Europe on Screen - by Silvia Costa, President of the Committee on Culture and Education

"I’m particularly delighted to be able to continue my collaboration with Venice Days once again this year, and have the opportunity to attend its screenings and other events on the program in my new role as President of the Committee on Culture and Education of the European Parliament.
 
Ever since this fruitful partnership between Venice Days and the European Parliament LUX Prize got underway six years ago, I have been in a position to appreciate the quality and courage that have always characterized not only the selection of films by Venice Days, but also its “editorial line”, based on an ongoing dialogue between film industry professionals and the public, and between filmmakers and public and private institutions.
 
Pairing the LUX Prize with Venice Days should therefore come as no surprise. For the members of the European Parliament, the LUX Prize represents an occasion to become acquainted with film directors and industry professionals, certainly, but also with an audience that is not necessarily used to thinking in terms of ‘Europe’ as sometimes a soulless institution. European cinema has always tried to interpret and represent reality.
 
The legislative activity of the European Parliament is charged with trying to improve reality for its citizens. Different means (that is, cinema, imagination and creativity, legislative debate and the analysis and resolution of problems) to the same ends: ask tough questions, talk them through, seek solutions and seek to enhance our daily lives.
 
Moreover, the LUX Prize has teamed up with Venice Days on another project, one that is the experience of a lifetime for those who take part: “28 Times Cinema”, now in its fifth year, an event promoted by the LUX Prize and Venice Days with the crucial collaboration of Europa Cinemas and Cineuropa. Twenty-eight young cinephiles aged 18 to 26 will make up the special jury for the first-timeever Venice Days Award. The group will also get a total immersion in this year’s LUX Prize, viewing the three finalist films and meeting their directors, which should amply prepare them for their role as special “ambassadors” for LUX in Europe, when they next each present the 3rd edition of LUX FILM DAYS in their own countries. “28 Times Cinema” is an effective way to come up with new tools and new forms of communication for reaching audiences, and it’s also a way to cultivate a new generation of film aficionados, well-versed in film, the audiovisual industry and the digital revolution.
 
I’d like to conclude by stressing once again how unique the European Parliament’s LUX Award is: it’s the first time, in fact, that anyone has subtitled three films in twenty-four languages, screened them in twenty-eight countries and over forty European cities, and during at least eighteen festivals, all the while launching a dialogue on Europe, all thanks to the same cultural product. Last but not least, considering the linguistic fragmentation of European countries, this project ensures that films will be seen, breaking down language borders and meeting the audiences they were made for.
 
After all, it’s not only the film professionals but also the audiences for European cinema that together make up the frontline of the industry today, with their sensibility and awareness of our continent’s rich cultural diversity, and the European Parliament and its Committee on Culture will continue to be responsive to their needs."
 
Silvia Costa, President of the Committee on Culture and Education of the European Parliament