Pedro Almodovar will be the patron of the first European Cinema Heritage Week (November 15-23, 2002) which aims to raise awareness of European cinema and to promote discussion of the visual image.

Launching the Heritage Week in Cannes, European Commissioner Viviane Reding said 'the European public will discover the great films which are the key elements of our cultural diversity, and that they will get back into the habit of going to see European films. I also see this Week as an opportunity to underline the importance of conserving the archives and to undertake initiatives throughout Europe for education in the visual image'.

Designed as an annual event, the week will be launched on November 14 in Copenhagen under the Danish Presidency of the European Union and will include the Europa Cinemas network staging a programme of films of various European cinema cultures; a series of measures in schools with support from education ministers; and co-operation with the Commission's new information technologies initiative Netd@ys 2002 enabling pupils in 30,000 schools to interact on the theme of education in the visual image and European cinema.