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Brussels, 12 May 2010

'European Rendez-vous' at Cannes International Film Festival

Twenty European films financed by the European Union's MEDIA programme have been selected for screening at the 63rd Cannes International Film Festival, including six films in competition for the Palme d'Or Award (see annex for details). 17 May is the 'European Rendez-vous' at Cannes, when the festival celebrates the best of European cinema. Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou will announce the winner of the 2010 European Talent Prize, which is awarded to the best project for a film with a European dimension. Together with Festival President Gilles Jacob, she will also meet industry professionals and representatives of the European and international film institutions to discuss funding for film-makers.

"I am delighted that European films once again feature strongly at Cannes," said Commissioner Vassiliou, who is responsible for education and culture. "Europe can be proud of its diverse and vibrant cinema. I am also proud that the MEDIA programme is part of this success story. The financial support it provides helps to create and safeguard thousands of jobs in the sector. It also aims to enable smaller cinemas in particular to adapt to technological change and the global market."

Digitisation is a major challenge for cinemas today: a new digital projector and server costs around €75,000, a big investment for many cinemas. Later this year the Commission plans to launch a scheme, through the MEDIA programme, which will contribute up to 50% of this cost for cinemas that screen mostly European films.

Overall, the MEDIA programme will contribute €755 million in support of Europe's film industry from 2007-2013, with a focus on improving the distribution and promotion of European films and strengthening the competitiveness of the sector. Production companies selected for support typically receive grants of €50,000 on average.

Eight out of the past ten Palme d'Or winners since 2000 have received support from the MEDIA programme. Several also won Oscars for best foreign film.

To find out more:

about the MEDIA programme: http://ec.europa.eu/media

about the Cannes International Film Festival: http://www.festival-cannes.fr

ANNEX I

CANNES 2010: Films that received MEDIA programme funding

In competition

TOURNEE (On Tour). Director: Mathieu AMALRIC (FR/DE)

A former show organiser makes a comeback with a troupe of New Burlesque girls: colourful striptease on the roads of France!

DES HOMMES ET DES DIEUX (Of God and Men). Director: Xavier BEAUVOIS (FR)

The life of eight monks in a monastery surrounded by mountains in a Maghreb country during the 1990s, trapped in a conflict between the western authorities and Muslim fundamentalist terrorists.

COPIE CONFORME (Certified Copy). Director: Abbas KIAROSTAMI (FR/IT)

At a conference held at the launch of his latest book, which is about "the close links between originals and copies in art", a writer meets a gallery owner, with whom he goes to a village near Florence, where they face the problem of distinguishing between fiction and reality.

SCHASTYE MOE (My Joy). Director: Sergei LOZNITSA (DE/UA/NL)

The squalid everyday life of Georgi, a Russian lorry driver. A parable of the decline of a country.

SZELÍD TEREMTÉS – A FRANKENSTEIN TERV (Tender Son – The Frankenstein Project). Director: Kornél MUNDRUCZÓ (HU/DE/AT)

After having lived for many years in an institution, a boy of 17 returns home and tries to regain the love of his family. This proves to be extremely difficult and tragedy awaits.

LA PRINCESSE DE MONTPENSIER (The Princess of Montpensier). Director: Bertrand TAVERNIER (FR)

The romance between the Duke de Guise and Marie de Mézières, who is forced to marry the Prince of Montpensier. From the novel by Madame de La Fayette.

Un Certain Regard

FILM SOCIALISME (Socialism). Director: Jean-Luc GODARD (CH)

A symphony in three movements. In the Mediterranean: a cruise with numerous conversations in numerous languages between passengers, almost all of whom are on holiday ... Our Europe: one night, a girl and her younger brother summon their parents to appear before their children's court. They demand serious explanations of what is meant by liberty, equality and fraternity. Our Humanities: visits to six sites of true or false legends in Egypt, Palestine, Odessa, Greece, Naples and Barcelona.

PÁL ADRIENN. Director: Agnes KOCSIS (HU/FR/AT/NL)

The wanderings of a nurse who, alienated by the death surrounding her, sets off in search of a lost childhood friend … A story about the relative nature of memory, uncertainty about our past and, above all, self-discovery.

MARTI, DUPA CRACIUN (Tuesday, After Christmas). Director: Radu MUNTEAN (RO)

Paul Hanganu loves two women: Adriana, his wife and the mother of his daughter, and Raluca, the woman who has completely transformed him. He must leave one of them before Christmas.

AURORA. Director: Cristi PUIU (RO/CH/DE)

The second in a series of six films devoted to Bucharest, Aurora recounts the wanderings through the Romanian capital of Viorel, the 42-year-old father of two young daughters and metallurgical engineer who has recently quit his job but is determined to bring to an end the insecurity that has dominated his life since his divorce.

Out of competition

TAMARA DREWE. Director: Stephen FREARS (UK)

With her nose reshaped by cosmetic surgery, amazingly long legs, job as a newspaper columnist, ambitions to be a celebrity and ability to break hearts, Tamara Drewe is the Bathsheba Everdene of the 21st century.

Midnight screenings

L'AUTRE MONDE (Black Heaven). Director: Gilles MARCHAND (FR/BE)

It's summer in the south of France. Gaspard is a happy teenager who divides his time between his friends and his girlfriend, Marion. But Gaspard meets Sam and his life is changed.

Special screenings

CHANTRAPAS. Director: Otar IOSSELIANI (FR)

Nicolas is a film-maker who merely wants to express himself but whom everyone wishes to silence. When he first starts out in Georgia, the "ideologists" hope to gag him because his work does not follow the accepted rules. As a result of their efforts, Nicolas leaves his homeland for France, the land of freedom and democracy. But his state of grace will not last long …

Closing night film

THE TREE. Director: Julie BERTUCELLI (FR)

It does not seem too strange for an eight-year-old to talk to her dead father at the top of a tree in the garden. However, when Simone's mother and then her brothers join in these nocturnal conversations, the whole family find themselves perched in the treetop.

Directors' Fortnight

ALTING BLIVER GODT IGEN (Everything Will Be Fine). Director: Christoffer BOE (DK/SE/FR)

Jacob Falk, a writer-director, stumbles upon photographs of prisoners of war being tortured by Danish soldiers. Suspecting a political conspiracy, Falk tries to penetrate the mystery behind the photos.

ILLEGAL. Director: Olivier MASSET-DEPASSE (BE/LU/FR)

Russian-born Tania Zimina and her son, Ivan, have been living in Belgium, where they feel at home, for eight years when they receive a visit from the immigration authorities. Ivan escapes, but Tania is sent to a detention centre …

CLEVELAND CONTRE WALL STREET (Cleveland vs. Wall Street) Director: Jean-Stéphane BRON (FR)

On 11 January 2008, Josh Cohen and his partners, attorneys for the city of Cleveland, sue the 21 banks that they consider to be responsible for the real estate foreclosures that have devastated their city. But the Wall Street banks in question use every possible means to prevent legal action ...

PIEDS NUS SUR LES LIMACES (Lily Sometimes). Director: Fabienne BERTHAUD (FR)

Lily is unlike anybody else. She lives in a whimsical universe in harmony with nature at her mother's home in the heart of the countryside. Her elder sister, Clara, who is married to a promising young lawyer, lives and works in Paris. When their mother dies, Clara's life is turned upside down by the need to take care of Lily, under whose influence Clara reconsiders her life and comes to enjoy a certain kind of freedom ...

Critics' week

SOUND OF NOISE. Directors: Ola SIMONSSON & Johannes STJÄRNE NILSSON (SE/FR)

Amadeus Warnebring, a police officer who was born into an illustrious musical family but hates music, has to track down a group of delinquents whose twisted art is producing chaos and unrest in the city. When he realises that the woman he loves is a member of the group he is pursuing, he is left with no choice: he must enter the world he has spent his entire life fleeing.

Special screenings

COPACABANA. Director: Marc FITOUSSI (FR)

Boldly unconventional and cheerful, Babou has never cared much for social convention. She decides to conform, however, when she discovers that her daughter is too ashamed of her to invite her to her wedding. Feeling very hurt that her love as a mother has been called into question, Babou decides to sell timeshares in Ostend in the middle of winter. Although she might have been expected to take life as it comes in the strangeness of this seaside resort out of season, Babou remains true to her purpose in her determination to regain the respect of her daughter and give her a wedding gift worthy of the name …

Annex II

Palme d'or winners: Films that received MEDIA programme funding

2000: DANCER IN THE DARK - Lars VON TRIER (DK)

2001: LA STANZA DEL FIGLIO (The Son's Room) - Nanni MORETTI (IT)

2002: THE PIANIST - Roman POLANSKI (FR, DE, PL, UK)

2005: L'ENFANT (The Child) - Jean-Pierre and Luc DARDENNE (BE)

2006: THE WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY - Ken LOACH (UK)

2007: 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS - Christian MUNGIU (RO)

2008: ENTRE LES MURS (The Class) - Laurent CANTET (FR)

2009: DAS WEISSE BAND (The White Ribbon) - Michael HANEKE (AT/DE)

Oscar winners: Films that received MEDIA programme funding

1999: LA VITA È BELLA (Life is Beautiful) - Roberto BENIGNI (IT)

2006 : LA MARCHE DE L'EMPEREUR (March of the Penguins) - Luc JACQUET (FR)

2007: DAS LEBEN DER ANDEREN (The Lives of Others) - Florian von HENCKEL DONNERSMACK (DE)

2008: LA MOME (La vie en rose) - Oliver DAHAN (FR/UK/CZ) (Best actress: Marion COTILLARD)

2008: DIE FÄLSCHER (The Counterfeiters) - Stefan RUZOWITZKY (AT/DE)

2009: SLUMDOG MILLIONNAIRE - Danny BOYLE (UK)


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