Motion Picture Association CEO Charles Rivkin on Hollywood’s growing ties to Europe
Motion Picture Association CEO Charles Rivkin is at the Venice Film Festival with Stan McCoy, the organization’s head for Europe, to attend a panel on the economic impact of film and television production in the United States and Italy, organized by the Cinematographic Unit of Italian Culture. ministry.
They spoke to Variety about the increasingly close ties being woven between Hollywood and Europe.
In the last couple of years, due to the pandemic, we’ve seen a lot more American productions come to Europe. Is the MPA good with that?
Rivkin: There’s no doubt that there’s more production in Europe and that’s because Europe is a fantastic place to make films, and because we associate – and have historically associated – with creators Europeans since the beginning of our association.
But I wanted to add a point. Because we are film, television and streaming at the Motion Picture Association, the pandemic has, in some ways, accelerated the globalization of the industry. Which means when I was growing up, even though I spoke French – and I was the American Ambassador to France – I could rarely see French TV in the US, but now you have shows like “Lupin” on Netflix and “Call My Agent”, Israeli shows like “Fauda” playing in the US, and a Spanish series like “Money Heist” playing seamlessly in the US. Americans have always been opposed to subtitles ; Not anymore.
So I think we’ve always been an international industry, but the pandemic has really highlighted that fact in some ways, both in physical production and in content distribution. And this is a good thing.
The European AVMS directive, which aims to bring about new rules of engagement between producers and streaming giants, is in various stages of implementation across Europe. What is the MPA’s point of view?
McCoy: I think in general it is important to keep in mind that the SMAV directive is not rigid on these issues. This leaves plenty of room for EU Member States to pursue balanced policy choices. And for us, the important thing, on the whole, is to encourage the Member States to put in place flexible, proportionate and predictable rules because we are talking about the whole. If you want to stimulate investment, you need predictable rules and those rules must be reasonable and flexible. And a very important principle in European regulation is that the regulation must be proportionate to the objective. So generally speaking that is what we are looking for in all Member States. And that applies to investment requirements, but I think it also applies to issues like ownership of intellectual property.
How is the MPA’s ongoing anti-piracy effort going in Europe?
Rivkin: I’m really proud of the fact that several years ago the MPA created ACE, which is short for the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment. And ACE now has more than 40 companies around the world. The flagship companies in the United States are the six MPA members plus Amazon Prime, as well as Apple TV Plus. But on top of that, you now have Canal Plus in France. You have the German Constantin Film. You have the BBC. You have players in Latin America and Asia.
It is the strongest global force against piracy ever assembled. And what we do is different from what we’ve done in the past is we have very close relationships with law enforcement around the world. In America, we have what I would even call an integration with the Department of Homeland Security. But outside of the United States, I just received, on behalf of the Motion Picture Association, Spain’s National Police’s highest civilian honor for our anti-piracy work in Spain.
Likewise, we have established partnerships with the authorities, justice and police in Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom and in all our key markets.
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