The world of European cinema converges at Cannes, with an EU prize for Thomas Vinterberg, two conferences, an award of state honours and an international agreement between France and Croatia.

This year’s winner of the European Union’s Prix MEDIA is Thomas Vinterberg’s project Kollectivet (The Commune), which tells the story of a Danish community in the 1970s. Last year the prize, which rewards projects with strong European potential, was awarded to the Le Passé by Asghar Farhadi, which is In Competition this year. European Commissioner for Culture Androulla Vassiliou handed the prize to the Danish film-maker and his producer Sisse Graum (Zentropa), today at 11.30am in the presence of the Un Certain Regard Jury, chaired this year by Thomas Vinterberg.

Established by the European Union in 1991 to support and strengthen the film and audiovisual industry, the MEDIA program has been involved, in one way or another, with thirteen of the films presented at this 66th Festival de Cannes, eight of which are in the Official Selection.

The European Rendez-Vous will continue tomorrow, Monday 20 May, with an international conference organized by the CNC and co-chaired by Aurélie Fillipetti, the French Minister for Culture, and Androulla Vassiliou on the theme “Reinforcing the Cultural Exception in Tomorrow’s Europe” – a cultural exception threatened by the inclusion of the cinema and audiovisual industry in the free trade agreement between the European Union and the United States. The VIPs invited will include Chris Dodd, CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, signatory of a petition against the exclusion of cinema and audiovisual services from the scope of the agreement.

A second conference, organized this time by MEDIA, will take place at 3pm on the theme “In favour of a distribution strategy oriented towards the public”.

The day will continue with the award of honours by Aurélie Filippetti to four personalities from worldwide cinema: Caroline Champetier, the French movie director and cinematography, Anurag Kashyap, the Indian director, Cristian Mungiu, the Romanian director and producer and Hua Guo, the distributor of French movies in China. Finally, just a few weeks before Croatia enters the European Union, Aurélie Filipetti and Andrea Zlatar Violic, the Croatian Minister of Culture, will sign a bilateral coproduction agreement.


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CWB News Department

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