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CEPI to C21: The AV sector is vital to the EU and in this COVID-19 crisis it needs immediate support

In an interview with Continental Drift, Elena Lai provides an overview into how the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions put on economic activity to combat the spread of the virus have affected European independent producers.


As Secretary General of CEPI, Elena has been a leading force in mobilising the European AV sector to rally against the virus and engaging with leaders at the EU and national level to request targeted support measures.


Find the interview below.


How many audio-visual workers in Europe have been put out of work by the coronavirus? Intense work has been undertaken by CEPI in conjunction with other key organisations in Europe and internationally to examine and address this issue.

As part of our chairmanship in the European Audiovisual Observatory, the European body dedicated to the gathering of data and intelligence for the AV sector, we are all working hand-in-hand to map this unprecedented situation, together with audiovisual and film funding agencies and the crucial support of the European Commission Media Unit, which has rightly created a Covid-19 task force dedicated to our sector.

We are human beings – people who have to pay rents, people who might not have a contract yet signed because of the very specific business cycle in film and TV, and people who cannot ask for loans, as producers cannot use IP as collateral. So these days have shown even more the important relationships between cast and crew. We are all linked to each other.

To better grasp what is affecting the production segment at CEPI, we have started a thorough mapping exercise of our national associations of independent producers, which will provide more specific data, such as loss of revenues for productions, and especially for SMEs [small and medium-sized enterprises].

We are estimating that among more than 8,000 companies we represent, at least 50% of them will be heavily impacted by this crisis. Some of our smallest companies, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe, have already lost 75% of their revenue.


To read the interview in full click here.

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