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'Great Night' For European Film Industry At Oscar

Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism, Sport, Media & Youth, has welcomed the major success of European films at last night's 84th Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood.

Silent movie 'The Artist' was crowned with five Oscars and 'The Iron Lady,' which portrayed former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, won two awards.

This year, nine nominated films received support from the European Union's MEDIA program for cinema. The Artist scooped the coveted prizes for Best Picture, Best Director (Michel Hazanavicius), Best Actor (Jean Dujardin), Best Costume Design (Mark Bridges) and Best Music (Ludovic Bource). The Iron Lady captured the statuettes for Best Actress (Meryl Streep) and Best Makeup (Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland).

Vassiliou, who attended the premiere of The Artist at the Cannes Film Festival last May, said: "What a great night for the European film industry and the MEDIA program. My congratulations to 'The Artist' and 'The Iron Lady.' Once again, the European film industry has shown it can compete with the best and come out top."

The Iron Lady, a UK-French co-production, received EUR 1.5 million in distribution support to encourage cinemas to screen the film outside the country where it was made. The Artist (France-Belgium) received EUR 17,000 for the same purpose.

Seven other EU-backed films were also nominated for Oscars.

The amount of funding distributors receive from the MEDIA fund is based on various criteria including previous ticket sales for non-national films. The funding is re-invested in future distribution costs and in helping to off-set risks. Films can also receive pre-production development funding from MEDIA.

MEDIA (a French acronym for "Mesure pour le Développement de l'Industrie Audiovisuelle") is the 2007-2013 EU Program which supports the European film industry and the audiovisual sector. Over the 2014-2020 period, the Commission has proposed a budget of EUR 1.8 billion for Creative Europe. Of this, more than EUR 900 million would be allocated to MEDIA.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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