The LUMIERE database is supposed to be neither an official
record of European film production nor a database of films:
Organization for Standardization (ISO) is currently working on
an international system for the identification of cinematographic
and audiovisual works. This is a much more ambitious project than
the LUMIERE database, which aims primarily to make the market more
Numerous film databases are already available either in printed
form or on the Internet. The IMDB
(Internet Movie Database) is an excellent example of an Internet film
database and was indispensable for the creation of the LUMIERE database.
It would be impossible to identify a film quickly without access to
such an efficient database. The IMDB is certainly not infallible,
but we believe it is good enough to be considered the most practical
tool for rapid film identification.
The LUMIERE database uses five criteria for the identification
original title: we generally use the
title suggested by the IMDB.
translation of the title: we enter systematically into
the database alternative language versions of the original title together
with a two-letter ISO code that indicates the language used. The LUMIERE
software allows us to store and manage special characters associated
with languages such as Czech, Swedish and Turkish. We also add alternative
versions of the title that may be useful for the identification of
country of origin of the film: defining the nationality
of a film is a complex task. There are no widely accepted international
or even European definitions of the criteria to be used to determine
the country of origin of a film. This is both a legal and a statistical
problem. It is enlightening to compare the lists provided by the different
national sources that we use: countries involved in a joint production
are not always indicated (even when the main coproducer is from another
country). Different national records - and the statistics on which
they are based - can show the same film as having a whole range of
nationalities. In a general pan-European database such as LUMIERE,
we have had to adopt a pragmatic approach. We try to list all coproducing
countries in the database in a standard way, and we attempt to classify
them in order of importance (whether known or assumed), with the country
having provided the majority financial investment in the production
in first place.
Identification of producing countries
in the LUMIERE database. NEW March 2006.
Users of the LUMIERE database will notice that a certain number of
films now show a new marker in the 'Producing Country' field alongside
the two-letter ISO code identifying the country or countries involved
in the production. This marker - 'inc' - is a contraction
of 'incoming investment'. An 'incoming investment'
film is defined as one for which the main producer is a company established
in a one country but under the ownership and/or control of a company
registered in another country.
Thus a film categorised as GB inc / US
is a film produced in the United Kingdom (GB) where the main producer
is a United Kingdom-registered company which may be wholly or partially
owned or controlled by a US company. A FR inc / US
film is a work produced in France (FR) where the main producer is
French-registered company wholly or partially owned or controlled
by a US company. A film categorised as US / GB inc
is a work produced entirely or partly in the United Kingdom where
the main producer is a US-registered company acting through a UK-registered
company established specifically for the production of the work.
Examples of such films are:
|Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
GB inc / US
|Un long dimanche de fiançailles
(A Very Long Engagement)
FR inc / US
|Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
US / GB inc
As a result of the introduction of this new marker, we have re-classified
a number of films. In a small number of cases we have also modified
the country of origin (i.e. the first country figuring in the list of
producing countries) of a film. This is the case for the Harry Potter
series, previously categorised as US / GB, which have now become GB
inc / US.
International co-productions not characterised as 'incoming investment'
films will continue to be identified by the ISO codes of the countries
involved as explained above. In principle the country listed in first
position in the list is that which has been identified, as far as is
possible, as the source of the majority of the financial investment
in the film, and is thus, for the purposes of Observatory analysis,
considered as the country-of-origin of the film.
As the European Audiovisual Observatory does not have access to detailed
production information on films, we are dependent on a number of different
sources for information that allows us to identify correctly producing
countries and their relative importance. We cannot claim to have got
our identification right in every case and we occasionally revise our
attribution when further information becomes available.
For films that have received production assistance from the Council
of Europe's Eurimages
fund, we have used the order indicated in the Eurimages catalogue,
which contains information on each film. We also use the information
on co-production shares published by both the French CNC and the Spanish
- year of production: we usually use the date suggested
by the IMDB.
- name of director(s): we generally use the same name(s)
as the IMDB.
Finding the original title
The lists of films we use do not always give the correct original title
of a film. Ideally, the original title is indicated alongside the title
in the language of the country where it is distributed. However, it
usually only appears in the language of the country concerned. It is
therefore necessary to find the original title by referring back to
other criteria provided (name of director, actors, country and date
of production, etc). The Internet is very useful for this purpose and
provides a much quicker alternative to search procedures that would
otherwise be extremely tedious. Several national databases, which cover
films distributed in the country as well as those actually produced
there, usually contain original titles. Failing these, it is normally
sufficient to use an Internet search engine to find the website of a
distributor, cinema, video producer, magazine or newspaper which indicates
the correct original title.
Some film titles can lead to confusion. For example, Michael Radford's
The Postman (ll Postino) should not be confused with Kevin Costner's
The Postman. The extra details provided by our sources are usually enough
to show which film is meant. In a few instances where a number of different
films bear the same title, we were unable to identify a film if the
lists we used did not indicate the date of production, nationality,
distributor, actors, etc.
Below are some useful film databases that can be used to identify films,
particularly the original title.