Cinema can play an important role in shaping both a shared European identity in relation to common references encountered around Europe, as well as the cultural diversity that typifies our different traditions and our historical backgrounds.
The SEE Cinema Network, which unites the countries of Eastern Europe, is a good example of cinema playing just such a role. The Network, an initiative of the Greek Film Center and the Hellenic Ministry of Culture, has continued to exist thanks to the support of its member states, but mainly due to the true spirit of friendship that has developed among and between its component bodies and representatives.
The Network has supported a great number of films through the funding it provides for the development of feature-length works and the production of short films. Some of these films have rewarded our efforts by winning awards and distinctions at festivals around the world.
Therefore, I believe that the SEE plays a crucial role and serves as a brilliant example of how art and culture can transcend any political or diplomatic problems that may exist between nations and strengthen intercultural relations.
The importance of our initiatives does not lie in the amount of funding we provide, but mainly in the way they encourage collaboration between professionals from our member nations who aim to share their inspirations and artistic preoccupations from the very start of the creative process.
I hope that the SEE CINEMA NETWORK will continue to blaze its important and high-quality trail for many years to come, and that we will be soon be joined along the way by fellow travelers from other countries in our region.
President of the SEE Cinema Network
Senior Cultural Officer, Responsible for Cinema
Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus