EC - Creative Europe logo

Support for the Distribution of non-national European Films – the "Cinema Automatic" Scheme : Distribution Automatic Support 2016
Deadline: Apr 29, 2016  

 Audiovisual Services
 Cultural heritage
 Film Festivals
 Film and Media
 Creative Europe


This notice is based on the Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on establishing the Creative Europe Programme (2014-2020)1.

Within the specific objective of promoting transnational circulation, one of the priorities of the MEDIA Sub- programme is the following:

 - supporting theatrical distribution through transnational marketing, branding, distribution and exhibition of audiovisual works.

The MEDIA Sub-programme shall provide support for the following:

 - establishing systems of support for the distribution of non-national European films through theatrical distribution and on all other platforms as well as for international sales activities, in particular the subtitling, dubbing and audio-description of audiovisual works.



Applicants must be European cinema / theatrical distributors involved in commercial activity designed to bring to the attention of a wide audience a film for the purpose of exploitation in cinema theatres and whose activities contribute to the attainment of the above objectives.

Applicants must be established in one of the countries participating in the MEDIA Sub-programme and owned directly or by majority participation, by nationals from such countries.

The following countries are eligible as long as all conditions referred to in Article 8 of the Regulation establishing the Creative Europe Programme are met and the Commission has entered into negotitations with the country:

  • −  EU Member States;

  • −  Acceding countries, candidate countries and potential candidates benefiting from a pre-accession strategy, in accordance with the general principles and general terms and conditions for the participation of those countries in Union programmes established in the respective Framework Agreements, Association Council Decisions or similar agreements;

  • −  EFTA countries which are members of the EEA, in accordance with the provisions of the EEA Agreement;

  • −  The Swiss Confederation, on the basis of a bilateral agreement to be concluded with that country;

  • −  Countries covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy in accordance with the procedures established with those countries following the framework agreements providing for their participation in Union programmes.

The Programme shall also be open for bilateral or multilateral cooperation actions targeted at selected countries or regions on the basis of additional appropriations paid by, and specific arrangements to be agreed upon with, those countries or regions.

The Programme shall permit cooperation and joint actions with countries not participating in the Programme and with international organisations which are active in the cultural and creative sectors such as UNESCO, the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development or the World Intellectual Property Organisation on the basis of joint contributions for the realisation of the Programme's objectives.

Proposals from applicants in non EU countries may be selected, provided that, on the date of the award decision, agreements have been signed setting out the arrangements for the participation of those countries in the programme established by the Regulation referred to above.



The Cinema Automatic scheme works in two phases:

  1. The generation of a potential fund, proportional to the number of paying admission tickets sold during the reference period (2015) for non-national European films in countries participating in the MEDIA Sub-programme, up to a fixed ceiling per film and adjusted for each country.

  2. Reinvestment: the potential fund thus generated by each company must be reinvested in:
    Module 1. the co-production of non-national European films;
    Module 2. the acquisition of distribution rights, for example by means of minimum guarantees, of non- national European films; and/or in
    Module 3. editing costs (prints, dubbing and subtitling), promotion costs and publicity costs for non- national European films.

Reinvestment applications must be sent to the Agency by the deadlines set out in the table below.


Dates of the project

Deadline for presentation of the reinvestment project

Period of eligibility of costs

1.Co- production

The production contract will have to be signed at the earliest on 01/08/2016.

Within 3 months of the signature of the co-production contract and no later than 01/08/2017.

From 01/08/2016 until 01/02/2019.

2.Minimum guarantee

The distribution contract will have to be signed at the earliest on 01/08/2016.

Within 3 months of the signature of the contract/licence agreement (deal memo or long form agreement are both accepted) and no later than 01/08/2017.

From 01/08/2016 until 01/02/2019.

3.P&A costs

The first theatrical release of the film in the country may take place at the earliest on 01/08/2016 and at the latest on 01/08/2018.

At the latest on the day of the first release of the film in the country and no later than 01/08/2017.

From 01/02/2016 until 01/08/2019.

The maximum duration of the action is 30 months for modules 1 and 2, and 42 months for module 3.

The film must have been majority produced by a producer/producers established in countries participating in the MEDIA sub-programme and made with a significant participation by professionals from those countries. The film must be a recent work of fiction, animation or documentary of more than 60 minutes long and from a different country than the country of distribution.

The film must not consist in alternative content (operas, concerts, performances, etc.) or advertising, For the film to be eligible its first copyright must not have been established before 2012.



A potential Fund will be attributed to eligible European distribution companies on the basis of the admissions achieved by the European non-national films distributed by the applicant in the reference year (2015).

The potential Fund will be calculated based upon a fixed amount per eligible entry as detailed in the guidelines. Shall the sum of generated funds exceed 24M€ under this call, each potential fund will be reduced proportionally. This reduction will not have the effect of lowering the amount of the potential fund below the minimum availability thresholds indicated in the Guidelines.

The support will take the form of a potential Fund (the “Fund”) available to distributors for further investments in recent non-national European films.

The Fund can be reinvested:

  1. In the production of new non-national European films (i.e. films not yet completed at the date of application for reinvestment);

  2. In the meeting of Minimum Distribution Guarantees for recent non-national European films;

  3. In the meeting of distribution costs i.e. P&A (promotion and advertising) for recent non- national European films.



The total budget available is EUR 20.200.000.

The financial contribution of the Union cannot exceed 40%, 50% or 60% of the total eligible costs, depending on the nationality of the film and the territory of distribution (see Guidelines).



The deadlines for sending applications are:
Generation: 29/04/2016
Reinvestments: within the deadline set out for each module and by 01/08/2017

Proposals must be submitted no later than 12.00 noon (midday Brussels time) on the relevant deadline, using the online application form (eForm). No other method of submission of an application will be accepted.

Applicants shall ensure that all the documents requested and mentioned in the eForms are provided.



The full text of the guidelines together with the application forms can be found at the following Internet address:

Applications must comply with all the terms of the guidelines and be submitted on the eForms provided.

Public link:   Only for registered users

Looking for a partnership?
Have a look at
Ma Région Sud!