European Film Festival Brings Peace Through Cinema

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The European Film Festival is launching next week in over two dozen cities across Europe. With the aim of building a shared international cultural experience, the European Film Festival programmes a fantastic array of international independent films.

You get students in Belgrade watching a documentary about skateboarders in Zagreb, and they're going to come away feeling 'hey, those Croat kids are just like us'. You're not going to get that message through if you use the channel to broadcast some anti-Serbian propaganda. That's just going to be met with a wall of hostility and defensiveness

EUROPEAN FILM FESTIVAL BEGINS 2008 SCREENINGS. The fourth annual European Film Festival launches next week, opening across Europe from Stockholm to Athens and from Moscow to London. Boasting a stunning selection of festival winners and world premiers from over 20 countries, the European Film Festival brings inspirational independent films to audiences all over Europe.

The European Film Festival was established to utilize the power of film to further the goal of inter-cultural understanding among European nations and to assist in the building of a shared artistic experience.

The 2008 line-up includes a range of films from the Palme D'Or winning MEGATRON from Romania to world premiers for documentaries from Scandinavia and includes inspirational independent films from as far afield as North America and East Asia.

Using the infrastructure of university film societies and local film clubs to bring quality independent cinema to the widest possible European audience, the European Film Festival screens over 200 films in more than 30 locations all over Europe during October and November. The vast majority of European Film Festival audiences are students watching the festival selections at their univeristy student cinema.

PEACE THROUGH CINEMA. Core to the European Film Festival's mission is its "Good Neighbors Programme" which tailors the line-up for each host country so that those audiences see several films from their neighboring countries. Although the festival avoids politically incendiary films, the Good Neighbors Programme aims to bolster feelings of commonality among European young adults. As festival co-ordinator Mary Symmons explains "You get students in Belgrade watching a documentary about skateboarders in Zagreb, and they're going to come away feeling 'hey, those Croat kids are just like us'. You're not going to get that message through if you use the channel to broadcast some anti-Serbian propaganda. That's just going to be met with a wall of hostility and defensiveness" The 2008 festival sees Russians watching films from Latvia, Poles watching films from the Ukraine, and the English watching films from Ireland, all in an effort to promote a broader cross-European cultural identity.

PROMOTING EUROPEAN CINEMA. A second mission of the European Film Festival is to give a wider showcase to quality European films. Festival programmer Jesper Tornqvist says "you get an amazing film like I AM FROM TITOV VELES which played at this year's Berlinale and Toronto film festivals, but it's virtually impossible to see this film in its home country of Slovenia. And if you're anywhere else in the Balkans, just forget it, there's just no distribution network. The European Film Festival is the only way that young people in Eastern Europe can see this powerful film about growing up in Southeastern Europe".

Full information about the European Film Festival, including screening times and locations, can be found at:
http://www.film-festival.eu

Press photos can be found at:
http://www.film-festival.eu/press.htm

For further information, contact Mary Symmons at info @ film-festival.eu

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