Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou is visiting Beijing this week.

The European Commission wishes to encourage a greater exchange of films between China and Europe on their respective cinema screens.

This is one of the aims of Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou’s visit to Beijing this week to discuss EU-Chinese cooperation in the areas of education, culture, youth and research with China’s Minister of Culture Cai Wu and State Councillor Liu Yandong, among others.

Vassiliou had attended the closing ceremony of the EU-China Youth Summit on Monday (Oct 24) and will preside at the second EU-China High-Level Culture Forum on October 27 where the cultural implications of urbanisation will be discussed.

Moreover, she will be opening the fourth EU Film Festival on Wednesday (Oct 26) ahead of the screening of Jan Hryniak’s Trick which has been dubbed as “the Polish Ocean’s Eleven“.

In total, 26 films from 24 EU member states will be shown during November in three Chinese cities Beijing, Chengdu and Shenzhen. The lineup rangesfrom Bulgaria’s The World Is Big And Salvation Lurks Around The Corner and France’s Of Gods And Men through Germany’s Krabat and Sweden’s Miss Kicki to Estonia’s Farts Of Fury and the UK’s Looking For Eric as well as five shorts, including Malta’s Plangent Rain and Spain’s Customer Service.

This year, a special prize called the EU Film Festival Circle of Stars Award will be given to the most popular film voted by the audience.

Cooperation between audiovisual professionals from China and Europe has also been supported by the EC’s MEDIA Mundus through such programmes as the Ties That Bind workshops for ten producers from Asia and Europe.

Chinese producer Chris Jing Liu of Eastlight Film attended this year’s workshops in Udine and Busan as one of the five Asian producers with his project Repeat After Me.

In addition, MEDIA Mundus has supported the training programme Crossing Borders for non-fiction producers, which held workshops in Shanghai and Guangzhou last year.

Meanwhile, the EC is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its MEDIA Programme with two special events in Europe this week.

Tonight (Oct 25), the European institution will co-hosting a gala presentation of Nanni Moretti’s film Habemus Papem at the BFI London Film Festival, to be attended by the director, Vladimir Socha, Director of Culture and Media/DG EAC, MEDIA unit chief Aviva Silver, and Agnieszka Moody, director of the UK Media Desk.

This weekend, MEDIA Desk Italia and MEDIA Antenna Torino will be staging a European Day on Oct 29 during the Rome International Film Festival with information sessions on the digital cinema rollout in Europe, the MEDIA Production Guarantee Fund and the main features of the proposed new Creative Europe umbrella programme.

In addition, André Lange of the Strasbourg-based European Audiovisual Observatory will present initial findings from the latest edition of its report on Public Funding for Film and Audiovisual Works in Europe, and Joelle Levie and Francois Farrugia will speak about their new film financing website OLFFI aimed at professionals from the audiovisual industry who are looking for information on the financing and production of audiovisual works.

Finally, Paoli Vidali, director of the Friuli Venezia Giulia audiovisual regional fund, will speak about the significance of the support from MEDIA Mundus and the MEDIA Programme for the Ties that Bind training course.