Cardona Joins Treasures of European Film Culture

The European Film Academy awards the Collegiate Church of Sant Vicenç in Cardona the title “Treasure of European Film Culture”.

picture: Departament de Cultura. Generalitat de Catalunya. AVIOTEC.

In October 1964, Orson Welles used the Collegiate Church of Sant Vicenç in Cardona as the location for CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT, his personal Shakespeare adaptation, with himself in the leading role. Although shooting lasted nine months, only fifteen days were spent in Cardona, and yet thirty minutes of the final cut were shot there, containing some of the most emblematic locations: the castle of King Henry IV, the castle of his rival Henry Percy and the cathedral where Henry V is crowned. It is for this reason that the European Film Academy awards the Romanic church in the centre of Catalonia the title “Treasure of European Film Culture”. Cardona citizens were intensely involved in the shooting of CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT, which premiered at the 1966 Cannes Film Festival where it won the 20th Anniversary Prize and the Technical Grand Prize. In the village, which in the sixties had much less than today’s seven thousand inhabitants, are still many who remember those two weeks in 1964 that took to the streets of the small mining town actors like John Gielgud, Keith Baxter, Marina Vlady, Norman Rodway, Fernando Rey and Welles himself, combining acting with his work on the other side of the camera.

During a ceremony on 22 October, held in co-operation with the Catalan Film Academy, Cardona Town Council, the Catalan Cultural Heritage Agency and the Filmoteca de Catalunya a special “Treasure of European Film Culture” emblem will be inaugurated at the location. On the occasion of this designation, Cardona will host the Autumn EFA Board Meeting, chaired by Polish director Agnieszka Holland, at the Parador de Cardona, close to the church where CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT was shot.

With this title the European Film Academy wishes to raise public awareness for places of a symbolic nature for European cinema, places of historical value that need to be maintained and protected not just now but also for generations to come.

The Collegiate Church of Sant Vicenç is the eighth location to be awarded by the European Film Academy. The first seven institutions that were adopted to be part of the “Treasures of European Film Culture” list were:

The Eisenstein Memorial Centre in Moscow
The House of the brothers Lumière in Lyon
The Bergman Center in Faro
The World of Tonino Guerra in Pennabilli
The Potemkin Stairs in Odessa
The Vienna Giant Ferris Wheel
The Sergei Parajanov Museum  in Yerevan

The list of Treasures of European Film Culture will continue to be added to over the years to include both film institutions and places that can be visited such as the Collegiate Church of Sant Vicenç. 

Berlin, 28 July 2016