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MeCETES Team Present Findings at NECS 2014 Conference

The first findings of the MeCETES project were presented at the NECS 2014 Conference held at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, on June 19, 2014.

Representatives from all three partner institutions presented their research at a special MeCETES panel entitled: “Creative Europe: Transnational Patterns of Film and Television Production and Distribution”.

Ilse Schooneknaep from Vrije Universiteit Brussels discussed whether European audiovisual support systems such as MEDIA and Eurimages empower the cross-border circulation of national film productions. Her paper, co-written with Caroline Pauwels, showed that a large number of the popular European films of the last decade had received some European support, but transnational distribution remained a problem.

NECS Conference

MeCETES Team at the NECS 2014 Conference, Milan.

Andrew Higson and Huw D Jones from the University of York focused on UK co-productions involving European partners. Drawing on European cinema admissions data, they argued that, although UK/European co-productions traveled better in Europe than 100% British films, this had more to do with the financial input and distribution links that European partners had to offer than their artistic or creative input.

Roderik Smits, also from the University of York, continued the focus on transnational distribution by analysing the role of film scouts, sales agents and distributors. He argued that these ‘gatekeepers’ play a crucial – if under-researched – role in the dissemination of European film.

Finally, Eva Novrup Redvall from the University of Copenhagen discussed the global success of the British historical drama Downton Abbey. Drawing on interviews with series commissioners, production staff and broadcasters, she argued that part of Downton Abbey’s appeal stems from the way it combines the traditions of high-end period drama with the contemporary feel, pace and complex narrative structure of US shows like The West Wing.

The well-attended panel, chaired by Ib Bondebjerg, concluded with a 30-minute discussion in which audience members questioned the MeCETES team about their research.

Copies of the four papers will be made available in the Outputs > Conference Papers section. You can hear a podcast of all four papers here.

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