The Culture Working Group (CWG) carried on an initiatie focusing on films that made history in each European country. Take a look at this awesome project and read the interview we made to Sabina Guja (AEGEE-Cluj-Napoca), the main coordinator of this initiative.
Was this your idea or was it a project promoted by the CWG? How did the idea take up?
The Movie Library project was an idea that came up at a meeting. We were just brainstorming about which elements of culture we could promote and how. I don’t remember exactly who came up with the suggestion of a movie library, but it sounded like such a cool idea! I immediately started thinking about how it could be done in a fun and easy way, and at the same time to be presented in an attractive way and widely available to many people. While exchanging ideas over Skype, we came up with bits and pieces that ultimately led to our final plan: get as many AEGEE members as possible to submit movies from their own countries, that they consider to be representative.
Were there many AEGEEans around the network able to help you out with the films for each country?
Of course, we couldn’t have done it without the help of the network. Together with Danae Matakou (AEGEE-Athina) and Dionis Koci (AEGEE-Torino), I put together a small survey for interested AEGEE members to fill in. We received help both from the CWG and from the boards around the network in distributing our survey. We were happy we managed to get replies from 20 different countries with around 80 movie suggestions in total.
Was there a selection or any criteria to be respected in choosing the films?
No, we relied on the judgment of our members when it came to the movies included. Also, I don’t believe there would have been any way for us to make a selection, as every culture is unique and values different things. We wanted to have as many genres of movies as possible, so our list includes amongst others: horror, comedy, love story, drama, documentary etc.
What is the aim of this project?
The main aim was to help spread locally-known and appreciated movies and help making understanding different cultures easier. From the start we decided that we didn’t really want to promote the latest European blockbusters, but to find less-known movies, local hits that we wouldn’t hear of otherwise. We wanted to try and capture an image of what makes us different, but at the same time similar. Also we were really happy that we received information about old movies as well. The oldest we have in this edition is a movie from 1955.
Do you think that we are watching too many American films, and in this way we are somehow neglecting our European cinematography?
I believe that some of us might be watching many American movies, because European cinematography is not promoted as widely as the American one. In many cases, European cinematography is regarded more as fit for festivals than for a wider audience. On the other hand, Europe is culturally so much more diverse, in my opinion. Just taking into consideration the number of countries that are in such a small place as Europe, and you already have so many types of movies and unique ways of approaching subjects. It’s a pity we don’t get to see European movies more often in the cinemas!
Many of the AEGEEans will for sure say: “I didn’t know about this project and I wanted to make more suggestions!” Is there any hope for them to collaborate?
Of course there is, and we would be very happy if they would help us grow the second edition. Those who want to help us can send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org answering these questions:
* What is the title of the movie (original and translated)?
* What year was it released in?
* What genre is it?
* Did it win any awards?
* Please write a short summary
* Who is the director?
* Who are the main actors?
* Is there a trailer for the movie?
* Why should we see it?
This information is also available in the Forward of any of our four volumes of the Movie Library, which can be viewed on the CWG website here: http://www.wg.aegee.org/cwg/?page_id=797
Written by Cosmina Bisboaca, AEGEE-Torino