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Industry Report: European Policy

FERA urges European citizens to take part in the upcoming European elections


In a dedicated blog series, six FERA members highlight the significance of voting and “its impact on our shared future”

FERA urges European citizens to take part in the upcoming European elections

The Federation of European Screen Directors (FERA) is urging European citizens to take part in the upcoming European elections, set to run from 6-9 June 2024 across the EU 27 member states.

The call is being shared through a dedicated blog series, consisting of four texts penned by the body’s chair, Bill Anderson, and five FERA members: Elisabet Gustafsson, Jean-François Fontanel, Ida Grøn, Katarzyna Klimkiewicz and Chiara Sambuchi.

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“These contributions aim to highlight the significance of voting in the European elections and their impact on our shared future. Through their unique perspectives and experience in storytelling, the filmmakers explore the vital role that these elections play in shaping policies, culture, and the artistic and creative landscape across Europe. With this series, we hope to inspire a deeper understanding of, and active participation in, the democratic process within our community and beyond. Join us on this journey,” states FERA.

In his post, Anderson elaborates on the topic of the industrialisation of creativity as a source of concern. He argues that algorithms and AI are rearranging the past without creating new stories. He fears that the director’s role is being turned into that of a bus driver following preordained routes. Thus, the process of human connection is being dehumanised, and the director’s creative freedom is evaporating.

Offscreen, this same process of dehumanisation is occurring, reducing humans to data for profit. For the FERA chair, we as European citizens should fight to make sense of the world we live in. He also claims that the European Parliament should champion diverse views and interests of civil society, in the hope of creating a society where people will listen to each other and live together humanely.

Next, Gustafsson and Fontanel penned a short story (read it here) rich in metaphors, which invites European citizens to reflect on the importance of voting, tackling the concepts of “European culture” and “European cinema”.

In their contribution, Grøn and Klimkiewicz (read it here) point out how voting in the EU elections is essential in order to defend artistic freedom and democracy. Although films cannot directly feed the hungry or heal the sick, a healthy democracy minimises these problems and allows for diverse, meaningful stories to be told, sparking change and debate.

Finally, in her post (read it here), Sambuchi underscores the importance of protecting freedom of expression as a fundamental right that allows individuals to express their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation or censorship, mentioning Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and touching on the recent Gaza-Israel-related backlash at this year’s Berlinale and RAI’s cancellation of writer Antonio Scurati’s monologue about antifascism, which was slated to be aired by RAI on 25 April, Italy’s Liberation Day.

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