20 for 20: Stories From Creative Europe in the UK 2014-20

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STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–2020



STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

AGNIESZKA MOODY Director, Creative Europe Desk UK

€111 million, is it a lot or is it a little? This number represents the total monetary benefit to the UK’s cultural, creative and audiovisual sectors over the seven years of Creative Europe (2014–20). Numbers are one way of demonstrating value and you can explore these further in our impacts and results reports, but behind the stats there are real projects, companies, organisations and professionals and this publication focuses on them telling their Creative Europe stories ’in their own words’. The selection is a testament to the rich diversity of projects Creative Europe has supported in the UK: from international collaborative projects tackling disability in arts or climate change; through to panEuropean networks of independent cinemas; to projects linking local with global, innovation and technology, the past and the present; to thousands of films, games, TV programmes, books, theatre and dance performances being made more accessible to audiences and users beyond their country of origin. From the hundreds of UK projects awarded funding from 2014 to 2020 it was no easy task to settle on 20 themes to focus on, and all our beneficiaries have inspiring stories to tell. The European Union’s programme Creative Europe made €1.46 billion available

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to support European projects with the potential to travel, reach new audiences and encourage skill sharing and development. We hope this publication is a stepping-stone to discover more about the programme’s legacy in the UK, which featured a Culture sub-programme, for the cultural and creative sectors; a MEDIA sub-programme, for the audiovisual sector; and a Cross-sector strand, which explored the common ground between the two. A lot of the stories in this publication are about the transformative quality of Creative Europe support. Once funded, when an organisation embarks on this new ambitious internationallyfacing way of working, there is no turning back. The horizons and ambitions broaden, peer networks widen and alongside them the skills and know-how. New audiences are found and maintained. Put together the stories share a powerful theme of collaboration which empowers, enriches and enables people involved in supported projects. A certain scale and longevity is achieved. And ultimately, it is citizens that benefit as audiences and recipients of this rich cultural output in a variety of languages. Millions of people have been impacted by Creative Europe’s ethos of being stronger by working together and sharing of our cultural ties and values across the continent and beyond.


INTRODUCTION

CONTENTS 1 – Changing the Landscape

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Championing Career Equality Within the Arts 2 – Small Screen, Big Ambition

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Widening the Global Reach on TV Drama 3 – Moving Words

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Making Literature Travel 4 – Delivering European Cinema Globally

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Innovating with Multi-Faceted Releases for the Digital Age 5 – Lasting New Visions

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Pioneering More Sustainable Approaches for Collaboration 6 – Their Finest

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Boosting the International Potential of British Independent Film 7 – Greening the Future

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Rallying Responses to the Climate Crisis 8 – We Are What We See

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Bringing Diverse Stories to Your Doorstop 9 – Re-imagining Heritage

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Merging the Past with the Future 10 – From Seed to Screen

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Getting Films Off the Ground and into the Global Market

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STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

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11 – Meet the Neighbours Bringing Artists and Communities Together

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12 – Let’s Play! A Nation of Gamers: Growing Video Games Clusters Across The UK

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13 – Sharing the Spectacle Encounters in the Community

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14 – Igniting the Spark Nurturing the Next Generation of Movie Goers

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15 – Let’s Talk! The Importance of International Dialogue

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16 – The Truth About Stories Supporting Documentary Producers Reflecting the World We Live In

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17 – Technology for Creativity Arts Organisations at the Forefront of Innovation

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18 – Making Magic Drawing Global Attention to the UK Animation Sector

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19 – Local Thinking Global Connecting Vital Cultural Ecosystems to One Another 20 – Nurturing a Network of Talent

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Upskilling Professionals to Operate in the Global Marketplace 84

Acknowledegments

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CULTURE SUB-PROGRAMME

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CHANGING THE LANDSCAPE CHAMPIONING CAREER EQUALITY WITHIN THE ARTS

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STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

These projects identified endemic challenges within the arts industry and tackled them head on, working to promote cultural diversity and inclusion, from supporting Black artists to work nationally and internationally, building sustainable models for individual careers to empowering under-represented genders with training, mentoring and network support.

Slate: Black. Arts. World artists collaborate as a workshop. Image by Angela Telier.

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1 – CHANGING THE L ANDSCAPE

JONATHAN ENNIS General Manager, Eclipse Theatre

MAXIE GEDGE Project Manager, Keychange

Keychange (2017–2024) is an international campaign and network for gender equality, aiming to diversify the music industry and create a more sustainable and stronger community for all genders. We have 13 festival partners in 12 countries who champion our handpicked under-represented talent roster, and over 400 signatories from 40+ countries who have signed up to our gender pledge. Keychange has been supported by Creative Europe since its inception, having launched in 2017 with UK Project Lead, PRS Foundation. It is now led by Reeperbahn Festival in Germany and phase 2 of the programme runs until 2024. All our work and momentum has been achieved because of Creative Europe, who funded Keychange since its inception. PRS Foundation engaged with many new international organisations because of Keychange. We’ve been able to lobby for change which has influenced our work and that of our collaborators. Working with Europe is essential for the sustainability and progress of the UK music industry for organisations and artists. Access to new markets, ways of thinking, and meaningful artistic collaboration is more important than ever. We are determined to keep partnerships strong and relationships mutually beneficial. We will need to work harder, facing greater adversity, but European collaboration is integral to the project.

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The extraordinary two-year Creative Europe project “Slate: Black. Arts. World” (2018–20) led by Eclipse Theatre UK in partnership with Teatro GRIOT, Portugal and Theater De Meervaart, Netherlands set to address the need for increased visibility and mobility of Black artists, and other artists also marginalised for their race across the European performing arts sector. We encouraged and worked alongside cultural thinkers and fellow organisations across Europe making the case for continued support and the need for change. The programme set about creating ambitious network opportunities, alongside nurturing and strengthening the building of national and global patterns. The reach of these networks fed into and influenced the ecology of Black artists in Europe. The project identified endemic challenges within the European arts industries and tackled them head-on with bespoke residencies in each partnered country promoting cultural diversity and inclusion. The first year was dedicated to training, curation, and the development of opportunities for Black artists, and other artists also marginalised for their race. Now in its second and final year, during the health pandemic, Slate: Black. Arts. World found ways to address the Black European experience across digital platforms. As we approach the final stages of the programme, we look forward to sharing its story and findings.


STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

Keychange project participants. Photo by Michael Rathmayr

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MEDIA SUB-PROGRAMME

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SMALL SCREEN, BIG AMBITION WIDENING THE GLOBAL REACH OF UK TV DRAMA

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STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

The Last Panthers (2015), a Franco-British crime drama television series. Image courtesy of Warp Films.

Audience appetite for high-quality TV drama boomed throughout the duration of the Creative Europe programme, including international, subtitled series which found loyal followings on UK channels. A raft of these were financed with support from the MEDIA sub-programme including The Bridge, The Returned, Babylon Berlin, My Brilliant Friend and Das Boot. The funding also supported UK drama producers to co-produce with international partners, ensuring that their series were able to cross borders and reach the widest possible audiences; from Sheffield’s Warp Films and their Franco-British crime drama The Last Panthers to Cardiff’s Fiction Factory who shot Hinterland/Y Gwyll back to back in both English and Welsh. 11


2 – SMALL SCREEN, BIG AMBITION

Catherine the Great (2019) starring Helen Mirren. Image courtesy of Origin Pictures

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STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

DAVID THOMPSON Founder and CEO, Origin Pictures

Creative Europe has allowed us to really pursue our creative goals in a bold and confident way, and enabled us to take on ambitious projects which we otherwise may not have been able to pursue. Development is the hardest and most speculative part of the whole process, and the backing of Creative Europe has been essential in giving us momentum as a company. It’s also - and this is crucial - allowed us to take risks in bringing really ambitious projects to life, which otherwise might have seemed too daunting. Catherine the Great is just one example of this, as a huge-scale, epic historical project, which required a great leap of imagination to bring to fruition. My favourite memory is shooting the series in Lithuania. We were standing in the middle of a sumptuous ballroom, watching the drama with Helen Mirren and Jason Clarke unfold, with hundreds of extras conjuring up the magic of what it must have been like to live in the imperial world at that time. We were working alongside fantastic Lithuanian crews who helped bring this drama to production. At that moment, it felt really great to see the original concept, backed by MEDIA development and production funding, come to life in all its glory. MEDIA support on our film What We Did on Our Holiday enabled us to take some risks. It allowed award-winning television writers, Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin to venture into film and involved some radical production techniques, which meant that other backers may well not have got behind this film at such

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an early stage in the way that MEDIA did. In the end, we came up with a script that attracted a top-quality cast, including Billy Connolly, David Tennant and Rosamund Pike, and MEDIA’s funding was a key factor in encouraging this major talent to take part in this production. Critically, Creative Europe’s funding has made it possible for us to create dramas that can be sold throughout Europe, and so expand connections between Europe and UK drama production. Since my time working at the BBC, as a drama producer and then running BBC Films, I’ve always felt totally connected to the European creative world, at every stage of production, and MEDIA has enabled me to build on those contacts, and help me to function as a European producer, which is what I passionately believe I am. Creativity should know no borders, and what’s so exciting in our process is when creative synergy can happen across nations. MEDIA has been all about enabling that. There’s no doubt that our departure from the EU will limit our horizons, and make it much harder, both in the original creative process of development, but also in production, in terms of crewing and shooting. Like the majority of other creative professionals, I lament the loss of our connection with Europe. I can honestly say that MEDIA has really helped to grow our company and sustain its outward-looking vision, and helped us to back our creative hunches to bring what is hopefully seen as original and sometimes challenging drama to the screen.


CULTURE SUB-PROGRAMME

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MOVING WORDS MAKING LITERATURE TRAVEL

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STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

Creative Europe support enabled Book Island’s translation, publication and distribution of three award-winning picture books. Photo by Book Island

Publishers, literary organisations, writers and thinkers collaborate on projects promoting the discoverability and translation of the written word from other languages and perspectives into everyone’s lives. Funding has sparked international literary festivals and residencies, and translated poetry, children’s picture books and contemporary fiction from award-winning authors such as Olga Tokarczuk. Creative Europe has also enabled over 280 books to be translated from English for European and international markets, helping to transcend borders and boundaries. 15


3 – MOVING WORDS

Literary Europe Live Plus panel on migration and literature at the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival. Photo by Katel Delia

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STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

ALEXANDRA BÜCHLER Director, Literature Across Frontiers

GREET PAUWELIJN Publisher, Book Island

Literature Across Frontiers (LAF) launched as a cooperation initiative to foster intercultural dialogue through literature and address inequalities of access, supporting; readers’ access to a more diverse writing; publishers’ access to information about possible titles; writers’ access to international opportunities; and literary organisations’ access to each other’s experience and expertise. The trajectory of our work dovetailed with developments of the European agenda: starting with the early 2000s when we connected with organisations in Central and Eastern Europe, and following up with work in the MENA region and further afield. Today, LAF is the only organisation systematically promoting literary exchange between Europe and other global regions. The legacy of our Creative Europe work since 2015, such as Literary Europe Live, is significant. Lasting connections have emerged from our projects; festivals for which our partnerships provided the first spark, formal and informal networks, growing audiences for writing in translation and collaborative development models. The intangible legacy is perhaps even more meaningful: the impact of international experience on writer’s creative and professional development, and a deeper understanding of other cultures and historical circumstances acquired by readers and audiences.

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Support from Creative Europe (2019–20) has allowed Book Island to translate and publish three award-winning picture books for children and adults: The Golden Cage, The Bird Within Me and The Garden of Inside - Outside. With most of our authors and illustrators living abroad, we always rely on funding to bring them to the UK. Thanks to the EU and the literature foundations of the artists’ countries of origin, we could cover more than half of the costs of bringing highly-acclaimed illustrators Carll Cneut (Belgium) and Sara Lundberg (Sweden) to the UK. We particularly enjoyed creating the video in which Laura Watkinson, the translator of our first book, The Golden Cage, narrated her translation. Translators are too often invisible and with this video we wanted to emphasize their fundamental role in transporting literature across borders. Being originally from Belgium, one of the founding nations of the EU, I will never cease to believe in its values and importance. The Creative Europe grant we received acknowledges the importance of Book Island’s core mission to bring European literary voices to the UK.


MEDIA SUB-PROGRAMME

DELIVERING EUROPEAN CINEMA GLOBALLY

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INNOVATING WITH MULTI-FACETED RELEASES FOR THE DIGITAL AGE 18


STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

Creative Europe has helped UK companies to maintain a competitive edge by supporting innovation in promotion of European audiovisual works in the online space. While the marketing budgets of Netflix and Amazon could never be matched with public funding, Creative Europe has allowed boutique video on demand services based in the UK such as Curzon Home Cinema, MUBI, Walter Presents and BFI Player to experiment with ways to reach new and more varied audiences for independent cinema and international highend TV drama in the UK and across the world. Over €5 million was awarded to UK companies for this type of activity throughout the duration of the programme and the UK was second only to France in terms of the total amount received per country. 60% of this funding was awarded to MUBI, the highest single beneficiary in this support scheme Europe-wide.

Image courtesy of MUBI

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4 – DELIVERING EUROPEAN CINEMA GLOBALLY

Image courtesy of MUBI

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STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

With Creative Europe support MUBI has been able to broaden global audiences for beautiful handpicked cinema. We were able to work with a wider variety of international and European partners, from institutions to festivals, like-minded brands, podcasts and editorial. We’ve been able to pursue and execute exciting distribution strategies and innovative promotions, such as brand campaigns, popup screenings, curated film programmes and editorial contextualization. By creating these various access points, we have increased the accessibility and discoverability of European films online. Across the last three years, we are proud that offline and online have met in significant and new ways. The belief in the MUBI platform facilitated working with partners in exhibition, distribution, acquisition and beyond. Collaborations such as with Quinzaine des Réalisateurs, Locarno Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, and Europa Cinemas welcomed a wider audience to our platform. During 2018, we worked with film students via collaboration with CILECT and launched our cinema-going initiative MUBI GO. These activities helped us to engage a younger audience to get excited about great cinema. Another highlight was our brand campaign activities in 2019/20 which saw increased local audiences in Brazil, Germany and Turkey joining the service, demonstrating a global film appetite that travels beyond borders. Being part of the European film ecosystem enabled us to have meaningful conversations about cinema, the online space, exchange of best practices and the importance of transnational movement of European works

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with partners, peers, policy makers, audiences and users. COVID-19 made changes to our plans, and MEDIA’s support enabled us to work closely with partners in new digital ways and to provide a home for film-lovers during difficult times. We hope these conversations and a collaborative approach across the industry will continue. A few of MUBI’s theatrical releases were also supported via the Selective scheme, providing an important stimulus in bringing European cinema to UK screens. Border (Ali Abbasi) and On Body and Soul (Ildikó Enyedi) still resonate with audiences in the UK, demonstrating the importance of advertising and marketing support upon theatrical release across the years. Overall, since 2017 and thanks to Creative Europe, more innovative, risk-taking and international partnerships could take place to increase reach and accessibility of incredible cinema. We are very thankful for the belief and the support of the programme in MUBI and we look back to a journey that has let us reach and enthuse many more online audiences everywhere in the world.

CHARLOTTE TILLIEUX Director of Distribution, MUBI

JON BARRENECHEA VP of Marketing, MUBI


CULTURE SUB-PROGRAMME

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LASTING NEW VISIONS PIONEERING MORE SUSTAINABLE APPROACHES FOR COLLABORATION

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STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

Arts and Adaptations, image by Creative Carbon Scotland

By forging relationships beyond the creative and cultural sectors, or bringing together progressive, visionary and often marginalised practitioners, projects in this section are re-thinking and re-examining the way we collaborate that can influence future business models and blueprints for more sustainable working. By laying the groundwork for innovative approaches to tackling the climate emergency, these forward-looking projects demonstrate how the sector can operate differently, and are supporting the industry to innovate - one of the actions of The European Green Deal, a set of policy initiatives by the European Commission, with the overarching aim of making Europe climate neutral by 2050. 23


5 – L ASTING NEW VISIONS

LJ Findlay-Walsh at the Take Me Somewhere Festival meeting in Rome.

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STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

LJ FINDLAY-WALSH Artistic Director, Take Me Somewhere Festival

CATRIONA PATTERSON Project Manager, Cultural Adaptations & Programme Lead, Transformation of Culture at Creative Carbon Scotland

Take Me Somewhere are one of the lead partners in Festivals of the Future; a new network that assembles partners from across Europe (Scotland, France, Italy, Greece) to question and interrogate their models, collaborate and exchange. The network was launched in 2019 by Transform (UK). The project is giving us direct and in-depth access to a vibrant peer network, which is influencing our programming, our critical thinking and our strategic business planning over a sustained period of time. It feels so very important to have the opportunities to join European networks – we feel very fortunate to have taken part in this Creative Europe project. A binary that has emerged when looking at cultural offering in relation to COVID and also Brexit is that of local versus international. We believe in shining a light on the most vital Scottish artists through international approaches and we won’t ever depart from that in terms of our thinking and what we do to bring an international gaze to artists and work that we care about. One of my favourite memories from the project is our retreat at Cove Park. It was such a joy to bring our European partners together to discuss our emerging Festivals of the Future manifesto, even if the rain was horizontal and typically Scottish!

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Our Cultural Adaptations project (2018–2021) addresses one of the biggest crises of our time: the climate emergency. While there are some past instances of Creative Europe projects tackling more sustainable ways of working and how to restrict the extent of climate change, we believe this to be the first project that explores what happens next: how culture can not only adapt to, and shape, a climatechanged world, but how our sector can thrive. Cultural Adaptations features innovative partnerships: in each country, our partner cultural organisations are paired with climate change experts and city governments to explore how culture can adapt to the impacts of climate change, and how creative practice can influence and shape how cities across Europe approach transformative adaptation. Climate change transcends national borders, so it was crucial for us that the project was not undertaken in national isolation. We are already involved in further collaborations inspired by this project. As a micro-SME, none of this would have been possible without the funding from Creative Europe. Innovation and experimentation are essential if we are to find new solutions to climate challenges, and the significant grant enabled us to dedicate the time and resources needed to match this ambition.


MEDIA SUB-PROGRAMME

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THEIR FINEST BOOSTING THE INTERNATIONAL POTENTIAL OF BRITISH INDEPENDENT FILM

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STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

Sam Claflin. Gemma Arterton and Bill Nighy in Their Finest (2016).

Development funding is some of the hardest money to come by in the film business and Creative Europe’s offering of around €17 million each year fills a muchneeded gap against the provisions available to independent producers on a national level. While the single project grants focus on the creative elements of a project, the slate funding approach allows for company development and helps businesses grow, become more sustainable, expand their networks and become confident international players. Unlike some other development funds, what underlines Creative Europe support is the focus on the international appeal of projects right from the earliest script stage. For this reason, particular attention is given to supporting co-productions. 60% of the €5.9 million development funding awarded to UK producers went to those working with writers to develop fiction projects. Many of the 24 supported companies working in this area were able to access multiple Creative Europe development grants during the course of the programme such as Wildgaze Films, The Bureau Film Company, Origin Pictures and Number 9 Films. 27


6 – THEIR FINEST

Mothering Sunday directed by Eva Husson and set for release in 2021. Image courtesy of Number 9 Films

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STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

We are a fully independent UK-based production company that was fortunate enough to be granted three Slate Funding awards by MEDIA. These awards were instrumental in keeping our operations viable and vibrant, offering our company the chance to put additional funds towards overheads, paying for rent and staff as well as to fund creative development across a number of projects. The support played a large role in sustaining the company and allowing us to maintain an international presence. The funding was directly responsible for enabling us to mount some of our most successful productions including Lone Scherfig’s Their Finest, Todd Haynes’ Carol, Wash Westmoreland’s Colette, the soon to be released Mothering Sunday and the upcoming Living directed by Oliver Hermanus. These projects illustrate the type of work we do as independent producers and the type of international filmmaking MEDIA is prepared to back with financial and practical support without imposing on or questioning our expertise and talent relationships. It is wholly a supportive initiative. We primarily look towards Europe for our stories and our talent. Europe is key to our business financially and creatively. With the support of MEDIA we have done co-productions with companies in Italy, Ireland and France and made use of European markets, predominantly Cannes and Berlin, where we do an extensive amount of our business packaging and selling films with our sales companies and European partners in France, Germany, Italy and Spain as well as meeting new business partners and creatives. The impact of Brexit on our business is potentially enormous if we no longer have the likes of MEDIA support. There must

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be a focus on how we can ensure that the financial, creative and cultural exchange that we have benefitted from as a member of the EU continues. One of my favourite memories of filming on a MEDIA-backed project was a production unit lunch on the banks of the Seine filming Colette. We were there on the final leg of our shoot, which started in the UK, moved onto Hungary and ended up in Paris. We had a small UK/Hungarian cohort of crew we had carried with us to France, but the majority were local to Paris. On the first day of shooting we broke for lunch and were led down some streets towards the river’s cobbled embankment. There we found a beautiful open-sided tent under which were rows of tables and chairs set with plates, cutlery, glasses and linens! We were served the most fantastic lunch soaking up views of Notre Dame and sunshine during our hour break. It was a truly memorable moment and I felt Colette herself would have got a kick out of seeing us all there. The French crew were fantastic and did an impeccable job looking after us as did our French distributor when the film was released the following year. We’ve benefitted in so many ways from Creative Europe and are nothing but grateful for the team of people who have worked there and given us such tremendous support over many years. It is an understatement to say we will miss it when it’s gone.

ELIZABETH KARLSEN Producer, Number 9 Films


CULTURE SUB-PROGRAMME

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GREENING THE FUTURE RALLYING RESPONSES TO THE CLIMATE CRISIS

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STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

Artists from across Europe at an Artsadmin Imagine 2020 Summer Lab London, Photo Credit: Rob Harris

Creative Europe projects create ambitious spaces where cultural and artistic leaders can challenge the local and global status quo, whether within local communities, or through wider actions of policy and thought shift, with many UK organisations’ future-focused approaches embedding sustainability into practice. From 2014–2020, 10.5% of the Creative Europe budget was awarded to projects which were climate-related, and the forthcoming EU sustainability initiatives have the potential to provide solutions that would benefit arts, culture, education, as well as everyone, to operate in a greener way. Be inspired by organisations thinking green, from grassroots to global. 31


7 – GREENING THE FUTURE

CHIARA BADIALI Knowledge and Sector Intelligence Lead, Julie’s Bicycle.

MARK GODBER Artists’ Producer, Artsadmin

The Creative Europe collaboration projects Artsadmin have taken part in have been incredibly valuable to the journey that we and our partners are making towards working sustainably and ethically in the 21st century. Together we have been experimenting with ways of bringing artists and companies into the subject of climate and social justice, and then bringing that work to audiences. The project time periods of Creative Europe programmes have supported this ongoing work (such as ‘ACT: Art, Climate, Transition’, running from 2019–23), allowing us to share, revise and further develop our work during our collaborations – including running annual Summer Labs for artists, and giving the time and space for the work that comes from the Labs to grow into larger projects with our support. As part of this, Artsadmin and our partners have been looking at new models for international collaboration in a sustainable world, through slow travel, artists more in local communities, through experiments in digital forms, and other ways of working on a large scale with a reduced ecological footprint. Through all of these experiments we have aimed to be ambitious, trying to define our sustainable work by what we can create, rather than what we cannot do – along the lines of the utopian future in which we would like to live and make art, which should be defined by possibility rather than impossibility!

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The unfolding climate and ecological crisis is also a cultural story anchored in values and stories. Creative Climate Leadership (2016–2019) was conceived in the same year that governments negotiated the international Paris Agreement on climate change, responding to a need for tailored leadership development and movement-building for artists, creative leaders, cultural policy makers, and development professionals. This made it possible to surface and connect an insufficiently recognised movement of creative climate change-makers already working internationally. Creative Europe allowed us to work at this intersection at a time when climate and environmental justice and stewardship remained outside the priorities of many in the arts community, and bring together a consortium of project partners from across Europe with an invaluable range of skills and communities. It allowed Julie’s Bicycle to consolidate ten years of experience to connect a global community to make local impact, provoking creative and practical ripple effects. The UK exited the EU at a crucial moment for ambitious action on climate justice and just as the EU Green Deal strengthens collaboration and ambition across the continent, this means that finding ways to connect ecological changemakers has never been more important.


STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

Creative Climate Leadership, Koper, Slovenia - October 2017. Photo Credit: Karim Shalaby. Image courtesy of Julie’s Bicycle and PiNA.

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MEDIA SUB-PROGRAMME

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WE ARE WHAT WE SEE BRINGING DIVERSE STORIES TO YOUR DOORSTEP

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STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

Cinemas are where the film industry meets the audience. Cultural diversity is one of the European Union’s most celebrated values and an objective of Creative Europe. Europe’s independent cinemas, brought together with Creative Europe’s support into a 1,000 strong network, are the clearly signposted places where European cinema-goers can expect to experience the diversity of different voices and cultures, observe and empathise with a variety of perspectives and viewpoints.

Flash Gordon at Cinema Rediscovered (2018), Bristol. Image credit: Jack Offord

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8 – WE ARE WHAT WE SEE

Watershed Cinema. Image credit: Bristol Light Festival.

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STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

We are one of 47 UK cinemas to be part of Europa Cinemas from 2014–20, receiving an annual incentive to show non-national European films which is reciprocated by our peers in other European countries. We also host the annual Encounters Film Festival, which receives direct funding from Creative Europe. Accessing the Europa Cinemas network has encouraged me and my peers across the UK to look beyond the national context and connect internationally. It has provided us with inspiration, partnerships and a platform to raise the profile of our venue and approach internationally. A highlight of our time within the network was picking up the Europa Cinemas Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Paris in 2010 in the presence of Wim Wenders. The annual funding we received through the network has contributed to our young audience development initiatives, but what I’ve valued the most is the collaborations and sharing of best practice that Europa Cinemas facilitates. I’m concerned about losing access to a network of film exhibition practitioners that has been a source of inspiration and a springboard for larger pan-European collaborations and investment. An example of this was our collaboration with Fondazione Cineteca Di Bologna on the MEDIA-funded project ABCinema in 2015 which brought a delegation of Europe’s leading film archives to Flatpack Film Festival in Birmingham for a three-day sprint, to explore how and why we should try to reach those who don’t engage with film heritage. This was followed by a trip to Aardman Animations in Bristol which resulted in Morph being introduced to international audiences and exhibits in Frankfurt and Amsterdam.

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Bristol’s own Cinema Rediscovered Festival was inspired by visits to Il Cinema Ritrovato as part of one of Europa Cinemas’ Innovation Labs. We collaborated on a ‘Direct from Il Cinema Ritrovato’ strand and ultimately this also led to our collaboration on ABCinema. It was a privilege to be invited to be one of two UK venues taking part in the European Cinema Night celebrations in 2019. Showcasing the richness of cinema is in our DNA so being able to collaborate with 606 Distribution to bring a preview of the award-winning German film System Crasher to Bristol audiences felt very special. Having the opportunity to connect the film’s producer with filmmaking talent in the region and share film industry experiences was a real highlight. The implications for audience access to independent film are of a real concern. Without Creative Europe or a significant alternative market intervention, there are potential knock-on effects for the availability of film culture in the UK as well as the impact on independent British films abroad. Without incentives in place, distributors and cinemas may no longer be in a position take risks on smaller European films in a British market that is already dominated by US studio productions. Whilst cinemas like Watershed will certainly continue to support a diverse range of films, we may find it increasingly difficult to access these films if they are not available in the UK market. MARK COSGROVE Cinema Curator, Watershed


CULTURE SUB-PROGRAMME

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RE-IMAGINING HERITAGE MERGING THE PAST WITH THE FUTURE

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STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

Mary Conroy’s piece ‘Seed Change’ in Gdansk, with Memory of Water artists Photo by Renata Dabrowska, courtesy of the Baltic Sea Cultural Centre Nadbałtyckie Centrum Kultury.

UK organisations, artists, craftspeople, and museum professionals worked together with European counterparts to explore and preserve unique craft traditions and common histories, and to bring them into the 21st century by exploring new artistic practices and new ways of creating meaning for modern audiences. In 2018, the EU launched the European Year of Cultural Heritage - the first of its kind to have a focus on culture and creativity - with an emphasis on intangible heritage, on working with local communities, and melding heritage with contemporary art forms. Its success means there will continue to be a focus on shared European heritage in future years. 39


9 – RE-IMAGINING HERITAGE

Woodland Lamp and Tea Light Holders by Wendy Ward as part of the Ceramics and its Dimensions project. Image Credit: Norwood

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STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

RACHEL DICKSON previously at Belfast School of Art, Ulster University

LIZ GARDINER Director, Fablevision

Our project, Ceramics and Its Dimensions (2014–2018) connected museums, architects, designers, industry, and stakeholders from different European countries to explore ceramics. The project was ambitious and academic in intention, shaped by a series of ‘Modules’ which included events, exhibitions and symposiums held in each of the ten partner countries. Being involved in this project through Ulster University gave me the opportunity to connect with leading European institutions in the field of ceramics, including museums, universities, and cultural institutions. This project offered the chance to debate, challenge and share knowledge of the history of ceramics, contemporary practice and the scope for the future. I was able to travel to partner countries for meetings and events, immersing myself in local culture, language, art, histories, food and identities Involvement in such a European project was of huge professional and personal benefit to me. It was an invaluable experience to be part of a larger community of practice and it was encouraging to see, hear and immerse myself in the vibrancy of ceramics as a practice, a history and its role in the future of art, science and education. I am also confident that it raised the profile of Northern Ireland as a cultural landscape and leader in ceramics practice and research.

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Over three years and across six cities, our collaboration project Memory of Water (2018– 2020) explored ‘what’s next for post-industrial waterfront heritage zones in Europe?’ We have seen many local impacts in Govan from the project: our collaboration with activists, artists, architects, politicians and planners stopped the building of 750 high rise flats on Govan’s iconic, A-listed Graving Docks; then supported the developer to change plans. None of this would have happened without the partnerships with European artists and academics, urban labs and highprofile residencies, as well as international benchmarking such as with the historic shipyard in Gdansk, Poland with their iconic cranes’ protected status now paving the way for UNESCO world heritage designation for shipyards. Emerging from these collaborations, are new partners from Georgia and Ukraine, and further projects being planned such as Woven Network. These close partnerships, along with the expertise and dedication of the network and artists enabled us to adapt to the COVID-19 crisis by inventing new methods for delivering participatory artist residencies remotely involving local people, community organisations and Govan-based artists. We remain determined to continue working with current partners as well as reaching out to new ones.


MEDIA SUB-PROGRAMME

10 FROM SEED TO SCREEN

GETTING FILMS OFF THE GROUND AND INTO THE GLOBAL MARKET

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STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

International sales companies are at the heart of Creative Europe’s ambition to increase the circulation of European films. Around 50 such companies from eight countries have been funded through the programme since 2014, including UK players such as Altitude Film Sales, Protagonist Pictures, Bankside Films and WestEnd Films. They interact with some 300 funded distribution companies to ensure that films are released in a maximum number of territories. Creative Europe rewards success at the box office and incentivises sales agents and distributors to work collaboratively to ensure the biggest possible audiences across Europe. The funding helps companies remain competitive when launching their titles, both to the market and with audiences. Increasingly, sales companies are becoming involved in projects earlier, working in tandem with production companies to ensure they have access to exciting projects as early as possible. An example of such collaboration is Hanway and Recorded Picture Company. Matteo Garrone’s Pinocchio (2019). Image courtesy of Hanway Films

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10 –FROM SEED TO SCREEN Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston in Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive (2013). Image courtesy of Hanway Films

Viggo Mortensen’s directorial debut Falling (2020). Image courtesy of Hanway Films

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STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

Hanway Films and Recorded Picture Company (RPC) are well-established British companies; the former an international sales company and the latter a film production company. The companies work closely together to build a vertically-integrated, independently-owned cinema business. It was on the back of a corporate loan provided by MEDIA some 20 years ago that we founded and established Hanway Films. The loan was repaid and Hanway has developed into a leading sales company with deep European ties. We have long-standing relationships with some of Europe’s greatest film directors and auteurs. RPC has developed and produced many films on the back of three MEDIA development Slate Funding grants; titles subsequently set-up and sold by Hanway include Only Lovers Left Alive, High Rise, Kontiki and Pinocchio. Hanway has directly benefited from Sales Agents Support having received a total of €840,000 since 2013. These grants were fundamental in enabling us to acquire, market and launch at scale some of our most successful titles including Pina, Only Lovers Left Alive, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Tale of Tales and most recently Pinocchio in which we have made our company’s largest single investment to date. In the case of Pinocchio, we built coordinated release strategies involving multiple territories, leveraging the marketing assets to deliver local box office sales. Pinocchio, an Italian-language film, has already broken box office records in Benelux and Spain. Its rollout continues and our risky investment is bearing fruit. Thank you Creative Europe.

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Critical to Hanway’s success has been our ability to consistently and dependably deliver Prints & Advertising (P&A) support from Creative Europe to our distributors across the continent. As a British-based sales company typically exporting between £25 – £35 million per annum of distribution rights in British and European films, our ability to deliver P&A in support has been critical to our ability to secure lucrative European titles. Hanway’s crucial and coordinating role has been further enhanced by Creative Europe which puts the international sales agent at the fulcrum of the process. Most recently Hanway has directly deployed €821,000 to 21 distributors releasing Viggo Mortensen’s debut feature Falling (a UK/Danish co-production). We have built a carefully-tailored campaign for European audiences and, thanks to Creative Europe, we have the resources to do so. We’ve been able to launch the film at several of the world’s most important film festivals (Cannes, Berlin, TIFF, Sundance) and our very talented multilingual director has commenced a European tour in support of the film. With Brexit, British exporters may no longer be able to reliably deliver critical P&A funding to support their films. European sale agencies are already capitalising on the uncertainty. London is a world centre for film sales agencies but unless the support for the sector is re-invented it could lose its competitive edge when it comes to securing choice European titles, with the UK’s balance of payments the poorer for it.

PETER WATSON CEO, Recorded Picture Company


CULTURE SUB-PROGRAMME

11 MEET THE NEIGHBOURS BRINGING ARTISTS AND COMMUNITIES TOGETHER

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STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

Participatory practice and working with communities more collaboratively opens up a myriad of possibilities for change, responses, dialogue, learning and empathy, and once a European dimension enters, these possibilities can increase tenfold through new approaches and new connections between citizens and artists. 43% of crossborder Cooperation Projects had a UK partner, and here we highlight some of those valuable moments of connection with our European neighbours.

For Meet The Neighbours, artists at Théâtre de La Licorne worked with residents to transform social housing (May 2019). Photo by Thomas Faverjon.

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11 – MEET THE NEIGHBOURS

UK artist Akeelah Bertram installing Beloved at the D6 CONTESTED DESIRES residency in Lagos. Image by Jorge Pereira

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STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

ALI DUNICAN Executive Director, Quarantine

CLYMENE CHRISTOFOROU Director, D6: Culture in Transit

The UK voted to leave the European Union while we were writing our application to Creative Europe to lead the Meet the Neighbours project (2017–20). The next day we received commiserations from all of our prospective new European partners, and a steadfast commitment that Quarantine, the UK partner, should still lead the project. As we coordinated artistic residencies and events across five cities in Europe and North Africa from our Manchester home, our impending departure from continental cooperation and everything this change might mean was never far from our thoughts. Across the project, through 26 residencies by 61 artists, over 23,000 audiences (live and digital) were engaged in unique participatory events; for example in Manchester and Salford, Quarantine rented a new-build house on the border of the two cities and invited artists to come and stay. Quarantine has long made work through a process of collaboration with individuals and communities, but this project taught us a lot about methods of engagement and highlighted the benefits of cross-cultural working. We are grateful to have developed these relationships with European partners and that they seem committed to continue working with UK artists and cultural organisations, and we’re confident that we will continue to work with our European neighbours.

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D6: Culture in Transit has been a regular beneficiary of the Creative Europe programme. Our current project, CONTESTED DESIRES (2019–22), explores our shared and contested European colonial heritage and its influence on contemporary culture. At a time of increasing right-wing populism, CONTESTED DESIRES challenges the de-stabilising and divisive political landscapes of Europe and beyond, where the response to the complexities, diversity and expansion of our communities continues to be met with the power play of fear-mongering, discrimination and exclusion; where our borders are used as protectors and our heritage too often claimed for nationalism. Led by D6: Culture in Transit our partnership spans the global North and South and includes partners in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and Barbados. CONTESTED DESIRES explores the links between our colonising ancestors and our cultural identities today through research, workshops, residencies and exhibitions. Creative Europe has provided an opportunity to connect local neighbourhoods to a global dialogue: amplifying our voice at a strategic level through international networks, and at a local level, drawing threads between communities in the north east of England and the rest of the world, building understanding and fostering more inclusive communities. D6 hopes to continue to participate in European collaboration programmes with our international colleagues.


MEDIA SUB-PROGRAMME

12 LET’S PLAY! A NATION OF GAMERS GROWING VIDEO GAMES CLUSTERS ACROSS THE UK

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STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

Experimentation and innovation are key elements of Creative Europe funding. In 2014 a brand-new MEDIA scheme was launched to support European video game developers to prototype ideas for narrative-led games. Throughout the programme 19 grants were awarded to 15 UK games companies through this scheme, totalling €2.5 million. This equates to 10% of the total funding available Europe-wide, placing the UK as the second highest beneficiary of the scheme after Germany. The strength of this sector in the UK’s nations and regions was particularly evident with 79% of the grants awarded to companies based outside of London and 37% to those outside England. One such company is Northern Ireland’s Italic Pig, one of nine companies Europe-wide (and the only company in the UK) to have received support for three different projects.

Mona Lisa - a heist and forgery game set in Renaissance Italy. Image courtesy of Italic Pig .

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12 – LET’S PL AY! A NATION OF GAMERS

Quest Quest: The Quest for Quests - a RPG parody. Image courtesy of Italic Pig

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STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

KEVIN BEIMERS Director, Italic Pig

Italic Pig has been fortunate enough to have received three successful awards from Creative Europe, and this support has been invaluable for the growth of our business. Italic Pig prides itself on story-driven games - wacky characters, snappy dialogue and unexpected plot lines. A lot of the games we develop don’t fit into standard categories or genres easily, which means they’re a little bit experimental or risky. On the flip side, a lot of ‘traditional’ sources of funding for video game development seek out low-risk/high-yield, which doesn’t leave a lot of room for innovation. Creative Europe’s support of narrative-driven games allows indie studios to flourish, follow ideas down unexpected paths, and experiment with games as an art-form. Where most indie studios lose a lot of time to searching for their next small pot of potential funding, Creative Europe alleviates the pressure and allows creative companies to focus on what they do best: being creative. Our three Creative Europe projects have each been vastly different from the others: a paintbased Renaissance heist and forgery adventure called Mona Lisa, a character-driven VR elevator simulator called The Infinite Hotel, and a parody RPG genre-deconstruction called Quest Quest: The Quest For Quests. Each successful application has allowed the team, skills and reputation of Italic Pig to grow. We’ve worked with some major global publishers, attracted

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the attention of top talent, gained a strong reputation in the local industry, and been allowed to spread our wings with developmental freedom to create new tech and great content. I honestly don’t know where we’d be without them. It’s sad on so many levels that Brexit is happening, and access to Creative Europe’s dedication to narrative-driven video games is coming to an end. The UK is a hotbed of creativity, and a large percentage of Creative Europe investment has supported exciting UK projects regularly over the programme’s seven-year span. Games will continue to be a global industry, and games companies will still attract global talent and coordinate at global events, but from 2021 it may become harder to cross borders, collaborate, or hire from abroad. We can only hope that the UK finds a way to continue working with the rest of Europe across as many creative sectors as possible, or be able to put forward a similar offering, so that the UK gaming industry can keep one foot comfortably in the camp of creative storytelling.


CULTURE SUB-PROGRAMME

13 SHARING THE SPECTACLE ENCOUNTERS IN THE COMMUNITY

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STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

Many Creative Europe-supported projects put their relationships with cities and communities at the heart of their creative work, practising principles of diversity, inclusion and tolerance. They are focussing on intense, ambitious and interesting interactive training in response to location and context and developing skills to empower both urban and rural communities and individuals. Over half of the Creative Europe-funded projects and organisations in the UK were based outside London, showing a broad geographical spread across the four nations, sharing artistic encounters far and wide.

’it will come later’ by iCoDaCo. Photo courtesy of Gwyn Emberton Dance. Photos by K. Machniewicz/ R. Siwek

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13 – SHARING THE SPECTACLE

Baltijos Cirkas, Kaunas School of Spectacle from Walk the Plank. Photo by Darius Petrulis.

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STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

GWYN EMBERTON Artistic Director, Gwyn Emberton Dance (now Jones the Dance / y Ddawns)

LIZ PUGH Creative Producer, Walk the Plank

Walk the Plank led the School of Participation and the School of Spectacle – both groundbreaking opportunities for learning and sharing…outdoors, on the street, with communities. The Schools brought together a wide range of creative practitioners from diverse backgrounds – artistically diverse, and in so many other ways too: from the postman in Cyprus who had never been involved in making art to the Lithuanian mother finding her voice as a poet and activist, and so many rich talents in between. We’re stronger working together, and Creative Europe gave us the opportunity to forge new connections, beyond national identity. As an outdoor arts organisation that has always had a wanderlust for working in different countries and reaching communities from a broad spectrum of different cultures, our natural instinct has always been to collaborate. Our compass has been set towards a number of European cities over the past four years, and we will maintain our belief that art should not be restricted by political or geographical parameters. The pandemic has shown us that we can remain connected even if we can’t easily travel and we look forward to hearing about the art and the activism and the celebrations and the mischief that our ‘alumni’ will undoubtedly be making happen.

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‘it will come later’ is a dance project created by iCoDaCo, a biennial artist-led collaboration project that crosses borders of Europe and beyond, which Gwyn Emberton Dance (now Jones the Dance / y Ddawns) have been part of since 2014. In 2018 we were joined by artists and dance organisations from Hungary, Poland and Hong Kong to collaborate on the most ambitious edition yet. Creative Europe support afforded Gwyn Emberton Dance the chance to be bold and ambitious, to provide work for people across Wales and the rest of the UK and to share experiences with new communities in Europe and Hong Kong. A particularly memorable part of the project for me was right from the start during our first live meeting. We began the practical work in Hong Kong at the tipping point of its recent political demonstrations and protests. The communality of resistance there had a sense of bringing solidarity between communities across the globe together which we felt through this artistic endeavour. As dance transcends the need for spoken language, it has the power to share our culture across Europe in ways other art forms can’t. Being part of a collaboration of artists across many countries feels necessary and important for our souls and our well-being. We are stronger together.


MEDIA SUB-PROGRAMME

14 IGNITING THE SPARK

NURTURING THE NEXT GENERATION OF MOVIE GOERS

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STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

Edinburgh International Film Festival Young Programmers meeting, part of Moving Cinema. Image courtesy of the Centre for the Moving Image

Through the funding of collaborative, cross-border projects, Creative Europe has enabled organisations to come together and establish a common set of approaches and understanding for film education practice across Europe. The supported projects have demonstrated that by giving children and young audiences the opportunity to explore and challenge themselves through their understanding of film they are in turn developing their own sensibility to better perceive things, people, situations and emotions. UK organisations have proved to be valued partners in this field and have been present in nearly 40% of the audience development / film education projects selected Europe-wide. These projects were awarded a total of €3.3 million; 28% of the €12 million awarded programme-wide. The BFI with its centre of excellence credentials, led multiple projects with this support which have helped to define a pan-European framework for film education. Scottish organisations such as the Centre for the Moving Image, Creative Scotland and Scottish Film, have also been particularly engaged in this area, taking part in 36% of the projects that featured UK participation. 59


14 – IGNITING THE SPARK

Moving Cinema participants taking part in the Edinburgh International Film Festival Youth Hub. Image courtesy of the Centre for the Moving Image.

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STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

YVONNE GORDON Head of Community Engagement & Learning, Centre for the Moving Image incorporating: Edinburgh International Film Festival, Filmhouse and Belmont Filmhouse, Aberdeen

Creative Europe funding really helped us develop our engagement with young audiences at Filmhouse and the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF). It supported the planning, delivery and marketing of two Young Programmer Moving Cinema screening events at Filmhouse in March 2019 and February 2020. Both screening dates were chosen to coincide with Britain’s departure from the EU, and the events allowed us to re-state our commitment to developing the young audience for European films. The Moving Cinema project also supported our Young Programmer screening events at EIFF in summer 2018 and 2019, where the EIFF Youth Shorts programme is screened and allowed us to bring our group of Aberdeen Young Programmers down to Edinburgh for the weekend to experience the film festival in 2019. We work year-round with young people to develop their knowledge of European film, as well as their skills in discussion, curation,

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reviewing, writing, marketing and public speaking. We co-design all our EIFF Youth screenings, masterclasses and workshops with our young people, so the ability to have this regular space and time to meet, learn, explore and grow has been fundamental to our success. The funding also allowed us to connect with Moving Cinema partners across Europe - film educators in Barcelona, Berlin, Izola and Vilnius. We met up over the two years to plan activity and exchange ideas. This was invaluable peer to peer learning and an incredible opportunity for comparative study - to see how the film education landscape and approaches differed across territories. Overall, we had a wonderful experience with Creative Europe – allowing us to do important work at a local, national and international level.


CULTURE SUB-PROGRAMME

15 LET’S TALK THE IMPORTANCE OF INTERNATIONAL DIALOGUE

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STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

Image of Rosemary Smith, Rally Driver (c) Beta Bajgart, part of A Woman’s Work project from Ffotogallery

At the heart of Creative Europe projects are cultural and creative conversations and the exchange of ideas. Our first theme ‘Let’s Talk!’ feels like a fitting place to begin our showcase of stories and voices from UK organisations and participants who’ve built networks with European nations and countries (and beyond) to collaborate, learn and contribute. Over the course of the Creative Europe programme, UK organisations worked on Cooperation Projects and boundary-pushing cultural works with 1,086 culture partners in 37 countries and the ambition is for these tapestries of international conversations to continue to be woven beyond 2020, continuing a rich legacy for Creative Europe in the UK. 63


15 – LET’S TALK

DAVID DRAKE Director, Ffotogallery

DAVID HILL Founding Director and Chair, ArtReach

Women’s role in industry and technologybased work in post-war Europe is a hitherto untold story, and audiovisual archives have tended to focus on male-orientated industries such as coal, iron and steel, engineering and manufacture. Our Cooperation Project A Woman’s Work (2019–20) uses photography and digital media to address that deficit through the co-production of exhibitions, publications and online resources that challenge the dominant view of gender and industry in Europe. With Creative Europe support, Ffotogallery formed a partnership with cultural organisations in Lithuania, Ireland, France, Finland and Germany, and these partnerships have been critical to maintaining Ffotogallery’s international presence. Despite the challenges of the pandemic and the UK’s then imminent departure from the EU, the partners have been creative in their use of online platforms, enabling exhibitions to be enjoyed through 3D virtual tours and for artists and professionals to participate in events remotely, despite the restrictions on international travel. An abiding memory from 2020 is our first virtual book launch event at the beginning of lockdown, featuring the Estonian artist Maria Kapajeva and Gallery of Photography Ireland. Over 120 visitors from three continents joined us for the event and we were able to raise our glasses in celebration from the comfort of our own home.

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ArtReach is a Leicester-based cultural development agency that makes great art possible and accessible, connecting with grassroots and diverse communities to forge creative engagement, and has led four significant Creative Europe cooperation projects since 2015. JOURNEYS (2016–17) was supported through a special Creative Europe call for Cooperation Projects which contributed to the integration of refugees and asylum seekers through cultural activity. Our partners were based in Rome, Hamburg, Sicily and Budapest. The project built on our established Journeys Festival International programme, to develop transnational work involving refugee artists and refugee participants (integrating with mainstream audiences), with strands such as art in outdoor spaces and ‘Coffee-Shop Conversations’. JOURNEYS delivered work in seven European cities involving 60 local cultural and community partners. 65 new artworks were created, with 525 refugees and asylum seekers as active participants and audiences of 388,000. The benefits of the project to ArtReach were financial (€200,000 budget), heightened profile, new partnerships, increased leverage for other funding, staff development and legacy (leading ultimately to LIBERTY- another Creative Europe supported project). We have built a substantial network of valued European partners and Creative Europe has been fundamental to the evolution of ArtReach and its work.


STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

JOURNEYS project with ArtReach Children of the Sea Explora, Rome 2017 by Sibomana

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MEDIA SUB-PROGRAMME

16 THE TRUTH ABOUT STORIES

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTARY PRODUCERS REFLECTING THE WORLD WE LIVE IN 66


STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

Stories can be fictitious or true. Documentaries tell true stories and as a genre have been having a bit of a renaissance with audiences flocking to see them on screens big and small. Documentaries help us comprehend the world around us, understand different points of view, analyse social phenomena, challenge our perspectives and provoke debate. As traditional broadcasters’ budgets for docs may be tightening, Creative Europe has recognised the need to support this important genre and UK companies have made a good use of this support.

Werner Herzog’s Into the Inferno (2016). Image courtesy of Spring Films.

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16 – THE TRUTH ABOUT STORIES

Spring Films is an Oscar®-nominated, Emmy Award® - winning production company specialising in high-end feature and television documentaries. We’ve received over €500,000 during the seven years of Creative Europe, which co-financed three different slates supporting the development of a number of projects as well as a production grant for one of those projects – Meeting Gorbachev. MEDIA support was vital for the Meeting Gorbachev project. It allowed us to spend time developing the narrative - specifically designed to focus on the character of Mikhail Gorbachev rather than being a simple biopic with a chronological approach. It also allowed us to identify a wide range of archive from a variety of different sources. Most importantly, MEDIA funding allowed us to conduct a test shoot, which was vital to establish a rapport between the director Werner Herzog and Gorbachev himself and it allowed us to focus in on a few key areas we wanted to discuss in the film. Ultimately, the film grew as a result of MEDIA support and it is now yielding results with a theatrical release in over 150 cinemas worldwide and international television broadcasts. Prior to this, MEDIA development funding was able to support another Herzog project, Into the Inferno, which saw the director travel the globe with volcanologist Clive Oppenheimer, visiting volcanoes in Indonesia, Ethiopia and even North Korea in an attempt to understand our relationship with one of nature’s most violent wonders. With MEDIA support we were able to secure a scientific advisor and thoroughly research locations, leading us to secure access to some spectacular sites including Mt Paektu

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– the first time a foreign film crew had been allowed to film extensively in that part of North Korea. Thanks to this support we filmed a spectacular teaser. Not only were we able to capture the awesome power of volcanoes but the people we interviewed during the development phase allowed us to demonstrate the unique perspective of the film, tracing the relationship between man and volcanoes and the fragility of our civilization before this irresistible power. This teaser was a key factor in garnering interest and eventually receiving a commission from Netflix. MEDIA funding also supported the development of The Woman Who Joined the Taliban, enabling us to conduct extensive research, including with journalists and politicians to piece together the story of Canadian Beverly Giesbrecht, whose quest for salvation in Islamic jihad became a descent into a hell of captivity, torture, and death at the hands of the Taliban. In development, it required considerable research, test filming, a slick trailer and a polished treatment and script to convince broadcasters. We were able to conduct test filming in Canada – securing the participation of key characters in Beverly’s story – and edit this together with the footage Beverly herself shot, to create a powerful teaser and documentary script. This development process defined the creative course of the documentary and simply would not have been possible without MEDIA support at an early stage. EDWARD DALLAL Senior Producer, Spring Films


STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

Werner Herzog’s Meeting Gorbachev (2018). Image courtesy of Spring Films.

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CULTURE SUB-PROGRAMME

17

TECHNOLOGY FOR CREATIVITY ARTS ORGANISATIONS AT THE FOREFRONT OF INNOVATION

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STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

Many Creative Europe projects utilise technology in creative ways and have put it at the heart of what they are doing. From augmented reality to cutting-edge tools for making art, technology is used to bring people together and connect them with culture in meaningful ways. As we move into a more digital world, artists and cultural organisations are at the forefront of exploring how to use new technologies to benefit us all.

Child participating in Fablabs workshop. Image courtesy of Nerve Centre

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17 – TECHNOLOGY FOR CREATIVIT Y

PATRICIA WEEKS Deputy Head of World Heritage and Antonine Wall Co-ordinator, Historic Environment Scotland

JOHN PETO Director of Education, Nerve Centre

Future Artist-Maker Labs was a two-year Cooperation Project (2015–17) led by the Nerve Centre in Derry~Londonderry, working with University of Limerick in Ireland and Ultralab in Madrid, Spain. We aimed to harness the creative power of three leading digital fabrication labs – a laboratory in which anything can be designed and created - in an exciting international programme of art-making, exhibition, training, and networking. The project provided numerous opportunities for artist-makers to collaborate transnationally and for their work to travel across borders. 20 artists were involved in a major travelling exhibition with international networking opportunities between partners and participants, sharing expertise and good practice in art-making and fabrication. The next generation of European artist-makers were able to take part in an accredited apprenticeship scheme, a Student Artist-Maker Bootcamp and a Symposium. Without Creative Europe support, I think the Nerve Centre’s artistic programme would have been much more limited in its vision, reach and impact. The project raised the visibility of art-making and the potential of new digital fabrication technologies on an international stage. We explored concepts of what makes art, authorship and ownership and boundaries of artistic innovation, and formed new relationships and networks of benefit to the organisation and the communities they serve.

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The Advanced Limes Application (ALApp) was a collaborative project (2016–19) between heritage and digital teams in Scotland, Austria and Germany. The Creative Europe programme offered us the opportunity to think about the connectivity between heritage sites and how we could offer a more unified experience for visitors. Financially, we were supported to work across national borders, something that we could not have done otherwise, while professionally we were able to explore different sectoral and cultural approaches to interpretation and trial new ways of working. The ultimate purpose of our project was to create a resource which we could then share freely with multiple other partners. Towards the end of our project, the funding allowed us to bring together 50 key stakeholders from museums and heritage organisations across Europe and share our experiences and learning. Our platform is now being actively rolled out to them. As a partnership, we were immensely grateful for the Creative Europe programme and the support and investment it offered us. We all got to challenge ourselves by sharing different practice and exploring new operational approaches; were able to reaffirm that collaboration is better than working in isolation and delivers a stronger, more robust endproduct; and developed and reinforced strong professional networks that will endure long beyond the life of the project.


STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

The Advanced Limes Application (ALApp) by Historic Environment Scotland

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MEDIA-SUB-PROGRAMME

18 MAKING MAGIC

DRAWING GLOBAL ATTENTION TO THE UK ANIMATION SECTOR

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STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

Revolting Rhymes (2016) © Magic Light Pictures

Animation is uniquely destined for the international marketplace as it is very easy to version. With US studios’ dominance in this area, the importance of Europe’s own animated stories being told and shown to our audiences cannot be underestimated. Creative Europe has embraced animation in many ways: it supports independent producers to develop animation projects with international potential and then to finance them internationally. It supports distributors to put animated films on cinema screens. Europe’s biggest animation festival in Annecy is supported as well as the biggest meeting of professionals – Cartoon Forum. 75


18 – MAKING MAGIC

Stick Man (2015) © Magic Light Pictures

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STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

At Magic Light Pictures we’re focussed on delivering high quality imaginative stories to family audiences throughout the world and Creative Europe has been a crucial partner in building that enterprise over more than a decade. Development is necessarily exploratory and speculative, so it was brilliant to have the backing of Creative Europe with a development slate early on. We were able to explore key ambitious projects, then find the best ways forward, and turn them into projects which could work for the international market. Creative Europe has also been a tremendous partner in financing animation production, which requires long vision and focus on the prize at the end of the creative period. With its financing dependent on solid distribution to European audiences, the Creative Europe production financing cleverly ensured that works which were ambitiously reaching out to European audiences were the ones which were getting made. We’ve been fortunate to have our films receive accolades from Hollywood to Shanghai to Annecy – but in the end what’s important for us is that our films are reaching families throughout Europe and the world, which this system of financing helped enable. Our distribution team successfully sell the films to more than 180 countries, while our licensing team have developed products and experiences which engage audiences globally, so that the projects can really speak to the world. One example of the partnership with Creative Europe is our ambitious film The Snail and the Whale, which is a story about exploring the world, realising its wonders and its value, and

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finding out that small acts can make a difference. It’s a film with a tiny heroine and a huge hero – and global ambitions. The film shows the world from the polar regions to the tropics, from north America to Europe, from wide oceans to small inlets – all the while with complex visual effects and water effects which wouldn’t have been possible even a few years ago. It was a film we and the director had long wanted to make – and Creative Europe’s contribution was invaluable in making it happen. Now the film is making its own way round the world, and showing the big impact that Creative Europe’s contribution has made. We have been lucky to work with talents from throughout Europe, and I’ve been delighted to be part of ACE Producers along with my European producer colleagues. I’ve found that engaging with partners from across Europe and understanding their perspective has been fundamental to understanding how to develop projects which can engage the world. Over the last decade we’ve made numerous films with Creative Europe, building a collection of acclaimed titles which has in turn enabled us to build our company. Their backing has been enormously important in helping back our vision, grow the company and reach audiences. While we’re sadly unable to continue that partnership, we look forward to finding new ways to engage with our European partners and indeed partners throughout the world.

MARTIN POPE Joint CEO, Magic Light Pictures


CROSS-SECTOR STRAND

19 LOCAL THINKING GLOBAL

CONNECTING VITAL CULTURAL ECOSYSTEMS TO ONE ANOTHER

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STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

Creative Dundee ECHN study visit photographer: Alan Richardson

Creative Europe has a cross-sectoral funding strand alongside the Culture and MEDIA sub-programmes, further supporting the creative, cultural and audiovisual sectors in terms of innovation and financial capacity, and bolstering knowledge exchange, networking and peer learning. The UK was able to benefit in a number of ways, such as the connections that sprang from the capacity-building European Creative Hubs Network, led by the British Council, and championing connection and collaboration across Europe.

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19 – LOCAL THINKING GLOBAL

There have been many other benefits, including maintaining relationships with European creative hubs to share leadership practice. A welcome result of the project is now seeing others value the broader social impacts that creative hubs generate.

GILLIAN EASSON Director, Creative Dundee – part of European Creative Hubs Network

Creative Dundee partnered with Creative Edinburgh, to be the UK lead in the two year European Creative Hubs Network (2016–18), a project led by British Council with six European creative hubs, supported by Creative Europe. The project aimed to boost the resilience and sustainability of Europe’s creative hubs, which are vital ecosystems that support local creative and cultural communities. The project networked creative hubs, enabling sharing and collaboration through forums, peer exchange and practical resources. Creative Dundee’s role was supporting the original project conception, developing workshops and leading presentations at the regular forums. It was a valuable opportunity to understand and learn about the diversity of hub activities, operational structures and business models, in urban cities and rural places, each with their own individual place/ sector-based challenges, from Portugal to Serbia, Greece to Germany, and beyond. With Creative Dundee and Creative Edinburgh both being remote creative hubs, we brought expertise to the network on enabling communities to flourish remotely and collaborate with partners to think of a whole city as a creative hub. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have given advice to fellow international hubs on pivoting to online delivery and cultivating communities remotely.

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Personal project highlights include leading a session on coping with burnout, where we collaboratively developed hacks to improve our wellbeing, and hosting 40 leading European creative hub leaders in Dundee and Edinburgh, over two days. Our facilitated masterclass considered the future of network leadership skills, through practical sessions and peer sharing practice. Inclusion and openness are key principles for our organisation, therefore working within Europe is of critical importance to us. Despite the vast, uncertain challenges related to Brexit and the pandemic, the impact of our involvement in this project is clear – we are committed to building partnerships with our European creative and cultural colleagues – we are here and we are open.


STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

ECHN Belgrade Forum - photographer: Paul Bourne.

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MEDIA SUB-PROGRAMME

NURTURING A NETWORK OF TALENT

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UPSKILLING PROFESSIONALS TO OPERATE IN THE GLOBAL MARKETPLACE 82


STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

2018 Inside Pictures participants at Warner Bros. in Los Angeles. Image courtesy of Inside Pictures.

The European audiovisual industry constantly needs to adapt as digital technology transforms the way content is created and disseminated whilst global players grow rapidly. As a result, talent, skills and creativity remain its most important assets. By funding training providers, Creative Europe supports the delivery of around 50 international professional development programmes which develop creative and entrepreneurial talent, boost and update professional skills and foster creativity. Each year around 2,000 professionals benefit from these opportunities, including 100 – 150 from the UK. This increases the internationalisation of our industry, providing participants with lifelong peer networks to continue to learn from, which in turn increases the competitiveness of the European industry on a global scale. 83


20 – NURTURING A NET WORK OF TALENT

2018 Inside Pictures participants at Paramount Pictures in Los Angeles. Image courtesy of Inside Pictures.

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STORIES FROM CREATIVE EUROPE IN THE UK 2014–20

Inside Pictures began a decade or so before Creative Europe funding came on board, with a solely UK-based intake of participants. Creative Europe supported 11 editions of the programme, effectively half the lifetime of the project. In so doing, it will have contributed to fulfilling the founding purpose of the programme: to give participants a 360-degree exposure to all aspects of the industry so that they may build a greater level of knowledge and understanding of the business, which in turn would add value to them as individuals but also to the industry they work in. By growing a network of high-level film executives across Europe, linking them with the US and fulfilling their commercial and business potential, the programme has become a badge of excellence. The alumni now number over 200 producers and executives from some of the most renowned and successful international film businesses outside the US studio sector. In an industry that relies on relationships across the board, this represents a substantial and influential network. Without Creative Europe funding, the programme simply would not have run. Over the years, UK funding has continued to reduce. The support of MEDIA not only meant continuation of the course, but also expansion of its remit to encompass the wealth of continental European talent and expertise. This outreach to continental Europe has been timely – as the industry’s search for content has increasingly meant partnerships and intellectual property have been sought across borders. One cannot underestimate the bond that is formed by the group of 20 participants over the course of the programme - by far the most significant benefit are the relationships that are

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formed that follow them throughout their career. In an industry which relies so heavily on this, it is a gift to be able to seek advice, collaboration, business development and even friendship from individuals who work in different sub-sectors. Taking the time to look sideways, to consider the perspectives from different areas of the film industry – these are the experiences that are truly unique for people who are already at the top of their game. This sort of expansion of mindset would not have happened without funding from Creative Europe. The networks that have been built would not have been forged in such an in-depth and careful way. Creative Europe provided a level of support appropriate to the level of participant and the ambition of the programme to facilitate a forum for sharing of expertise, and the professional and personal development of the individual in relation to the industry. To the students at the National Film & TV School, Inside Pictures has provided a beacon, a standard they can aspire to; one based on collaboration, innovation, a global outlook and network. Post EU exit, without the continued support, the alumni will doubtless continue to meet, but the group will remain unharnessed, its power to bring about change will be compromised, and the loss of support will be keenly felt by those trying to grow strong, sustainable, independent and international film businesses.

CORINNE RANARAJA, Programme Director, Operations, Inside Pictures


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

We would like to thank the Creative Europe beneficiaries mentioned in this publication for their generous contributions as well as the hundreds of other UK companies, organisations and individuals that have embraced European collaboration and have their own stories of international working to tell from the seven years of the programme and beyond. We would also like to the thank the Creative Europe Desk UK Partnership Board which includes representatives from British Council, British Film Institute, Creative Scotland, Welsh Government, Arts Council England and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for their guidance and steer. Finally, as the programme draws to a close, we would like to thank our colleagues at the European Commission and the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency in Brussels as well the network of Creative Europe Desks across Europe with whom we have our own stories of collaboration. THE CREATIVE EUROPE DESK UK TEAM Sarah Boulter / Jenny Daly / Kate Deans / Katie James / Megan James / Rosie Le Garsmeur / Agnieszka Moody / Alberto Valverde / Francesca Walker / Judy Wasdell. Design: Praline

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Creative Europe Desk UK was led by:

In partnership with Arts Council England, Creative Scotland and Welsh Government with support from the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the European Commission. The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.