MANILA —- Like the Filipinos, Europeans consider the family as the foundation of society — a solace to turn to when everything seems wrong, a source of love, sympathy, understanding, emotional, spiritual and physical healing or strength in times of need.
For this reason, 17 European countries will dramatically spotlight different family situations in the Cine Europa at the EDSA Shangri-La Plaza’s Cineplex from Sept. 11 to 21 as part of their art and cultural contribution through films — free to the public.
The participating countries, aside from the host Philippines, are Italy, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
European Union Counsellor Dr. Juliani Vasallo of Italy said in a Tuesday press briefing at the EDSA Shang that family structure have changed so much since the end of World War II when both parents have had to work outside their homes for economic reasons.
Vasallo said that despite the drastic changes that took place in Europe brought about by the fast-paced life, there is still a very strong desire for parents nowadays to spend quality time and engage in communication with their children.
”Divorce is high, children drift from one family to another and ties have loosened but that does not mean we don’t care about family bonding. We are like the Filipinos who go back to their roots and find or retrieve whatever is good model to the coming generation,” he said.
And since film is one of the most expanded means to showcase and educate what the world is missing with its scattered and mixed families, the advantages and disadvantages, the pains, joys and laughter through tears, Europeans want to exchange/share artistic works in film and social media for richer life experience.
Head of the European Union Delegation Ambassador Guy Ledoux said that Cine Europa is in the Philippines not just to entertain but to inform and educate film experts and share their insights.
Ledoux added that the educational component of the film fest seeks to give young Filipinos considering a career in film greater insights about the industry and the opportunities for cooperation with their European counterparts.
This year, the initiative will extend beyond Manila with sessions being held for the first time at the University of San Carlos, Cebu on Oct. 10.
Cine Europa will also provide an avenue for educational discussions with forum on Film Appreciation with producer Alemberg Ang on Sept. 12 and a forum with local film makers with the European Union’s Cultural officers from Spain, Italy, and France on Sept. 20.
There will also be screenings of distinguished Filipino films during the premier film fest with “Magnifico” and “Ang pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros” on Sept. 12 and “Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan” on Sept. 20.