EU-funded film 'The King's Speech' makes a hit at the Oscar awards

EU-backed film 'The King's Speech' was awarded with four Oscars at last 83rd Academy Awards ceremony held in Hollywood on 27 February. The film, which was supported by EU MEDIA fund for cinema gained statuette for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and best original screenplay. Another MEDIA-backed film, 'In a Better World', directed by Denmark's Susanne Bier, was awarded with the best foreign language film.

The 83rd Oscar Academy Awards ceremony night has been a great occasion for European film industry, and very specially for two projects which received financial support from the MEDIA Programme for the European audiovisual sector. Tom Hooper's 'The King's Speech' was crowned with four Oscars, one for himself as Best Director, together with the Prize for the Best Picture, Best Actor award for Colin Firth and best original screenplay for David Seidler.

'The King's Speech' which was also present at the Berlin International Film Festival, was filmed with a budget quite under Hollywood standards accounting less than 11 million Euro. It also received 562.000 Euro in distribution support from the MEDIA Programme. This funding was aimed to encourage distribution outside the country where the film was made, which in this case was outside the UK.

Another EU funded film was also on the list of winners, 'In a Better World', from Susanne Bier, collected the statuette for best foreign language film. It is the third Danish film to win the best foreign language category after 'Babette's Feast' (1987) and 'Pelle the Conqueror' (1988). This film also received funding from MEDIA for distribution support accounting for 540.000 Euro.

In the race for the Oscar two other EU-backed films were also nominated, the Greek 'Dogtooth' from Yorgos Lanthimos, in the best foreign film category as well as the Franco-British production 'The Illusionist' from Sylvain Chomet, nominated as best animation category.

The amount of funding distributors receive from MEDIA is based on various criteria including previous ticket sales of non-national films. The funding is re-invested in future distribution costs and in helping to off-set risks. Films can also receive pre-production development funding from MEDIA.