At 8pm on 17 November, the Film Europe Media Company started regular broadcasting of the first European film channel, Film Europe Channel. It is the first paid television channel presenting exclusively European cinema from almost all 50 countries in greater Europe.
This unique pilot project is being implemented in Slovakia and the Czech Republic with plans to expand to other countries. Film Europe channel will show annually up to 500 European films in their original version with subtitles 24 hours a day, seven days a week without advertisements. It will broadcast in SD via satellite (Astra 23.5) with an HD option using fibre-optic cable.
The channel will enter the television market as the only one of its kind in the world. “We will offer viewers film productions not only from the traditionally strong countries like Great Britain, France, Italy, Poland and Russia, but also from smaller countries, such as Portugal, Denmark, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Austria and even Lichtenstein, the latter being the co-producer of the film Paris je t’aime, which we aired symbolically yesterday as the very first film on our programming schedule.
“It sounds unbelievable, but you won’t find a television channel that provides a balanced presentation of European films from all the countries of Europe anywhere else”, said Ivan Hronec, Founder and CEO of Film Europe Media Company.
In Slovakia and the Czech Republic, project partners are the satellite platform Skylink (M7 Group brand) and Slovak Telecom, which will be exclusive partner in the beginning for IPTV. Slovak Telecom will include the television channel as part of its satellite package. At the same time, it is ready to include films from Film Europe’s film distribution in its Magio package, which is Slovak Telekom’s VOD service.
Film Europe Channel offers viewers an overview of all genres and film festival winners, as well as the best audience favourites: from Lars von Trier to Bridget Jones’s Diary, from Fellini to the latest winners of the Cannes and Venice film festivals. It will not be about individual festivals, or a subjective selection by programming staff, but rather an attractive choice for viewers that is full of films they won’t find on other channels.
The channel is the result of efforts by a team of top experts with years of television experience. In six years of cooperation, they put into operation more than 10 television channels, which are broadcasting today in several European countries.
“Film Europe Channel is a private undertaking. We are building it without contributions from national ministries of culture or Brussels. We want to show that the project has a strong commercial foundation and only then will we take on partners. This is the path that culture today must take – responsible projects that have a healthy financial approach while at the same time bringing cultural and artistic value to audiences”, said Ivan Hronec, briefly summarizing the idea behind the project.