Movie Culture: How to Promote Love for Movies

August 16, 2010 – A special project promoted by the Committee on Culture and Education of the European Parliament in partnership with Venice Days and with the collaboration of Europa Cinemas and Cineuropa, 27 Times Cinema: LUX Prize to foster a European Audience is bringing to Venice 27 young film lovers from the 27 countries of the EU. Cultural partner to the project, which includes a series of discussions at the Filmmakers Villa, is Variety, which puts out a daily at the Venice Film Festival and whose journalists will moderate some discussions. Says Giorgio Gosetti, Delegate General of Venice Days: “Our partnership with Variety adds further prominence to the event, for the quality of the critics involved and the international dimension it gives our daily discussions.”

These chats will begin on September 2 with “Creativity, freedom and censorship: Jafar Panahi.” Subsequent discussions will look at “The violence next door”, “Which form will tomorrow’s cinema take?” “The American and European independent production models,” “Festivals and audiences,” “Memory and cultural roots,” “Debuting and establishing oneself,” “The cinema-document and cinema of the real” and “European creativity and identities.”

The participants of 27 Times Cinema, aged 18-26, include emerging independent filmmakers, festival workers, photographers, critics and bloggers. Most studied film at university, although five have just graduated from high school. Two sell tickets at a cinema, and many have already held various jobs to put themselves through school. They were chosen through a rigorous selection process: in each country, a Europa Cinemas movie theatre chose a list of finalists from among the top applicants who sent brief reviews of European films seen in the last year and an explanation of why they wanted to come to Venice.

For 11 days, these 13 young men and 14 young women will take part in a fast-paced series of events with directors, critics and film industry professionals in a multi-cultural “campus” that features daily discussions with numerous participants on the foremost themes evoked by the films of Venice Days and the entire Festival. The chats will be filmed and placed online live – courtesy of the European film portal Cineuropa (www.cineuropa.org, MEDIA Programme), as well as on the websites of Venice Days (www.venice-days.com) and Europa Cinemas (www.europa-cinemas.org).

“The idea is a simple one,” says Venice Days President Roberto Barzanti. “Yet the fact that this small and perhaps mad utopia – of recreating the genuine spirit of film festivals, eliciting the pleasure of the debate and ensuring that each film is a true discovery – has become reality is due to the passion of the president of the European Parliament’s Cultural Committee, Doris Pack, the determination of her collaborators and the commitment of the European circuit of arthouse cinemas. I am certain that Venice, the Festival and Venice Days will be an unforgettable experience for these young men and women.”

According to Doris Pack: “The challenge, of course, is one which the Parliament faces every day, not always successfully, namely to listen to and provide a voice for its citizens. The aim of this initiative is to give a voice to a new young audience, by promoting dialogue among the young men and women invited to attend, European film industry professionals and representatives of the European Parliament.”

27 Times Cinema is supported by the LUX Prize, the cinema award of the European Parliament, whose fourth edition will be held in Brussels in November. From the 10 European titles selected from last year’s film season by a jury of industry professionals, the three finalists are: Filippos Tsitos’ Plato’s Academy (Greece), Feo Aladag’s When We Leave (Germany) and Illegal (Belgium) by Olivier Masset-Depasse. The 2010 LUX Prize winner will be voted on by the 736 members of Parliament. The three LUX Prize finalists will screen as special events at Venice Days on September 10 and 11.

27 Times Cinema full list of participants includes: Markus Schinerl (Austria), Thomas Smolders (Belgium), Milena Paneva (Bulgaria), Michalis Michael (Cyprus), Christian Munks (Denmark), Moonika Olju (Estonia), Anna Törrönen (Finland), Hugo Barini (France), Hagen Reiners (Germany), Nick Shaw (Great Britain), Zoi Chaita (Greece), Kata Kovàcs (Hungary), Conall Ó Duibhir (Ireland), Isabella Weber (Italy), Dace Lea Briede (Latvia), Vytautas Katkus (Lithuania), Thorben Grosser (Luxembourg), Martina Portelli (Malta), Mirjam van der Veldt (Netherlands), Adrian Strzelczyk (Poland), Inês Daniel Bento (Portugal), Matous Sv?ràk (Czech Republic), Zuzana Novàkovà (Slovakia), Anca Munteanu (Romania), Urska Horjak (Slovenia), Eloy Domìnguez Serén (Spain), Fathia Mohidin (Sweden).