Created in 1988 by 40 directors, actors and producers, the European Film Academy (EFA) now unites more than 3,400 filmmakers across Europe with the common aims of celebrating the excellence and diversity of European cinema, attracting new audiences to European film and drawing attention to new European talent. Throughout the year, the EFA initiates and participates in a series of activities dealing with film politics as well as economic, artistic, and training aspects, culminating in the annual presentation of the European Film Awards.
Started in 2012 on the occasion of the EFA’s 25th anniversary, the EFA Young Audience Award (YAA) focuses on the young generation: across Europe, kids watch the same three European films at the same time. They get in touch with their fellow jury members in 35 other countries – for most of them the first time Europe becomes a real-life experience – and then vote for their favourite. The EFA YAA connects 12-14-year-olds from Iceland to Spain, from Portugal to Croatia. Since its inception, the program has grown from six participating cities to an enthusiasm that embraces partners across Europe and beyond. Because of this growing interest, the EFA now makes nominated films all year around available for young viewers on VOD.
EFA Productions, EFA’s in-house production company, will bring the YAA films Europe-wide on T-VoD platforms like iTunes, Google Play, Microsoft and Pantaflix, on the regional Balkan-platform Cinesquare, as well as on local platforms like Filmin or Univerciné. EFA Productions teamed up with Under The Milky Way for this initiative with the support of the Creative Europe MEDIA Sub-Programme of the EU. For the opening of the VoD initiative, the films of the last three editions, as well as the three films nominated in 2018, will all go online on May 7th one day after this year’s EFA YAA. Films nominated in earlier editions will then follow next year.
EFA recently joined ECFA as a new member. “From the very beginning on, the European Film Academy has always been European, both East and West, both EU and non-EU, and it makes perfect sense to join another truly European association, ECFA, because only if we are in touch can we learn from each other and only together can we try to make this continent the place we’d like for it to be,” says EFA Director Marion Döring… even if the risk of mixing up both names might continue to haunt us more than ever.