Friday, July 25, 2008


STRASBOURG, France (July 25,2008) - For the first time ever, Europe's top rights watchdog the Council of Europe will next month partner the Sarajevo Film Festival and sponsor the "Heart of Sarajevo" award for the best feature film.

This year's festival takes place from 15-23 August. A key event the for southeastern European film industry, it is a "natural choice" of partner for the Council of Europe, the Council of Europe said.

The Council of Europe says it values film as a tool to educate people about rights and democracy and freedom of expression and creativity, and to promote cultural diversity and mutual respect.

"Directors from South-Eastern Europe whose films are selected for the Sarajevo Film Festival have been choosing themes that correspond largely to the Council of Europe's values, most dealing with social commentary and human rights," the watchdog said in a statement yesterday.

The Sarajevo Film Festival also offers a a wide range of films for youngsters through its special Children's Programme, which attracts over 35,000 young viewers from all over the region.

The programme "represents a unique forum to present the Council of Europe's activities in the field of the promotion of children's rights and the protection of children from violence," the Council of Europe stated

At this year's festival, the Council of Europe will present its most recent Europe-wide awareness-raising initiative against the corporal punishment of children, which aims to ban the practice in Europe.

Founded in 1949, the Council of Europe has 47 member states representing 800 million Europeans. It is the continent's first and largest inter-governmental organisation.

Aside from democracy and human rights, the Council of Europe seeks to promote political stability, economic growth and social cohesion in Europe.

No comments: