Fourteen films jointly funded by the EU media programme have been selected to appear at the 61st Cannes international film festival. The EU media programme funds European audiovisual projects, promoting the continent's cultural diversity through film.
EU-funded productions are no strangers to film festivals and over the years have been seen by millions of people. However, European film makers face major challenges both internationally and at home. On 19 May, during the sixth " Europe day" at Cannes, EU representatives sat down with European film ministers and producers to discuss how to stimulate more international cooperation in the audiovisual industry.
The MEDIA Mundus programme, announced at this occasion, has the aim to expand the circulation of content to other parts of the world and work more closely with film industries outside the EU. Such international partnerships will further aid the production and distribution of European films. "Today we must extend our borders and that is why we are proposing to enlarge the scope of the actual MEDIA Programme reserved for European film development and to create MEDIA Mundus in order to establish solid joint ventures between European professionals and other countries, notably third-world countries,” explained Commissioner Viviane Reding.
Last year's selection for the Cannes festival included eleven films funded by the EU MEDIA programme. And earlier this year a string of EU-backed films - such as The Counterfeiters and La Môme – were garlanded at the Oscars.
The 14 EU-funded films at Cannes 2008 are: Gomorra, Delta, La frontière de l'Aube, Le silence de Lorna, The Palermo Shooting, Sangue pazzo, Entre les murs, Tulpan, Eldorado, Elève libre, Salamandra, Les bureaux de Dieu, Better things and Home.
In his speech at the "Europe Day", president Barroso said:
"Our times need European cinema more than ever, as ambassador of European values and cultural heritage- result of centuries of creativity, migration and exchanges. Ambassador of everything embedded in the European spirit: openess, respect for the other and diversity.
I hope that the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008 will be also a year reach in prizes for the European cinema! The Cannes Festival is in itself a world of exchanges, an extraordinary opportunity to make known our films, directors and cinema professionals to the whole world."
Jean- Pierre and Luc Dardenne, directors of the film "Le silence de Lorna", are ambassadors of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue.