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The 73rd Berlin International Film Festival will take place from Thu, Feb 16, 2023 - Sun, Feb 26, 2023
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VIDEO Presentation of the European Film Club


Matthijs Wouter Knol and Mark Higham (The European Film Academy)  presented an ambitious new programme to engage teenagers in European films, during Berlinale. The European Film Club is being genuinely co-created by young people across Europe and will be tested in 20 European countries this year before a full roll out across the continent in 2023.

Funded by Creative Europe MEDIA, the European Film Club will be a film platform and film club network across the continent for young people to come together to watch and discuss European films and make their own. The European Film Club will build a diverse catalogue of films chosen by young people and build a love of European film for the next generation.

Young people currently find it difficult to access European films; with a young audience survey revealing that 84% would like to watch more European films, and 94% wanting the industry to make it easier for them to watch.

The European Film Club programme will answer this call, enabling viewing of films from different cultures and nationalities, on a variety of platforms from a bespoke website through to schools, cinemas and festivals. In the same survey 79% of young people think that European cinema is an important way of creating a sense of European identity.

The important initiative starts in June 2022 and involves 38 partners from 30 countries including national film centres/institutes in Netherlands, Iceland, Slovenia, UK, Hungary, Lithuania and North Macedonia, film academies in Portugal and Austria, high profile film festivals in Poland, Kosovo, Norway, Greece, Romania, Czech Republic, Belgium, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Italy, Switzerland and Croatia (including Giffoni, Zagreb, Transilvania and Olympia) as well as a film university, national museum of cinema, film commission, film agency and children’s film and cultural organisations.

The project is an important initiative for the European Film Academy and its Director, Matthijs Wouter Knol, had this to say:
“Films provide an insight into the lives of others, into different cultures and what it means to be European. Building a love of European film is not just an investment in the future of the film industry but into young people’s cultural futures. The Academy is developing a range of innovative initiatives to champion European film and filmmakers and the European Film Club builds on our 11-year Young Audience Award project to create year-round engagement in European film to develop future audiences for European film.

The European Film Academy is co-creating the European Film Club programme with young people, working with its Youth Council of 13 members from Romania, Croatia, Lithuania, Italy, Spain, Slovenia, Portugal, UK, Sweden, Poland, Bosnia & Herzegovina. The Youth Council harnesses the input from a 39 young person Consultation Group from 23 countries.

Some of the young people involved have been working to develop the project for a year and a half and had this to say:

What you watch as a kid actually gets in on how you grow up and what person you become…I think classics are important. The kids have to have some culture. I think every kid has to see classics, obviously for their age, of course… they will be really necessary to watch films that make you think, films that make you question the big things. And also films with values, I think it really matters what you show the kids. And films with no discrimination, where all the communities are valued, where black people matter… We are kind of responsible about what that kid is going to be in the future with that film. I think movies have the power of making a change in everybody. Thomas, Spain, Youth Council member

I would choose movies that are really meaningful and really high quality ones that will develop children’s mind and their critical thinking. Anja, Montenegro

I think movies are very important for young people because movies convey emotions like nothing else. Lukas, Austria

The European Film Club will create a pan-European network of film clubs co-created by young people that will:

• develop a year-round engagement in film for participants in the European Film Academy’s Young Audience Award building to the awards

• develop a collection of films chosen by and for young people including classics of European cinema and Young Audience Award winners

• build on European Film Academy’s platform to develop a white label version to host and coordinate online viewing as well as stream and download films for live screenings

• develop the platform and other tools to support the running of film clubs, by youth organisations, teachers, and young people themselves

• share what it means to be European and celebrate its diverse expressions through film

• enable viewing of films from different cultures and nationalities

• encourage international exchange and discussion of films

• support learning about film and young people’s filmmakingA

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Chatelin Bruno

Berlin 2019: The dailies from the Berlin Film Festival brought to you by our team of festival ambassadors. Vanessa McMahon, Alex Deleon, Laurie Gordon, Lindsay Bellinger and Bruno Chatelin...
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