The opening day of Medaweek Barcelona, the week of the Mediterranean economic leaders, has finally arrived. In this 2021, Medaweek Barcelona will present itself to the public with the slogan “A common future” and will dedicate an unprecedented space to a sector that is becoming increasingly strategic for the revival of regional economies in the post-pandemic context: the creative, cultural and audiovisual industries.
The conference dedicated to this sector, in presence and online, is scheduled this afternoon, Wednesday, November 17, at 15.00, and will be moderated by Caterina Passariello, Project Manager of Malta Business.
The COVID-19 outbreak and the containment measures have led to closure of cinema theatres, standstill of productions and cancellation of audio-visual festivals. The impact on the economy and employment has been very severe and has affected the entire value chain of the audiovisual industry, from the creation of films and audiovisual works to their distribution. Even TV broadcasters, despite beating viewing records, have seen their advertising revenues decreasing due to the disruption of economic activities.
Cinemas, festivals, producers, distributors, and creators are struggling to survive, risking bankruptcies and layoffs, especially for the many self-employed and freelancers of the sector. The whole industry of these small businesses that sustain our cultural diversity is at stake.
The audiovisual sector is a key factor in the promotion of cultural diversity at local and international levels. Mediterranean audiovisual products currently suffer from a chronic lack of media coverage, with the general public of course, but above all with the professional public that could buy, distribute, broadcast and co-produce the programmes and films, which is encouraging the emergence and the networking of professional associations.
At the time of the transition towards a mixed system in the audiovisual sector and in view of the creation of a common regional market and of a Euro-Mediterranean market, the role professional associations are able to play is becoming fundamental.
The audiovisual sector, when seen from the angle of its production, is also traditionally an area of artistic collaboration and collective creativity combining sound, image and written material, and where, on a set, lighting technicians, set designers and make-up artists, for example, collaborate in the production of a film for television or the big screen. It is in essence an instrument of dialogue and communication that reaches beyond national and linguistic borders.
Furthermore, the rapid growth of digital technology and the convergence of media have already led to obvious radical changes in our daily lives but, above all, they provide a unique opportunity to develop exchanges.
The Mediterranean is an emerging region seeking international recognition. In this context, and given the post-COVID-19 unprecedented challenges, ASCAME takes the initiative to organise the ‘Mediterranean Creative Economy Forum’ in order to support the sector. The engagement of all stakeholders in the new strategy is key to its success and they need to play an active role. This forum will bring together the main Euro-Mediterranean radio and television stations, audiovisual and cultural operators, and institutional representatives of the region.
Guest speakers at the forum will include:
Víctor Francos Díaz | General Secretary Ministry of Culture and Sports, Spanish government
Jens Nymand Christensen| former Deputy Director General, European Commission
Miquel Rutllant | President, Clúster Audiovisual de Catalunya
María Carmen Fernández| Innovation and New Business Manager, MEDIAPRO Group
Rasmus Wiinstedt Tscherning | Founder and CEO, Creative Business Network (CBN)
Rym Ayadi| President and Founder, Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association (EMEA)
Sir Martin Sorrell| Executive Chairman, S4 Capital
Alia Khan| Founder & Chairwoman, Islamic Fashion and Design Council
Mohamed Zoghlami|Co-fondateur, d’Afric’Up et d’Africa in Colors
For more information and to discover all the thematic fora, check the event’s programme here.