Forum fetes Forman

Director among trio tapped for Europe Day

PARIS — Helmer Milos Forman will be the honored guest at the second annual Europe Day, put on by the Cannes Film Festival and the European Commission to promote European cinema.

Forman, Stephen Frears and Jean-Claude Carriere will be on hand for the May 18 event, whose theme this year is “Becoming a filmmaker in Europe.”

Also present will be Euro commissioner Viviane Reding and 25 culture ministers from the EU, including France’s Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, who is being closely watched in Gaul to see how he handles striking showbiz workers in the upcoming season of cultural festivities. The workers have threatened to disrupt the Cannes Film Fest over cuts to their unemployment benefit.

The event will announce a new talent kudo for a helmer from the EU — the winner will present his project to industry pros at the fest.

Europe Day, sponsored by Gallic web Arte, French daily Le Figaro and Radio France Intl., in association with Variety, will also hold a conference on the discovery of cinema and opening Europe to film professions.

In related news, Russian helmer-producer-thesp Nikita Mikhalkov will be president of the Jury for Short Films in Competition and the Cinefondation, the official selection of short- and medium-length pics from film schools, Cannes fest organizers announced Wednesday.

Other members of the jury will be Gallic actress-helmer Nicole Garcia, Spanish thesp Marisa Paredes, Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Argentine producer-helmer Pablo Trapero.

Mikhalkov will bestow the three Cinefondation kudos May 20 and the Palme d’Or for the short films at the closing ceremony May 22.

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