“The European Union is dedicated to promoting cultural diversity, protecting cultural heritage and supporting the contribution of cultural and creative industries to boosting growth and jobs across the EU,” said Khaldoun Sinno, Chargé d’Affairs of the Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia during a panel discussion on the impact of festivals on economy, culture and society, organised under the auspices of Sarajevo Film Festival.
“The European Union places a very high emphasis on culture,” said Sinno, adding that the size of the cultural sector should not be underestimated.
“Culture contributes to 2.5% of the EU’s GDP and 4% of Europeans are employed in this sector, while, in comparison, 5% are employed in agriculture”..
The panel discussion was organised by Sarajevo Film Festival’s CineLink industry program which has become a gathering of South-East European film professionals and has played a crucial role in expanding cinematic co-production in the region. A comprehensive analysis on the impact of the festival in various sector showcased the relevance of the festival not only to the film professionals and the overall industry, but also to the economic and social development of the community.
Director of the French Institute in Bosnia, Emmanuel Mouriez, noted support provided by France to cultural production in the country.
“Sarajevo Film Festival has had a fundamental role in the reconstruction of the cinematographic industry,” Mouriez stated, adding that the signing of a cinematic co-production agreement between France and Bosnia will increase cooperation between the two countries and promote common cultural heritage.
Since 2013, Bosnia has been participating in Creative Europe, the biggest EU program aimed to support culture. To date, 98 projects have received funding in the total amount of around two million euros. Development of nine documentary and feature film projects has been supported, as well as the distribution of over 60 films.
Sarajevo Film Festival has been a beneficiary of the program Creative Europe, sub-program MEDIA for five years, which has enabled the festival to grow and develop, showcasing a high standard of professionalism and international recognition of the festival which has generated millions of direct and indirect income for the local economy and jobs for over a thousand people.