Young Film Fans Want to Watch More European Films

European Film Academy unites 80 young film lovers in Young Audience Summit

Young people have a great appetite for watching more European films. That is what 80 participating 12-16-year-olds from 25 European countries expressed unanimously at the EFA Young Audience Summit on 17 April. However, 64% say that they do not find it easy to get access to European films.

Initiated by the European Film Academy (EFA), the summit saw 97% of the young participants calling upon the film industry to make it easier for young people to watch European films. While aware of the film industry’s need to generate income in order to continue making films, they also underline the potential of young audiences for European film - now and in the future.

To improve access to European films and build a year-round engagement with film, EFA has been exploring the idea of a European youth film club. To involve the young people this is aimed at, EFA set up a youth council to develop this further. Youth Council members hosted the summit and presented their thoughts on what role film can play and the creation of such a film club. This was met with great enthusiasm, with 95% feeling that it should be co-created by young people, like the summit was.

“I would also like to have international clubs not just because you can meet new friends but also because you can see how different(ly) people think, hear about their mindset and their point of view” Arnisa, Kosovo

97% of participants felt that European cinema is an important way of creating a sense of a European identity.

"How people just live their lives in certain countries in films is really good to give a bigger understanding to people about Europe." Felix, UK

Some 86% said they would go to the cinema more often, if such a film club inspired them to. Research by the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, which was presented at the summit, showed a 17% - 71% increase in cinema-going by participants in national film clubs in different European countries in recent years.

It could lead to “much more movies about our culture and our countries “
participant from Montenegro

Other long-term benefits to the film industry identified by participants included:

•    Young people will talk about European films to their peers, building the audience further
•    More young people would be interested in the film industry and they would have more knowledge and skills
•    There would be greater diversity in the cultures and countries covered in European films
•    An engagement with European films would help young audiences to develop an understanding for our European neighbours and Europe as such
•    There will be a larger audience for European films in the future

The Summit participants explored the importance of film for young people:

"Film...builds our characters in real life and that’s what helps us grow as people.” Ahmad, Sweden

“Movies are the way of filmmakers to open our eyes” Maria, Spain

“Films make teenagers feel less lonely, now that they are away from each other. You always learn something from a film because you watch it, you think about it, you talk with other people, you have contacts with other opinions and realities.”  Sofia, Italy

They also concluded:

“Films should play a more important part in education” Lukas, Austria

"movies tackle many topics which means many lessons and they are a form of art, they are a portrait of humanity” Alkis-George, Greece

This year’s EFA Young Audience Award: Sunday, 25 April, 19.00 CET

The Summit was supported by: