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For the 22nd edition of the European Union Film Festival I am delighted to present to viewers in India a large offering of twenty-two films from our Member States, presented by the European Union and the Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India.
India, itself, is now a global giant in the movie business and Indians have been among the most appreciative and iconoclastic audiences of European cinema, anywhere. And so, we are delighted to present some of the best works of recent years. As the Swedish film maker Ingmar Bergman once remarked, "No art passes our conscience in the way film does and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls". Perhaps it is this access to our deepest emotions and the ability to produce catharsis that accounts for the great popularity of cinema today.
We must remember, however, that while film as art has been the purveyor of ideas and the medium of emotions; it needs film as industry to support what is an expensive and risky creative enterprise. Recognising the importance of the art and culture sector – 4.5% of GDP and 8 million jobs, under its Creative Europe programme with a budget of €1.46 billion, the European Union supports, inter alia, over 2,000 cinemas and the production and distribution of over 800 films. Many films thus nurtured have gone on to win accolades worldwide.
As the great Satyajit Ray, once said, ''Cinema’s characteristic forte is its ability to capture and communicate the intimacies of the human mind.''
In this festival of award-winning European films, you will find perennial themes - the redemption of love, the resilience of youth, and the triumph of the human spirit in situations of adversity. To connect across geographies and cultures with ordinary people in extraordinary situations, and to realise that in some way we are all one family has been the exhilarating effect of all great art, and film is no exception.
I wish you happy viewing.
Ambassador of the European Union
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