Digital Economy and Society Commissioner Mariya Gabriel said: “Cinema is one of the best ways to celebrate the diversity and richness of our European culture and reinforce links between people through their shared passion for film. The European Cinema Night is not only an initiative to pay tribute to our artists and their creativity; it’s also an example of how the EU can bring independent cinema closer to Europeans. We will continue to cherish and support our cultural and creative sectors, which are a key part of our economy and society, and a real asset for the future of Europe.”
Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Commissioner Tibor Navracsics said: “Very positive feedback on the first edition of the European Cinema Night shows how eager Europeans are to discover and better understand each other’s cultures through cinema. By attending these free local events, people can share emotions, perceptions, and ideas they get while watching a film also made accessible to other citizens from across the continent. Enabling people to enjoy more films from other European countries is part of the EU’s ongoing effort to build cohesive communities and a shared sense of belonging.”
Following the success of the first edition of the European Cinema Night, which took place in December 2018, the number of cinemas and cities participating has expanded: 54 cities will be involved, compared to 34 last year. The films have been chosen by local cinemas to allow them to adapt the programme to the interests and specifications of their diverse audiences. The programme features over 40 European films released in the past year and supported by MEDIA, including Les Misérables, The Truth, The Portrait of a Lady on Fire, and Il Traditore. After each of the screenings, viewers will have the opportunity to meet directors, producers, and critics to discuss the film. Representatives of the Commission will also be present to explain more about the MEDIA programme and its importance to support the European audiovisual landscape.
Since 1991, the European Commission has shaped Europe’s audiovisual sector, contributing to is competitiveness and to cultural diversity in Europe, through the MEDIA Programme. One of its most substantial actions is providing financial support to the distribution of European films outside their country of production. Every year, on average over 400 films are made available to audiences in another European country with MEDIA’s help.
The ‘European Cinema Night’ is part of an outreach strategy focusing on audiences and aiming to enhance knowledge of the MEDIA Programme and the topics it covers, while involving citizens. In addition, it helps to promote European audiovisual works across borders as well as cultural diversity. The initiative also complements the EUandME campaign, which uses a series of five short films focused on mobility, sustainability, skills and business, digital and rights to show how Europe makes a difference.