Helmers seek emotional side of Europe

European Commission president urges introspection

LONDON -- A score of leading lights from the European filmmaking arena have been asked to concentrate on the "emotional side of Europe" by European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso.

Household European filmmaking names including Wim Wenders, Volker Schlondorff, Constantin Costa-Gavras and Agnieszka Holland gathered to exchange their views on the impact that images and cinema have on the identity of Europe and the way Europeans identify with their home continent in Berlin Tuesday.

The think tank met with Barroso to deliver their views on the future of the output from European filmmakers under the auspices "The Image of Europe," organized by the European Film Academy.

Barroso told the filmmakers that the European Union is perceived by many citizens "mainly as an economic union" before demanding a need "to concentrate more on the emotional side of Europe."

The participants discussed a variety of issues such as the growing damage done by piracy and the distribution problems outside the country of a film's origin.

Wenders said: "There's a new cinema by a young and optimistic generation that is moving freely across the borderless continent. Only their brilliant films don't travel as much as the filmmakers do."

The filmmakers called on EU member states to include film in the school curricula.

Other participants included Marjane Satrapi, Istvan Szabo and Fernando Trueba.