A group of 500 prominent European auteurs – including heavyweights attending Cannes such as Céline Sciamma, Pawel Pawlikowski, and Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne – have launched an impassioned appeal to citizens of the 28 European Union nations to get out the vote at the upcoming May 23-26 E.U. parliamentary elections.
“It is true, Europe is hardly perfect,” said the appeal, read by Sciamma and Croatia’s Hrvoje Hribar during a photo-op gathering on the steps of the Directors’ Fortnight hub on the Croisette. A banner behind them urged to “Choose your future!”
“We sometimes blame it, and rightly so, for lacking soul and emotion; for speaking a language that few of us understand,” it noted.
“Yet, despite its frailties and its failings, we also perceive humanity and beauty at its core. And we strive to portray it through delicate imagery, in a more accessible language for all the people that make it whole,” the appeal added.
It also underscored that the E.U. “was built on the principles of open borders, free circulation, fraternity, solidarity, values that are today under attack on all fronts, including from within Europe itself.”
The appeal’s signatories include prominent U.K. film personalities such as Ralph Fiennes, Stephen Frears, and Alan Parker. The U.K. was scheduled to leave the European Union on March 29, but the government’s failure to agree to a Brexit deal has forced it to participate in the vote.
Other signatories comprise Wim Wenders, Agnieszka Holland, Susanne Bier, Neil Jordan, Jacques Audiard, and Julie Delpy.
The E.U. elections are expected to be a clear indicator of the power of populist parties, such as Italy’s Northern League, led by Matteo Salvini, that aim to weaken the E.U. from within rather than exit the Union.
Speaking at the Italian Pavilion during Cannes, Italy’s leftist prominent former E.U. parliament member Silvia Costa, also a signatory of the appeal, underlined the E.U.’s importance in supporting European co-productions “to preserve European culture and counter giant streamers” and praised the recent controversial European Copyright Directive. It is intended to ensure that European musicians, performers and screenwriters, as well as news publishers, get better remuneration for use of their work on internet platforms.