75 partners in 40 countries: MONTH OF EUROPEAN FILM Comes to a Successful Close

    For six weeks, the second international edition of the MONTH OF EUROPEAN FILM celebrated the great diversity of European film. With the festive gala ceremony of the 36th European Film Awards last weekend in Berlin, it came to a sparkling and successful close. The MONTH OF EUROPEAN FILM included a record 75 partners in 40 countries – most of them arthouse cinemas and members of the Europa Cinemas network, but this year also Pathé Switzerland joined the initiative, with a MONTH OF EUROPEAN FILM in the Pathé Les Galeries cinemas in Lausanne. On top of this, several film festivals aligned with the work of the European Film Academy and were part of the programme, so were national cinematography centres and film museums. At the same time, the global streaming platform MUBI presented a special focus on European films, and for the first time, the VOD portal DAFilms highlighted a selection of European documentaries, both allowing film lovers around the world to participate.

    “Looking back at the last six weeks, during which many countries put European films and filmmakers into the spotlight across the continent, it makes us happy and proud that the Academy’s initiative, that only started last year, grew significantly within the last twelve months. We are grateful for the endless effort and the great commitment cinema owners put into special programmes, festivals, events and ideas to promote the creativity and diversity of European filmmaking”, says Matthijs Wouter Knol, CEO and Director of the European Film Academy. “Now, we are looking forward to continuing this initiative next year.”

    The MONTH OF EUROPEAN FILM kicked off in the beginning of November with the launch of the European Film Club during the Young Audience Film Weekend with more than 25 European countries participating. The launch took place on Sunday, 5 November at Cinema Galeries in Brussels, hosted by a group of six young people who have helped co-creating it, and streamed across Europe. The members of the new European Film Club presented the nominees for the European Film Awards in a video announcement on 7 November.

    On 12 November our partner CICAE organized the European Arthouse Cinema Day in over 700 cinemas in Europe and outside of Europe. Filmmakers Isabel Coixet from Spain and Ilker Çatak from Germany were the ambassadors of this year’s edition.

    All cinemas participating in the MONTH OF EUROPEAN FILM screened European films, and there was an overwhelming number of film screenings from the Academy Selections and nominated for the LUX Audience Award. A lot of the screenings came with an introduction, discussion or Q&A. Audience engagement in general played a major role for all participating cinemas. The Agimi Artit Center in Tirana (Albania) put a special focus on the young audience, letting teenagers guide the discussions, and Parkteatret in Frederikssund (Denmark) participated in the “schools in cinemas” program while the Sphinx cinema in Ghent (Belgium) celebrated the FilemKING festival for kids and the Bio Central in Hradec Králové (Czech Republic) the 10th edition of the children’s film festival Little Eyes.

    Many movie theatres showed retrospectives of renowned European filmmakers. There was a special focus on female European directors (Yorck Kinogruppe Berlin), an Agnes Varda retrospective (Tirana), a focus on Rainer Werner Fassbinder (Kinoteka Zagreb and Armata Prishtina), on Massimo Troisi (L’Entrepôt Paris), and Stavros Tsiolis (Olympion Thessaloniki), a “Best of Besson” program (Kino Aero Prague), a Wim Wenders special (Visionario Udine and Rialto cinema Poznan), and a focus on Alain Resnais (Kundura Sinema, Istanbul).

    A lot of the partners also highlighted films from a specific European country: There was a Czech Film Week in Croatia, a French Film Festival in the Czech Republic, Germany and the UK, Spanish Film Days in North Macedonia and Bosnia & Herzegovina, Estonian Film Days in Malta, Slavik Film Days in Austria and a Nordic Film Festival in Romania.

    Illustrating the fantastic creativity that went into the programming are events like infant-friendly screenings for parents and their children in Ljubljana and Pordenone, queer film festivals in Bratislava and Madrid, a special Reykjavik screening of SMOKE SAUNA SISTERHOOD by Anna Hints (European Documentary 2023 & LUX nominee) including a sauna booth for those who want to have a sauna during the film, gastronomic cinema screenings followed by a lecture and food tasting in Kaunas, and special short film programs in Porto and Bilbao.

    In the Swiss cities of Lucerne and Zürich, the audience voted from the all-time list of winners of the European Film Awards and thus put together a weekly Academy screening schedule that included Roberto Benigni’s LA VITA E BELLA (European Film & Actor 1998), LE FABULEUX DESTIN D’AMELIE POULAIN by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (European Film, Director, Cinematographer & People’s Choice Award 2001), Thomas Vinterberg’s ANOTHER ROUND (European Film, Director, Screenwriter & Actor 2020), Pedro Almodóvar’s TODO SOBRE MI MADRE (European Film, Actress & People’s Choice Award 1999), Matteo Garrone’s GOMORRA (European Film, Director, Screenwriter, Actor & Cinematographer 2008), and DAS LEBEN DER ANDEREN by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (European Film, Screenwriter & Actor 2006).

    The MONTH OF EUROPEAN FILM is an initiative of the European Film Academy supported by the Creative Europe MEDIA Programme of the European Union, in cooperation with Europa Cinemas, CICAE, MUBI and DAFilms as well as numerous local partners.