Thanks to the 28 Times Cinema
initiative - promoted by the LUX Prize, in partnership with the Venice Days, Europa Cinemas and with the collaboration of Cineuropa.org -, 28 young film lovers from the 28 Member States of the European Union attended the 70th Venice Film Festival. They have been invited to watch, report
and reflect upon films, as well as attend daily discussions, workshops, and share their thoughts on the overall experience.
Alfonso Caci, one of the 28 Times Cinema from Belgium, wrote a report
on the LUX Prize special event that took place in Venice on September 5:
"The LUX Prize spotlights the diversity of European cinema and the debates of the European Union . Since 2012, this initiative of the European Parliament takes place each year and presents three competing films to European audiences. The winner will be translated into the 24 official languages in the EU to make them accessible to film-lovers across Europe. These films were seen in Venice by the 28 times cinema members with their directors and European Parliament members who explained their wish to develop European culture.
The first film to be screened was Italian director Valeria Golino's Miele
) . The film plunges the viewer in the daily life of Irène, a thirty year old who helps sick people to die with dignity. One day she is approached by a man who says he is sick and who wants to die. Discovering that he is not actually sick and not wanting to contribute to this suicide, the protagonist struggles to prevent it.
The second film to be presented was The Broken Circle Breakdown
by Belgian director Felix Van Groeningen . It all starts with Elise and Didier about to know the joys of parenthood. Unfortunately their daughter, Maybelle, is suffering from a cancer and this will lead the parents in a deep despair.
The story of the third film, The Selfish Giant
by British director Clio Barnard, is about the friendship between Arbor and Swifty, two turbulent young boys living in England. Both expelled from school, they venture to collect pieces of metal for a scrap merchant met by chance. This encounter will weaken their friendship and will push them to take considerable risks.
These three films describe how the daily life of the main characters is turned upside down by unexpected events.
Honey is centered on the story of Irene, is a character who acts as an optical prism capable of revealing the colors of the people around her. The magic is guaranteed to happen by the end of the film. The film is punctuated by original sequences and generously staged. This film accurately raises important questions that divide contemporary European countries.
Cinema is emotions, and the Belgian film in competition will bring audience laughter with accuracy and efficiency. It is a love story that begins with “once upon a time” but doesn’t end with “they were happy and had many children”. The film's drama is reduced by a dynamic and catchy soundtrack. The aesthetic of the film is sober and the final scene adds relief to this tragic story.
The story of friendship told in the British film plunges the spectator into the world of childhood and carelessness. The protagonists' fate seems sealed when a sudden accident surprises the viewer and gives a new direction to the film. The young actor's freshness and charisma greatly galvanize the film and help the viewer get into the story. The staging is neat and some shots echo with the work of Vermeer which adds an intimate atmosphere.
The oppositions and different opinions expressed by the members of 28 Times Cinema show the quality of these films which are each potential winners. The meeting with directors and the discussions held around their films confirm the sincerity of their intentions and their films.
I wish them good luck and I thank the European Parliament to allow the artists of our time to have spaces and means of expression at the height of their talents."
Check out Alfonso Caci's Youtube channel and the series "28 seconds with":
Photo: 28 Times Cinema postcard by Mihaela Cenkovcan from Croatia, via Europa Cinemas