Ministers huddle on Euro cinema

EU's to aid Eastern European newcomers, African films

Thursday was European Day at the Cannes Film Festival — with culture ministers from the soon-to-be ex tended European Union’s 25 member states in town to bang the drum for European cinema — and cultural diversity.

“Europe is not a melting pot — it a mosaic, a patchwork with different pieces and if you take one away it all falls apart,” says European Commissioner Viviane Reding, who instigated the Euro powwow, a Cannes festival first.

The agenda included film aid to the EU’s Eastern European newcomers and more financial help for African cinema.

The EU’s Media program will invest a total of $400 million between 2000 and 2005 for the development, distribution and promotion of European pics, some 15 of which have been selected at Cannes this year either in the main fest or its sidebars.

They include Wednesday night’s opener “Fanfan La Tulipe,” Francois Ozon’s “Swimming Pool” and Lars Von Trier’s “Dogville.”

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