It is a genuine pleasure for me to contribute to this year’s European Film Awards. This year’s event will create an occasion to celebrate the beauty of our European films at a time where our minds and hearts, more than ever, need to be brought into film makers’ universes and fantasias.
We all measure the economic, social and emotional consequences that the Covid pandemic had on the movie industry as a whole. Cinemas had to close and productions were put on hold, carefully planned releases could not take place, artists and professionals were facing existential problems.
Early on, the European Commission has offered concrete support to the sector through a mix of emergency and long-lasting tools and funding opportunities.
It was the least we could do as public authorities for Europe’s film-makers who have continued creating moving images, telling our stories and inspiring us.
This year’s European Film Awards will build on the solid basis of its founding promises to engage in Europe’s richness and help constructing it via the collective power of imagination in freedom.
The new Audience Film Award will honour this enrichment to our lives and well-being and I am pleased that we jointly give out this prize with the European Parliament.
Let me express my thanks and admiration for all the work achieved by former President Wim Wenders and former Director Marion Döring and wish the distinguished Agnieszka Holland together with Matthijs Wouter Knol all the best for the years to come.