MPA CEO Charles Rivkin on Hollywood’s strong ties to Europe

Charles Rivkin, CEO of the Motion Picture Association, is with Stan McCoy, Director of the Org for Europe, at the Venice Film Festival to attend a panel on the economic impact of film and television production in the US and Italy, hosted by the Film Department of Italian Culture is organized Ministry.

They agreed diversity about the ever-closer ties between Hollywood and Europe.

In recent years, many more US productions have come to Europe due to the pandemic. Does the MPA agree?

Rivkins: There is no question that there is more production in Europe and that is because Europe is a fantastic place to make films and because we have been working with European creators since the beginning of our association – and always have.

But I wanted to add a point. In some ways, as we are film, television and streaming at the Motion Picture Association, the pandemic has accelerated the global nature of the industry. That is, growing up, although I spoke French – and I was the US Ambassador to France – I could rarely watch French television in the United States. But now there are shows like Lupine on Netflix and Call My Agent, Israeli shows like Fauda running in the United States, and a series from Spain like Money Heist running seamlessly in the United States . Americans have always hated closed captioning; no longer.

So I think we’ve always been an international industry, but the pandemic has really shed some light on that fact, both in physical production and content distribution. And that’s good.

The European AVMSD, which aims to lead to new rules for cooperation between producers and streaming giants, is in various stages of implementation across Europe. What is the opinion of the MPA?

McCoy: I think that by and large it is important to keep in mind that the AVMSD is not rigid on these issues. It gives the individual EU member states a lot of leeway to make balanced political decisions. And for us, broadly speaking, it’s important to encourage Member States to put in place rules that are flexible, proportionate and predictable, because we’re talking about the big picture. If you want to drive investment, you need predictable rules, and those rules need to be sensible and flexible. And a very important principle in European regulation is that regulation must be proportionate to the objective. Broadly speaking, we are looking for it in all Member States. And it applies to investment needs, but I think it also applies to issues like intellectual property ownership.

How are the MPA’s ongoing anti-piracy efforts in Europe faring?
Rivkins: I’m really proud that a few years ago the MPA created ACE, short for Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment. And ACE now has more than 40 companies from all over the world. Anchor companies in the US are the six MPA members plus Amazon Prime and Apple TV Plus. But on top of that you now have Canal Plus in France. You have Germany’s Constantin Film. You have the BBC. They have players in Latin America and in Asia.

It is the strongest global anti-piracy force ever assembled. And what we’re doing differently than in the past is that we have very close relationships with law enforcement agencies around the world. In America we even have what I would call an embedding in the Department of Homeland Security. But outside the US, I have just received the highest civilian honor from the Spanish National Police on behalf of the Motion Picture Association for our work in the fight against piracy in Spain.

Similarly, we work with the authorities, judiciary and police in Italy, Germany, the UK and all our key markets. MPA CEO Charles Rivkin on Hollywood’s strong ties to Europe

Charles Jones

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