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European cinema reflects the multiple realities of Europe and, at the same time, influences in a decisive manner the creation of its imaginaries. This is why we consider than cinema can’t be studied independently from its socio-political context and the agents that influence its production. ‘Panorama’ aims to map these vectors; it aims to be a window onto all the factors that influence European cinema.
Firstly we aim to offer a panoramic view onto all those centres which, like the OCEC, analyse the nature of contemporary European cinema, be it from an academic perspective (research groups, universities, etc.), from cultural politics (museums or public consultation bodies), or from relevant information hubs. All of them are projects studying film production from the viewpoint of aesthetics or communication theory, and which lead to key public outcomes: film seasons and exhibitions, conferences or debates, etc. Given that it lacks an industrial structure comparable to Hollywood, European cinema depends to a great extent on its relationship to research centres and cultural institutions, which are essential factors to consider in any serious study of contemporary European cinema.
Secondly, festivals are one of the most important windows to contemporary European production. The decisions made by their directors are key in mapping and exposing European production. Again, the economic and industrial difficulties of European cinema need new windows that improve traditional channels, and film festivals often assume this challenge by introducing programming criteria based on form (cinema noir, fantastic cinema...) or thematic concerns (politics, human rights,...). A list of the main European festivals is paramount to the study of the movements of the babel of European film production.
Another important vector in European production is bibliographic production – from PhD dissertations to monographs or periodicals. As we have already mentioned, we consider research as a fundamental agent in the production and distribution of films. All these references are fundamental to the academic research that the OCEC undertakes, and its compilation obeys to the observation of the dynamics of European cinema as much as the study of the state of the art from an academic perspective.
National auio-visual policies also play a key role in European production as they dictate how funding and support are distributed. The study of the effect of these policies on channels of production, distribution and exhibition is a necessary complement to their aesthetic analysis. To catalogue European films premiered in Spain is the first step towards a critical analysis mapping the distribution market, its strengths and its lacks; on the other hand, such catalogue is also important in the study of Spanish distribution in relation to other countries. The research on the distribution fluxes of contemporary television is also a key component of this study. Altogether, these strands of research draw up the most important dynamics of the audio-visual sector in Europe.
The study of all these factors should enable the OCEC to map the most important aesthetic tendencies which, studied country by country, offer a new and plural imaginary of the most recent European cinema. A panorama here presented in the form of an electronic resource conceived for researchers and scholars mapping the most recent audio-visual European production.