Thank you Director Gubitosi for this invitation. And thank you to the entire Giffoni community for welcoming me.

I am extremely happy and proud to be with you today.

Not only because Giffoni is one of the most renowned Film Festivals in the world that has welcomed some of the most prestigious persons involved in cinema such as Carlo Rambaldi, Michelangelo Antonioni or Francois Truffaut.

But more importantly, because through its focus on kids and young people as key players of a multifaceted world, it is unique.

I want to congratulate you Director Gubitosi, and your entire team, for the incredible work carried out since the creation of the Festival, 50 years ago.

As Francois Truffaut said: ‘Of all film festivals, Giffoni is the most necessary’. 

I could not agree more.

Even more as European Commissioner responsible for Research, Innovation, Culture, Education and Youth.

All these topics are under my remit, but also extremely dear to my heart.

It is the first time that Research and Innovation, on one side, and Education, Culture and Youth on the other, are together.

I see this as a great opportunity. And I think that the discussion today will highlight the strong interaction between the two, especially in a sector like Cinema.

Therefore, I want to thank you once more for your kind invitation.

I believe that youth film festivals are important in that they pass the richness of European cinema heritage on new generations and make them – you - familiar with cinematic language.

We need to make sure young people like yourselves are aware of the European audio-visual cultural model.

I will have the chance to talk a bit more about it later, but being responsible for culture and education, I want to make sure that the cultural and creative sectors are properly supported through our programmes like Creative Europe.

I thank you once again for this invitation and really look forward to our exchange with the Giffoners.