'4 Screens' to honor Euro TV, film

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PARIS -- The first 4 Screens European Festival will kick off in Paris on Sept. 27, organizers announced Wednesday.

Founded by Herve Chabalier, the new festival will celebrate film, TV, Internet and mobile phone media with three days of screenings, competitions and conferences in the French capital.

Some 45 European television programs will be screened for the first time in France at the MK2 Bibliotheque movie theater. Fatih Akin's Cannes competition entry "The Edge of Heaven" and Philippe Aractingi's harrowing portrait of war in Lebanon, "Under the Bombs," also will unspool for both professionals and the general public.

In all, 16 European telefilms will vie for seven prizes in the competition category, which is divided into categories including documentaries, investigations, reality-based fiction and docudramas. Writer-director Jorge Semprun has been tapped to lead the jury.

Gallic pay TV group Canal Plus and Apple Expo are co-organizing a Web competition to pick the best reality-based fiction posted on Canal Plus' recently revamped Web site canalplus.fr or the festival's Web site www.festival-4ecrans.eu.

An online voting survey will narrow the competition down to 10 films, which will be screened during the festival. A professional jury will decide the official winner of the Internet Ecran D'Or Prize.

The public also can enter into the Young Talents competition. Presented in partnership with SFR, the competition will look for the best reality-based mini-film made for mobile phone viewing. Amateurs can upload their films to www.sfrjeunestalents.fr and Internet users will vote online for their favorites. A jury of professional journalists from the Capa Agency will award the Mobile Ecran D'Or prize to their top candidate.

French national library the BNF also will host a program of daily conferences and meetings about new forms of audiovisual creation featuring such topics as "Cinema and the Digital Revolution," "Reality-based Images in Europe" and "Images, lies and democracy."

"Our philosophy and our desire is to highlight a European sensibility and style and to see if the European identity can also be discerned through its audiovisual production," Chabalier said.

The event is sponsored by the European Union, French national film body the CNC, the Ile-de-France Region, the mayor of Paris' office, the BNF, national audiovisual institute the INA and SEMAPA, a public-private Paris-based company.

"It is a festival, therefore a celebration for those who create, collaborate, produce and manufacture thousands of hours of television in the European Union every year, for millions of viewers, and it is especially for those who today are inventing the images of tomorrow," Chebaliar added.
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