International Cultural Panel
The International Cultural Panel was established in 2010 as a central means to strengthening and coordinating cultural exchange. The panel is an overall binding collaboration forum with representatives from three ministries (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Culture, and Ministry of Business and Growth) and the central arts and culture players described above. The Panel is presided by the Ministry of Culture.
In 2011, the International Cultural Panel has published an Action plan 2011-2013 with a thematically focus on Sustainable development, Children and young people and with geographical focus on the BRIKS countries and countries of the Middle East. The Panel has appointed 3 working groups, who have been asked to formulate sub-strategies and suggest concrete cross-sectoral projects.
The International Cultural Panel adheres to nine principles in the international cultural work. The same counts for the members in their institutional practise regarding international exchange:
- Artistic quality is the basis for choosing the art and artists who are presented internationally.
- Support for artists and productions abroas presuppose relevant interest and demand in the recipient country as well as active competent foreign partners.
- A concentrated effort - we cannot affort to participate everywhere - in places where great potential demand for Danish artists and Danish cultural products.
- Reciprocity: Both the Danish and the foreign partners must be able to benefit from the collaboration, based on dialogue and mutual interest.
- The network between cultural institutions and organs that support arts both in Denmark and abroad must be strengthened as much as possible.
- Possibility of flexible handling of quality invitations that may emerge at short notice.
- Easy and smooth access to information on both support schemes and Danish cultural life.
- Grant recipients are expected to consider, either on their own or with assistance from others, any marketing needs, ensuring maximum, professional visibility in the recipient coutnry.
- Maintenance of established contacts; newly aroused interest must be welcomed.
The possibility of creating something completely new with input from and cooperation between different cultures and combining different traditions of cultural expressions is central to the work of the International Cultural Panel and the Danish cultural policy of international cultural exchange.
Danish Film Policy as an Example
Films and other audiovisual expressions contain a great potential for the dissemination of art and culture across the world. As artistic works they are born to travel and meet new audiences in cinemas, on television or via digital media. From a Danish perspective - being a small country and a modest language area - films and audiovisual works are regarded as very important tools for the intercultural dialogue. The Danish film policy has been shaped through decades, but for the last almost 20 years Danish film has been given the highest priority.
In the context of the UNESCO Convention the following strategic focus areas are given special attention:
- Distribution and promotion of Danish film abroad
- International co-production
- Intercultural dialogue and Media Literacy
Distribution and promotion of Danish film abroad
For the last 15 years the market share of Danish film has been more than 25% of all tickets sold domestically in a market place of more than 200 films per year of which 10-12% are Danish. The success, Danish film has experienced at hom, has to a large extend influenced the market position of Danish films abroad. In proportion to the small size of Denmark it is noteworthy that approx 40% of all Danish films are distributed outside of Denmark, and that approx 30% of all tickets of all tickets sales for Danish films takes place abroad. The figures indicate that Denmark as a film nation is in the same league as the big film nations in Europe such as France, the United Kingdom and Germany.
In the same momentum Danish film has achieved a unique international position at the leading film festival in Berlin, Cannes, Venice, Sundance and Toronto. The international position of Danish film and the priority film is given in Denmark as a global medium international position and the priority Danish film is given as a global medium are confirmed by the fact that a lot of Danish directors, photographers, actors and production companies experience the opportunity to participate in the production of foreign films.
Reaching out is not only a question of ticket sales and festival prizes. In the same period the Danish audiovisual production sector has strengthened the effort to create and producte high quality films with co-production sector partners from all over the world. Approximately half of all Danish films are in fact co-productions with foreign partners and to a large extend the Danish film sector participates in the artistic and technical creation of foreign productions.
Nevertheless it is a great challenge to finance and produce films internationally. For that reason, the Danish Film Institute has established a new office for co-production aimed at counseling and improving the ties between Danish and foreign production companies. As part of the strategy this new initiatives will focus on cross border training and creative development as well as cultural exchange as a tool for the developement of more binding cooperation.
Intercultural dialogue and Media Literacy
Reaching out and bringing the world to Denmark is deeply rooted in the Danish film policy. The Danish audience has a great opportunity to explore the world outside through foreign films, which would never reach Denmark without public support; and through the Danish Film Institute's festival program which promotes and celebrates fiction and documentary films from Denmark and abroad.
Media Literacy is a cornerstone in intercultural dialogue activities. Accompanied by the keywords experience, understand and create the Danish Film Institute's department for Children and Youth follows a broadly-based strategy for film entertainment, education and ceation in the Danish schools and libraries. More than 150,000 pupils participate every year in film exhibition programs selected for and targeted at primary and secondary schools, the Film Institute's cinematheque has special programs for schools and pre-school children, and together with the educational sector the Institute has developed continuous training programs for teachers and librarians. All these activities include foreign as well as Danish films. Besides, the Institutes Film-Y studio is travelling around Denmark and abroad to give children and young people opportunity to play and learn the art of filmmaking.
As part of the Media Literacy activities the Media Council for Children and Young People serves as the EU awareness center within the framework of the EU Safer Internet Program. In the context we work for the improvement of children and young people's digital capabilities and well-being especially with regards to gaming, social networking sites, digital rights and the different threats the digital world represents to children and youth. Connecting generations and thereby improving the dialogue on opportunities and threats between young people and their parents and teachers is at the heart of the agenda, which is carried out together with the International Safer Internet network.
Finally, the Danish Film Institute has a focus on the improvement of film and media literacy activities abroad. Together with the Danish Center for Culture and Development (DCCD) the Institute has several projects especially in Africa aimed at film literacy for children and youth.