Berlinale 2020: European Union film festivals worldwide

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Berlinale 2020

The European Commission, the European Parliament, Cineuropa, Goethe-Institut and Institut français presented one year activity to support film festivals in the world

Delegations of the European Union in over 80 countries organise film festivals that successfully reach out to audiences all over the world, presenting Europe, its values and stories. To further enhance the quality of these Film Festivals, the European Union launched one year ago the initiative "Support to EU Film Festivals”. The results of these 12 months of activities were presented on 26 February during the 70th edition of the Berlinale.

Through this initiative, the European Commission - Service for Foreign Policy Instruments - and the implementing partners (Goethe-Institut, Institut Français and Cineuropa) offer a variety of professional services for the delegations of the European Union, including a curated repository of about 40 feature films, documentaries and short movies, securing worldwide non-commercial screening rights, including the production and distribution of DCPs and Blu-Rays. The films are subtitled in seven major world languages.

Opening speech by Sabine Verheyen, Member of the European Parliament, Chair Committee on Culture and Education stressed “The European Parliament and the Committee I have now the honour to chair have played a crucial role in cultivating the ground for lunching such important and valuable initiative.  Not just in the framework of our committee and plenary activities, but also with the LUX Prize. With the LUX prize, we seized immediately the potential of cinema to communicate about Europe and its stories, its values such as equality, freedom of expression, environment, democracy, its social model. We are very conscious about the power of European cinema as a mirror to express and reflect the state of our societies and communities, and we have been always at the first line to support the creativity of European Film productions.

This is what it is at stake also at this very moment, in the framework of the negotiation for the next Creative Europe. We want an ambitious budget to guarantee and preserve European storytellers, exhibitors, producers, festivals, distributors, all sectors in the film and cultural environment.

And we want to be ambitious to promote talents and stories also outside our continent: putting culture at the centre of EU Policies, inside Europe but also beyond our borders.”

The “Support to EU Film Festivals” initiative also allows financing of side events, such as Q&A sessions, workshops and master classes with film crews; networking events between European and local professionals; coproduction meetings; as well as film education activities involving schools and teachers, cooperation and pitching trainings with local film schools and universities, and audience awards.

The  other speakers presenting the initiative were Irina Sofletea, Media Support Programmes, European Commission, Laura Fiore, Programme Manager, Service for Foreign Policy Instruments, European Commission, Johannes Ebert, Secretary-General, Goethe-Institut, Erol Ok, Director General, Institut français and Valerio Caruso, director of Cineuropa.