“International Directors of the Year”
presented to Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
at MEDIA Salles’ Focus on Europe at Cinema Expo International
Amsterdam, 28 June 2005
Speech by Laura Fumagalli,
Marketing Manager of Arcadia Cinemas, Milan
and co-ordinator of the MEDIA Salles’ Work Group on Digital
It is an honour for me to present
the “International Directors of the Year” Award at Cinema
Expo International 2005 to two directors whose work, from La Promesse
to The Son, from Rosetta to their most recent
work, The Child, has contributed and continues to contribute
to the vitality of a European film production capable of originality
and depth, with a wealth of ideas and the search for a type of aesthetics
able to express them fully.
The proof that Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardennes’ films are born
under a lucky star is the attention they receive both at international
festivals – we cannot fail to remember the Golden Palms won
at Cannes twice in 6 years, first with Rosetta and then with
The Child – and in the cinemas where they are screened.
Rosetta, for example, drew over 700,000 spectators into French cinemas
in 1999 and La Promesse has been seen in 13 European countries
and appreciated in movie theatres in Japan, the USA, Canada, Quebec,
Argentina, Uruguay and Israel.
It is therefore a pleasure for us to retrace the main steps in their
history as artists, by means of clips from the films that have made
them famous and won the appreciation of audiences worldwide: La
Promesse, The Son and Rosetta.
AND NOW LET’S ENJOY THEM
And so, on behalf of MEDIA
Salles, promoting the distribution of European films throughout the
world, with the support of the European Union’s MEDIA Programme
and of the Italian Government, and on behalf of Cinema Expo International,
I wish to express our thanks to Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne.
It is thanks to artists of this calibre that European cinema can still
claim its independence, showing that it is capable of winning audiences
by means of courageous choices that make quality their main focus.
I also thank them – and I know that I do this on your behalf,
too – for the gift they have honoured us with.
We now have the great pleasure of watching together a brief sequence
from their latest film, The Child, in the form of an advance
screening before its release on various European markets. The film
will, in fact, be in Belgian and Russian cinemas in September, in
French cinemas in October and in The Netherlands in November, after
which it will certainly reach many other countries. Now, for us, here
is the Golden Palm of the Cannes Festival 2005 – The Child.