RECOMMENDATION 862 (1979)[1]

on cinema and the state


The Assembly,

1. Noting the report of its Committee on Culture and Education on cinema and the state (Doc. 4306) and taking account of the results of the symposium on this subject held by the committee in Lisbon from 14 to 16 June 1978 ;

2. Recalling its Order No. 341 (1973) and earlier symposia on "Freedom of expression and the role of the artist" (Florence 1973), "Telecommunications" (Munich 1974) and "The democratic renewal of the performing arts" (Athens 1976) ;

3. Regarding the cinema as an important cultural factor and means of artistic expression and as an industry and commercial activity ;

4. Aware of the crisis affecting the cinema in most European countries ;

5. Stressing that member governments have a duty to provide a sounder legal, economic and administrative basis for the revitalisation of the cinema and the development of film-making of real artistic quality ;

6. Believing that the failure of many existing systems of aid makes a study of the problem necessary on the European level in order to promote new policies for the development of the cinema on the national level ;

7. Insisting on the independence of film-making as an art, and on the importance of the diversity, in national and cultural terms, of the film in Europe, and that this diversity finds means for its expression and diffusion ;

8. Stressing the importance of alternative non commercial circuits, such as film clubs and municipal cinemas in community centres ;

9. Welcoming the efforts made by UNESCO to assist member states in the field of the storage, conservation and restoration of films and calling attention to the need for further work to be carried out by Council of Europe member states in these fields and also that of documentation ;

10. Welcoming the setting-up of a "European Film Office" at present limited to two member states, as a clearing house for film information and hoping that all European states will be able to participate ;

11. Recalling its Recommendation 850 (1979) on European cultural co-operation and the need to co-ordinate the activities of European organisations working'in the cultural field ;

12. Welcoming Resolution No. III on cultural industries adopted by the European Ministers with responsibility for cultural affairs meeting in Athens in October 1978 ;

13. Appreciating the work of the Council for Cultural Co-operation in fields related to cinema, and expressing its support for the conference to be held in Strasbourg on the state's role vis--vis the culture industries,

14. Recommends that the Committee of Ministers instruct an appropriate committee to prepare, in consultation with the interested professional and other groups, recommendations to governments for the elaboration of new cinema policies covering the following particular points :

a. on the national level

i. practical measures for the stimulation of film production and the encouragement of new talent and exchanges of experience ;

ii. introduction of secondary school children to the cinema ;

iii. means of selective state aid for the promotion of quality work rather than automatic aid ;

iv. establishment of film clubs and of municipal cinemas in local community centres as an addition to the commercial circuits ;

v. taxes and fees imposed on cinema in relation to those imposed on other shows ;

vi. possibilities of co-operation, on equitable terms, between the cinema and television ;

vii. making the cinema more easily accessible to all, for instance by reductions in admission charges especially for the young and elderly ;

viii. organisation of the storage, conservation and restoration of films ;

ix. increasing cultural budgets to enable film policies to be properly implemented ;

x. ways of solving the problems facing the cinema in the context of audio-visual policy as a whole and with particular attention to technological developments.

b. on the European level

i. agreements between European producers on film financing and measures to encourage the co-ordination of films of European origin both in Europe and throughout the world ;

ii. development of the "European Film Office" for collecting, co-ordinating and circulating documentation on the cinema throughout Europe ;

iii. efforts to co-ordinate policies for the whole audio-visual field ;

iv. encouragement for the greater use of sub-titling rather than dubbing ;

v. study on the diversification of film distribution, with constant stress on the importance of the individuality of film-making in Europe.


[1]. Assembly debate on 11 May 1979 (8th Sitting) (see Doc. 4306, report of the Committee on Culture and Education).

Text adopted by the Assembly on 11 May 1979 (8th Sitting).