AFI goes Continental

Fest features pics from new EU member nations

WASHINGTON — The American Film Institute will reach across the Atlantic to help boost European filmmakers during its 15th annual EU Showcase, an international collaboration featuring U.S. premieres, worldwide festival award winners and international box office smashes.

The “made in Europe” movie showcase will run Wednesday through Nov. 9 at AFI’s Kennedy Center theater in D.C. and the new AFI Silver Theater in Silver Spring, Md.

Eastern edge

The festival will feature films from three of the 10 new European Union member states, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, as well as films from Italy, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Austria, the U. K. and Greece.

“People have a natural tendency to forget that European Film directors and actors have largely contributed to the success of Hollywood and, in a more recent past, to production in the United States,” Willy Helin, spokesman for the European Commission’s D.C. office said in a statement.

Mavens on the move

Also, on Wednesday, AFI announced three exec appointments.

Barbara Bloom, most recently veepee of TV at Artisan Entertainment, was tapped vice dean, faculty and external affairs. Position includes overseeing development of faculty, managing relations with professional orgs and vendors and overseeing Conservatory seminars. In addition, she will supervise curriculum development in producing and directing.

Producer Neil Canton was tapped senior filmmaker-in-residence: producing. He will administer the production curriculum and act as mentor for second-year producing fellows.

Betsy Pollock was named director of production services. Her Conservatory duties will include mentoring and teaching physical production and management courses.

(Josh Kamzan contributed to this report.)

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