Mediating Cultural Encounters through European Screens
This project is founded on the premise that our cultural encounters with, and our experience of, other Europeans are heavily mediated through cinema and television.
Our understanding of Europe and our sense of Europeanness is achieved partly through encountering representations of other Europeans on screen. The role of culture and the creative industries is now seen as central to the European project and to EU cultural and media policies.
The broad objectives of the project were to discover:
- the extent of co-production and transnational distribution of films and television drama within Europe; the degree to which this is enabled or thwarted by EU and national cultural and media policies; and the impact of new modes of dissemination, especially new digital platforms
- how widely screen fictions produced by, set in or about particular European countries are watched in other European countries
- how European others are represented in different media, different types of production and different genres, focusing on narrative, theme, character and aesthetic presentation
- whether cultural and media policies encourage stories about cultural exchange and diversity
- how different European audiences respond to representations of European others, the role films and television drama play in negotiating a sense of European identity and of what it means to be European, and the extent to which this is about ‘unity in diversity’
how we can best contribute to the development of European, national and sub-national cultural and media policy initiatives that might improve co-production and cross-border distribution in the digital era, creating added value for European citizens and businesses alike.
There are three research teams contributing to the MeCETES project, each with its own focus:
- University of York, United Kingdom, working on European cinema
- University of Copenhagen, Denmark, working on European television drama
- Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium, working on European audio-visual policy
The project determined which European films and television drama travel well within Europe; how they represent other European nations, cultures and identities; and how audiences engage with such screen fictions. The researchers examined the funding, production, distribution, dissemination, reception and policy circumstances that enable European film and television dramas to be made and to circulate, and analysed detailed national case studies for the period 2005–2015.