There are 27 of them – as many as the European Union Member States – they are very young (at the most around 20 years old, none of them are over the age of 26), they share a passion for cinema and the surprise of being at a large international festival for the first time. They are the stars of the project “27 Times Cinema”, conceived by the Venice Days together with the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education and Europa Cinemas, the network of high quality cinemas which each year votes on the best European film in the Days’ programme.
The challenge, launched last year, is that of creating a new audience for cinema and festivals, by bringing together young people who have never met before and who will attend 11 days of an intensive training course together with great stars of world cinema.
Thanks to the collaboration with “Variety” and the participation of authors s uch as Frederick Wiseman, Robert Guédiguian, Shlomi Elkabetz, Susan Youssef, Andrea Segre, of journalists and critics and directors of international festivals, the 27 young people selected will be active participants in the Festival and the Days, creating short documentaries, feeding into a daily blog (on www.cineuropa.org), meeting Members of the European Parliament, participating to the presentation of the three finalists to the LUX Prize, which in November each year crowns the European film which most reflects today’s society.
Last year’s first edition of “27 Times Cinema” surpassed every expectation: the 27 participants, chosen in each country with the help of Europa Cinemas’ arthouse cinemas, founded their own Facebook page, they created a permanent bond by contributing to several festivals in their respective countries and often found a relevant professional opportunity following their experience in Venice. This year three of them will act as tutors in the project’s second edition. Participants include: a guitar teacher, a young television journalist, a young voluntary worker in Africa and a video artist. They all have a passion for film: they are not rabid cinephiles but rather regular cinema goers who enjoy exploring the vital themes of todays’ society through cinema.
“27 Times Cinema” is a programme of the Committee on Culture and Education of the European Parliament, which officially presents the three finalists of the LUX Prize, selected amongst European productions over the last year, from Venice 2010 to Cannes 2011: this year French film “Les neiges du Kilimadjaro” by Robert Guédiguian (in Venice together with the actress Ariane Ascaride), “Attenberg”, from Greece, by Athina Rachel Tsangari and Swedish film “Play” by Ruben Östlund. The LUX Prize will be awarded to one of these works on the back of a vote from Members of the European Parliament.