Cine Europa, the tradition of bringing excellent European films to the Philippines, has now turned 13 years old and has gone bigger and better with more films from 17 European countries.

This yearly film festival promises to provide Filipino movie enthusiasts with a range of powerful films, with genres varying from drama, fiction, romance and action, which will surely touch everyone’s hearts and minds.

Cine Europa 13 will open on 30 September in Liceo de Cagayan de Oro University. The film festival runs until 3 October 2010.

Ciné Europa 13 continues its tradition of further enhancing the dialogue between European and Filipino cultures through the silver screen. It started as a “gift” of the European Union to the Philippines during the latter’s centennial celebration in 1998.

This year’s selection of movies, carefully handpicked to cater to the Filipino audiences, showcases the range and breadth of emotions from the different stories of love, laughter, hope, despair, survival, courage and, steadfastness. While approaches may vary from country to country, Filipino audiences will be able to empathize with the different characters in each film.

Ambassador Alistair MacDonald, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines said “Cine Europa thirteenth edition is most significant as it welcomes films from Bulgaria, Greece and Slovakia in addition to films from Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Romania, Italy, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Switzerland which have showcased European culture at its fullest.”

Opening the festival is a Belgian story of love, family and friendship, “Les Barons” or “The Barons.”

Following last year’s partnership with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, this year’s film festival will raffle off one economy ticket to Europe.

Through the years, Cine Europa has earnestly experimented with different ways of reaching out to Filipino audiences and to enliven its programme of events. The festival has helped strengthen EU-Philippine cultural relations and has become a lasting gift to the Filipino people. Cine Europa, which started in 1998, remains a distinctive acknowledgement of the partnership of the European Union with the Philippines by way of sharing with the Filipino public the diversity and uniqueness of European film culture.

Cine Europa 13 is presented by the European Union Member States’ embassies and consulates, Embassy of Switzerland, Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines, the Shangri-La Plaza Mall (Manila), Arts Council of Cebu and Liceo de Cagayan de Oro (Mindanao) as partner organizations. It is supported by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Yo Card and Click the City.com. Admission is free on a first-come, first-served basis. (PIA)

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