Council of Europe Forum about cinema, promotion and education

How to choose ambitious cinema and how to promote European films in the world: these were the main topics of discussion at the Council of Europe Forum that concluded on Friday.

During three days of debates, the topics most discussed were the need to boost funding for distribution and promotion of films, introducing conveniences concerning co-production, and advancing the process of cinema digitization.

Most participants were convinced that film can be an artistic work and at the same time achieve commercial success. Two other aspects were also discussed: the need to create a common approach for promotion of European cinema on the international market, and to increase the number of cinemas, which would enable wider screening of less commercial productions.

Attention was also paid to the role of European film festivals in the promotion of ambitious films. The role of children and youth education was also strongly underlined, including the introduction of film studies to schools. This will soon be accomplished owing to the latest initiative of the Polish Film Institute, Filmoteka Szkolna (School Film Archives).

A meeting of Wojciech Marczewski and Andrzej Wajda on creative experiences in fighting for democracy attracted great interest. The director of Ashes and Diamonds (Popiół i diament) described the realities of creating under a totalitarian system and censorship pressure. “We filmmakers of that time did not have any delusions about the times we lived in,” he said. “We were not amused by anything. We were aware of the fact that the bigger responsibility rested on a politician who agreed to release a film to cinemas, than on us. That is why we tried to talk and negotiate.”

Wajda recalled that he never made any protest about the government’s treatment of his films “because I knew what reality I had to face. It is good that there were people who risked a lot rebelling against the system. It is also good that there were people like us: directors who in those hard conditions created films attracting a lot of viewers to cinemas.”


Translated by Monika Miziniak | Edited by Patricia Koza