A total of 15 cities in 13 Member States have participated in ‘A Season of Classic Films’ organised for the first time in 2019 as a follow-up on the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage and in the context of the #Digital4Culture strategy. This going-local initiative, which kicked off in June in Bologna, gathered more than 15.000 people across Europe and contributed to building communities around culture, film and heritage.
Creative Europe and the local organisers have successfully closed the season, which was praised by citizens as well as film and cultural heritage professionals for being such a unique and engaging initiative. Tickets sold out well in advance, venues having to open extra rooms to be able to fit everyone, or images such a completely packed Aristotelous Square in Thessaloniki witnessed that the success of this project exceeded all the expectations.
Given this great reception and enthusiasm from the public, together with the smooth cooperation with our local partners, the European Commission is already looking at the possibility of organising a second edition next year.
As part of this project, Creative Europe has also funded the restoration and digitalisation of several films to ensure that European film heritage is preserved and transmitted to future generations.
In particular, six projects linked to films have been selected:
- A collection of biograph reels showing different locations in Europe at the end of 19th century: this project was submitted by Dutch EYE and will received €150 000 of funding.
- ‘Romania’s Independence War’ from 1919: the film was suggested by the Romania’s National Film Archive and will received the support of €31 000.
- ‘Vampyr’ from 1931: selected by the Danish and German Cinematheques, it will received the support of €84 000.
- ‘Un Chien Andalou’ from 1929: the Spanish and French Cinematheques gathered to submit this classic by Luis Buñuel, which will be restored with the support of €35 000.
- ‘Don’t Come Back by the Same Way’ from 1965: this Yugoslavian film was suggested by the Slovenian Cinematheque and will received €72 000.
- ‘I Clowns’: suggested by Cineteca di Bologna, the film by Federico Fellini will be restored with €100 000 of funding support.
- ‘Blarney’ from 1938: the film was suggested by the Irish Film Institute and will be supported with €91 000.
These films will be further screened in the course of 2020.
Aware that the task of restoration remains one of the greatest challenges of the European Film Heritage Institutes, Creative Europe will continue to cooperate with the European Film Heritage Institutes in promoting film heritage and bringing it closer to a growing audience.
'A Season of Classic Films' is part of the European Commission’s “going local” communication campaign, which shows citizens how EU initiatives are linked to their lives – in this case to the emotions they feel with films – and how by attending a locally-grounded event they can be part of a globally-connected experience across Europe.