introducing Roberto Olla, director of EURIMAGES

Cinekid is very proud that the new EURIMAGES Co-Production Development Award, dedicated to children films and with a value of €20.000 in cash, will be given during the Junior Co-production Market at Cinekid for Professionals.

We would like to take this opportunity to introduce Roberto Olla, director of EURIMAGES.

Tell us about what Eurimages does, and how you became involved.

Established in 1989, Eurimages is a European co-production support fund. We provide financial support to quality feature films, animations and documentaries. In doing so, we encourage co-operation between professionals established in different European countries.

I was appointed as the executive director of the Fund in 2008 after six years as project manager for feature films. Trained as a lawyer, I obtained a PhD in Community law in Florence, then worked as a researcher at the European University Institute of Florence, a consultant for the European Commission on audiovisual matters and then as legal adviser for the MEDIA Programme.

Can you describe why EURIMAGES has decided to create a new award dedicated to children’s films?

In 2010, Eurimages joined forces with some of the most important co-production markets in Europe (Cinemart in Rotterdam, CineLink in Sarajevo and New Cinema Network in Rome) to support projects at development stage with potential to become European co-productions. We created a grant called the Eurimages Co-production Development Award.

Given its success, in 2013 Eurimages decided to extend its support to documentaries. We partnered up with one of the most innovative co-production markets for documentaries in Europe, CPH:DOX in Copenhagen.

We believe that children’s film is a genre in itself and plays an important role in the European film industry. For this reason, Eurimages decided to create a new co-production development award aimed at children’s films. Teaming up with Cinekid was a logical consequence, given its prestige.

EURIMAGES has already had success with its awards at other co-production markets Can you comment on this?

Since its establishment Eurimages has supported some 1500 European co-productions. However, a certain number of projects are made as “co-productions” for purely financial reasons.  We believe that the best projects are those in which producers and talents work together from the very early stage and team up for artistic reasons and not exclusively for financial purposes. The creation of the Eurimages development awards meets this very objective: supporting quality projects which are potential co-productions from the very early stages of development. So far, twelve projects have received the development award over  the past four years. We are happy to see that four of them have already applied and received Eurimages co-production support.

What do you believe is the strength of Cinekid for Professionals?

Cinekid is one of the world’s leading events focusing on children’s films. Nowadays, with kids consuming all kinds of audio-visual output from different devices, Cinekid plays a crucial role in strengthening this segment of the film industry by fostering quality and diversity. Eurimages is honoured to contribute to this objective through its partnership with Cinekid.

What’s your favourite children’s film/ TV show? Why?

I adored Pippi Calzelunghe (Pippi Långstrump). Pippi, Annika and Tommy were my very first mates. I used to meet them at 4 pm on TV right after school. I will never forget them.