Prix UIP

Prix UIP seeking new sponsor

Bettina Schwarz, European Film Academy Prix UIP co-ordinator, confirmed on 26 January that the institution was actively seeking a new head sponsor in 2009, following the withdrawal of UIP support. The 2007 downscale in UIP’s global activities saw the distributor cede operational control back to Universal and Paramount in many of its key territories.

'What we would love to have is to keep the system, with just a new title sponsor, because we established quite a successful scheme over the past years,' commented Schwarz.

The Prix UIP, awarded for the best European short film of up to 15 minutes, is presented at 14 European film festivals throughout the year and an overall winner is announced at the European Film Awards in December. The Prix UIP at the 37th IFFR will be announced Monday 28 January.

Schwarz was tight-lipped about the value of the sponsorship she is looking to secure but the package would have to cover the cash prize of €2000 at all fourteen events, the overall prize of €10,000, the costs incurred in mailing all 1800 voting EFA members the dvd of the shorts, and a networking event for all nominees at the Flanders Film Festival in October. Further spending includes the production of two 35mm prints shipped to 20 festivals throughout the following year.

Asked whether she was confident about securing the sponsorship in time for 2009, Schwarz seemed reasonably upbeat: 'We have to be. We are keeping our fingers crossed. We’ll see, and we will inform the film industry as soon as we know more.' NC