Distribution: Automatic Action 1 - Distributors



Call number:


The call was published on

19 Sep 2019

What does this funding support?

The aim of this scheme is to encourage and support the wider transnational distribution of recent European films by providing funds to distributors and sales agents, based upon their performance on the market, for further reinvestment in the acquisition, promotion and distribution (including online) of new non-national European films. 

The scheme works in two phases:

1. The generation of a potential fund which will be calculated according to the performance of the company on the European market during the reference period.

2. The implementation of the action: the potential fund generated by each company must be reinvested in:

Action 1 – Support to Distributors

  • the co-production of eligible non-national European films
  • the acquisition of distribution rights, for example by means of minimum guarantees, of eligible non‑national European films; and/or in
  • the release of eligible non-national European films.

Action 2 – Support to Sales Agents

  • minimum guarantees or advances paid for the international sales rights on eligible non-national European films
  • the promotion, marketing and advertising on the market of eligible non-national European films

The following overview is intended for guidance only. General information and specific guidelines can be found on the website of the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), which manages Creative Europe.

This page focuses specifically on Action 1. An overivew of Action 2 can be found here.

Take a look at the results from the previous call in 2018. 

Who is this funding for?

Action 1 of this scheme supports cinema / theatrical distributors involved in commercial activity designed to bring to the attention of a wide audience a film for the purpose of exploitation in cinema theatres. This shall be the principal activity of the company or division of the company. The applicant must:

  • be the holder of the theatrical distribution rights for the film in the country concerned
  • carry out the theatrical distribution of the film in the country (determines the release date, plans, controls and executes the distribution and promotion campaign)
  • pay directly the associated distribution costs
  • be registered and have theatrical distribution operations in the country for which a grant is requested.

Which films are eligible for support?

All films eligible for support must:

  • be a work of fiction (including animated films) or documentary (minimum duration 60 minutes)
  • have their first copyright established in 2016 at the earliest
  • not consist of alternative content (operas, concerts, performances, etc.) advertising, pornographic or racist material or advocate violence
  • have been majority produced by a producer/producers established in countries participating in the MEDIA sub-programme
  • be made with a significant participation by professionals from those countries (see item 6.2 of the guidelines for a definition).

How much can you apply for?

The total estimated budget for the co-financing of projects in 2020 is €27.85 million.

  • €24.35 million will be allocated to Action 1 - Support for Distributors
  • €3.5 million will be allocated to Action 2 - Support for Sales Agents

The financial contribution of the EU cannot exceed 40% of the total eligible costs of the project for Action 1 and 60% for Action 2.

See item 9 of the guidelines for an explanation of how the grant for each distributor is calculated.

How can you apply?

Creative Europe Desk UK offers free advice and support for Creative Europe applicants from the UK. Please get in touch if you are thinking of applying.

New applicants must first obtain a Participant Identification Code (PIC) by registering for an EU Login and entering company information into the Funding and Tenders Portal.

Once registered, you can download an e-Form and begin your application. More details can also be found in the Guide for Applicants document for this scheme.

Before the application can be submitted, distributors need to have their admissions certified before the submission date, this can be done by emailing Francesca on the Creative Europe Desk UK team.

What documents should be attached to the e-Form?

The following documents must be attached to the e-Form (templates available soon):

  • Annex 1: Declaration on the applicant's honour
  • Annex 2: Financing plan for the films to be qualified (click here to access a database of qualified films)
  • Annex 3: Certification of the admissions by the national correspondents designated by the Member States
  • Annex 4: Estimated budget form
  • Annex 5: Distribution strategy
  • Annex 6: CVs of the legal representative/Head of Distribution

How are applications assessed?

Applications from across Europe are assessed centrally by the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA).