Ukrainian Filmmakers Look for Closer Ties With Europe

They hope to join Eurimages in 2015 in a move that would foster co-production.

MOSCOW – Ukraine expects to join Eurimages in 2015, and preparations are currently under way against the background of the country’s authorities’ moving it closer to Russia as opposed to the European Union.

As supporters of closer ties with the European Union are protesting on Kiev’s Independence Square, the country’s film authorities have announced that reforms conducted in the Ukrainian film industry over the last couple of years have made Eurimages membership a matter of the nearest future.

Eurimages membership would create an extra source of funding for Ukrainian producers, fostering co-production with other European countries.

“First of all, this is another source of funding,” said Igor Savchenko, director of the Ukrainian Cinema Association, to The Hollywood Reporter.

“Also, if the government provides funding for a film production, it obtains rights to the film in exchange,” he continued. “And Eurimages provides funding as an investment, so a producer would retain rights to that portion of funding.”

Over the last two years, the Ukrainian film sector has gone through major reforms, which have helped to increase output and raise transparency. However, local producers still heavily depend on the government for cash. The government annually disburses about $17.5 million in funding for filmmakers.

According to Savchenko, Ukraine could sign an agreement to join Eurimages next October, which would allow it to officially join the organization in 2015.

Russia joined Eurimages in 2012.