Montenegro and Russia have been accepted as the newest member countries of European Film Promotion (EFP). At the last meeting in Hamburg (Germany), the EFP members decided to welcome the Ministry of Culture of Montenegro and the Russian Cinema Fund, supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, into the pan-European network. As of 2013, EFP will be uniting 35 promotion organisations from 36 countries to promote and market films and talent from across Europe under one banner. The common activities are financially backed by the MEDIA Programme of the European Union and the EFP member organisations.
Ilija Subotic, Advisor for audiovisual works at the Ministry of Culture of Montenegro and EFP representative, comments:
“We are very delighted by the decision of EFP's General Assembly to accept Montenegro as a new member of this important European network, given that this is a significant step in the development of cinematography in Montenegro on its way to the general European and world audiences.”
The Ministry of Culture of Montenegro is constantly working on regulating the institutional framework and inclusion of the Montenegrin film industry in regional and European developments. Furthermore, it promotes Montenegro as a film location to foreign producers. As a co-founder of the Montenegro Film Festival at Herceg Novi and the promotional body of the national film industry, the Ministry of Culture strives to present a scope of national production at such international events as the Cannes Market and the Film Festival of South-East Europe in Paris. Recent Montenegrin films include Bad Destiny by Draško Đurović (2012), a story about the war in former Yugoslavia, the crazy comedy Local Vampire by Branko Baletić (2011) and the horror thriller The Ascent by Nemanja Bečanović (2011).
Elena Romanova, Head of the International Department of the Russian Cinema Fund and EFP representative, states:
“The Russian Cinema Fund and the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation are very pleased to be joining European Film Promotion and taking part in the international activities of this network which is so important for our Russian films and talent. Concerning cultural exchange across borders, the EFP membership is of particular significance, and we are sure that it will develop the organization of promotion and marketing activities between Russia and Europe. We will do our best to promote Russian films and attract more international attention to Russian cinematography which is developing very quickly.”
The Russian Cinema Fund was created in 2009 under the Government of the Russian Federation. As a state body, it supports the Russian film industry, including production, distribution, promotion and exhibition of national films as well as participation in film festivals, film markets, etc. Its main goals are to support domestic cinematography, increase its competitiveness and make national films popular in Russia and abroad. Recently, the Russian Cinema Fund saw their supported films selected for various festivals such as Convoy by Kirill Mizgirev (2012) at the Berlin Film Festival, Me Too by Alexey Balabanov (2012) at the Venice Film Festival, and Celestial Wives of the Meadow Mari (2012) by Alexey Fedorchenko at the Rome Film Festival.