaters.

Tales of Europe, which is being funded by Creative Europe MEDIA, will look to help European films without a U.S. distributor develop new audiences and reach fresh towns and cities, while also encouraging the networking and exchange of best practices between European and U.S. exhibitors, especially around audience development and promotional activities.

The program is set to be unveiled Wednesday by sales executives Susan Wendt (TrustNordisk) and Daniela Elstner (Doc & Film International) at the  Art House Convergence 2018 conference in Utah.

Tales of Europe's first lineup of titles includes 10 recent films from countries such as Belgium, Bosnia Herzegovina, Denmark, France, Italy, Poland and Sweden, with half being first- and second-time features and four of the 10 being directed by women.

“We are delighted to launch the Tales of Europe initiative, which will enable free exchanges between U.S. and European exhibitors in terms of expertise and best practices,” said Claude-Eric Poiroux, general director of Europa Cinemas.

“U.S. and European exhibitors will learn dynamic new approaches from each other’s different situations, especially ways of attracting new audiences – younger audiences in particular - and develop sustainable business models for the wider circulation of European films.”

Poiroux added that, under the initiative, U.S. exhibitors would be able to attend the labs and conferences hosted by Europa Cinemas, while European exhibitors would get to meet their U.S. colleagues at the Art House Convergence and other regional seminars.

“This pilot project will give our sales agents a great opportunity to cooperate with U.S. exhibitors to develop and test innovative ways of bringing European movies to US film theatres,” said Jean-Christophe Simon, president of Europa International.

“Our objectives are clear: we would like to facilitate the access of European films to the U.S. market. We want to test targeted release patterns in theatres, adapted promotional strategies — which will at the end bring more visibility and reach more audiences for European productions. Our aim is to increase the competitiveness of our beloved European cinema.”