The European Commission is backing the first EU Film Festival Online (EUFF) in China.

EUFF will showcase 17 European films free of charge via the LeTv platform (, running until February 28, 2013.

“I am told that Chinese people love European cinema, and yet only a handful of European films are shown in Chinese cinemas each year due to various constraints,” said EC Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou.

“I am convinced, however, that cinema can build bridges between our peoples, and I know how much Chinese cinema is acclaimed and enjoyed throughout Europe.

“Encouraged by this film festival, I am determined more than ever to work with the Chinese authorities to foster cultural exchanges and bring more European films to China in the near future.”

The films will be streamed online free of charge either in their original language with Chinese subtitles or in a Chinese dubbed version.

The line-up for this first online festival includes such recent European successes as:

  • Wim Wenders’ 3D dance documentary Pina;
  • the Finnish action comedy Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale;
  • Rodrigo Cortés’ thriller Buried;
  • Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud’s dramedy Chick With Plums;
  • Marcus Viner’s Lord Of The Dance 3D;
  • animation film Nocturna;
  • Christophe Honoré’s romantic drama Beloved.

The new initiative was launched at a gala on Thursday evening at Beijing’s first art house cinema, the Broadway Cinematheque MOMA, where the 5th EU Film Festival closed with a screening of James Huth’s French romantic comedy Happiness Never Comes Alone in the presence of Commissioner Vassiliou.

This edition of the EU Film Festival was organised within the framework of the EU-China Year of Intercultural Dialogue (Feb 1 – Nov 30) and held at cinemas and cultural centres in Beijing, Chengdu, and Shenzhen as well as in Tianjin for the first time.

Meanwhile, Vassiliou and China’s Minister of Culture Cai Wu plan to adopt a new joint declaration on cultural co-operation, which identifies priority areas of mutual interest such as the creative and cultural sectors, cultural heritage and contemporary arts, at the closing ceremony of the EU-China Year in the National Art Museum of China on Friday (Nov 30).