On Sunday, 22 May of 2022 the European Film Club was presented at the Cannes Film Festival.
The event took place at the South East European Pavilion, where Mark Higham, head of the European Film Club, presented and explained the concept of the project.
North Macedonia Film Agency Managing Director Bojan Lazarevski left in doorway who hosted and introduced Mark Higham from the European Film Academy for the presentation
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, 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. 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
Guests at the presentation of European Film Club in Cannes including Vice President of the European Parliament, Eveyln Regner