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David Puttnam

Lord Puttnam predicts 'significant mergers' of European distributors

Lord Puttnam predicts 'significant mergers' of European distributors

09 October, 2015

Last week, Lord Puttnam met with the European Commission Vice President, Andrus Ansip, to discuss the impact of the Digital Single Market on the European film industry.

He explained to Screen International that the Vice President clearly understands the importance of territoriality in the current European Film business model and that a new business model will take a minimum of 5-10 years to implement.

Lord Puttnam hopes that the DSM will lead to consolidation within the European distribution sector and will allow for mergers between European distributors.

He acknowledges that it will be difficult to ensure that film funding on a European-wide basis continues because the UK film market is extremely polarized: the top 20 films claim over 60% of the box office, leaving 529 titles to compete for the remaining third. He asks, ‘How do you go forward with a plural European funding mechanism when you’re fighting for only 30% or maybe even 20% of the entire European Market?’

Puttnam insists that windows flexibility is ‘sorely overdue’ and that ‘a precise duration of this period of exclusivity film by film is only a distorting irrelevance’.

While Puttnam is reassured that the removal of geo-blocking is not going to happen in the foreseeable future nonetheless, he said, ‘we can’t get complacent’.

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