The Rotterdam festival is reviving the idea of the "Rotterdam Film Parliament", a forum which adopts the confrontational style of a legislative chamber to discuss the future prospects for visionary cinema. Under the banner "What is to be done'" it aims to deliver a clash of ideas and the development of concrete proposals.
"Is there a crisis for the kind of cinema that Rotterdam represents," asks Simon Field, co-director of the festival. "By launching the Parliament, Rotterdam will be taking up its role as convenor and forum for debate."
To be held on Sunday 26 Jan, the Parliament will be chaired by UK producer Nik Powell. There will be discussion of two motions and delivery of a text which will be sent to Europe's culture ministers and interested politicians.
The production-focussed first debate - "This house believes that current policies regarding film production in Europe are in danger of permanently smothering the emergence of a potentially visionary cinema" - will be proposed by Arte's Michel Reilhac and opposed by No Man's Land producer Cedomir Kolar.
The second, examining the crisis in distribution - "The brutal truth is that without distribution subsidy there are no solutions to the problems faced by the European film business" sees two former sales agents Christa Saredi (proposer) and Fiona Mitchell (opposer) go head to head.
Other scheduled speakers include Peter Sainsbury, San Fu Maltha, Andrea Occhipinti and Hamish McAlpine as well as a number of CineMart attendees.