The first edition of the European Cinema Night will take place on 3-7 December 2018 across the EU, and is expected to reach more than 7200 people.

Launched as part of the Creative Europe MEDIA programme, which has supported the European audiovisual sector for the past 27 years, the ‘European Cinema Night’ initiative aims to show how the EU not only contributes to the development of Europe’s creative and cultural industries, but also benefits our society as a whole. With some 50 free screenings programmed across the EU from 3 to 7 December, the objective of this European Commission initiative is to bring Europe closer to people while celebrating together the richness of European films.

“Cinema is an essential part of our rich and diverse European culture and is contributing to reinforce bonds between people feeling the same passion and emotion on a movie. The European cinema nights are an occasion to show this diversity and to illustrate the importance of supporting a rich, free and diverse film production. With all the actions taken in favour of European cinema, the EU is present in the everyday life of citizens,” said Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, in charge of Digital Economy and Society.

“European films are part of our cultural heritage which we have been celebrating all year with the objective of making it accessible to everyone. In this spirit, the European cinema nights will show citizens how European policy is linked to their lives, to the emotions they feel at cinemas, and how by attending a local event they can be part of an experience shared across Europe,” added Commissioner Tibor Navracsics, in charge of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport.

Each of the 34 cinemas taking part in the initiative will organise a special evening event where they will screen one of the 20 MEDIA-supported films. This list includes “Cold War”, “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”, “Girl”, and “Border”. The films have been chosen by local cinemas to allow them to adapt the programme to the interests and specifications of their diverse audiences. The local venues are all renowned cinemas, belonging to the Europa Cinemas network, co-ordinated by Creative Europe MEDIA and the TV broadcaster ARTE.

The screenings will be followed by a short debate where film lovers will have the opportunity to discuss the films with filmmakers and film critics. Representatives of the European Commission will also be present, to explain more about the MEDIA programme and its importance for shaping the European audiovisual landscape.

Cultural diversity in Europe

Since 1991, the European Commission has shaped Europe’s audiovisual sector, contributing to is competitiveness and to cultural diversity in Europe, through the MEDIA Programme. One of its most substantial actions is providing financial support to the distribution of European films outside their country of production. Every year, on average over 400 films are made available to audiences in another European country with MEDIA’s help. In May 2018, the Commission proposed to increase the budget of the programme by almost 30% for the next EU long-term budget for 2021-2027.

The ‘European Cinema Night’ is a new initiative arising in the context of an outreach strategy focusing on audiences and aiming to enhance knowledge of the MEDIA Programme and the topics it covers, while fostering citizen outreach and participation. In addition, it helps to promote European audiovisual works across borders as well as cultural diversity. The initiative also complements the EUandME campaign, which uses a series of five short films focused on mobility, sustainability, skills and business, digital and rights to show how Europe makes a difference.