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20th MedFilm Festival (la Repubblica Roma)

With the support of the President of the Republic within the Italian EU Presidency

Held from 4 to 11 July in Rome’s House of Cinema and MAXXI Museum

The MedFilm Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, confirming the appropriateness of an intuition to promote cultural dialogue among the countries along the Mediterranean Sea, starting with sharing that extraordinary vehicle for both creative expression and depiction of reality that cinema is.

The Mediterranean Sea is the cradle of thousand-year-old cultures, religions, and civilisations, as well as a place where Europe, Africa and the Middle East encounter and intermingle. But it is also today a strategic crossroads in the cause of peace, security and global stability, and a sea that tells a tale of trampled rights, denied dignity and voyages of hope that all too often fail to ensure a brighter future.

The Mediterranean is a region yearning for change and that needs to find the right answers. On the one hand, we have Europe, which needs to change direction in order to jumpstart its economy, create job opportunities and secure rights for its young people; and on the other, Northern Africa and the Middle East, where serious conflict risks undermining the processes of reconstruction and renewal that the Arab Spring movements seemed to promise.

For that reason, it is truly important to build bridges of dialogue, to explore and discover the extraordinary cultural richness, pluralism of identities and pathways of artistic creativity of its various shores, in order to understand how real and strong the destiny is that those countries share, a meeting of past and future.

That is what the MedFilm Festival has been attempting to do for some time now. Held in Rome in the first days of the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union as Greece passed the staff; 2014 has also been chosen as the European Year of the Mediterranean.

This film festival offers an exceptional selection of feature films, documentaries and short films from 10 Arab countries, thus confirming the cultural vitality of many Mediterranean countries, and I believe that there could be a message of hope and of confidence in the future, an encouragement to all those who continue to recognise and cultivate an understanding of art and culture.

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