28 european voices for a single verdict

The fifth edition of 28 Times Cinema this year is a milestone that relaunches the partnership between Venice Days and the European Parliament LUX Prize and Europa Cinemas, as well as its collaboration with Cineuropa.

The young participants in 28 Times Cinema are going to be the star jurors for the big novelty this year shaping up for our 11th edition: the Venice Days Award. Who better than these young film lovers (aged 18 to 24), from all 28 EU member countries, is fit to judge the films on the Venice Days lineup, keeping their sights set firmly on the future of cinema, and the planet itself?

Each one of them has been selected by the cinemas in the Europa Cinemas network, chosen from out of hundreds of candidates on the basis of their originality, commitment and passion for film. Together with the Jury President (a world-renowned film personality), and with the help of an expert like Karel Och (artistic director of the Karlovy Vary Festival, as well as a member of the selection committee for the LUX Prize), the 28 jury members are set to have what is virtually a "college campus" experience smack in the middle of the oldest film festival in the world. And they should provide a revealing look at what fresh new audiences like about new cinema today.

These first-time jury members are all over the map, with translators (Ieva Keruka, Latvia), puppeteers (Edi Ćelić, Croatia) and poets (Stefan Prohorov, Bulgaria), but also LGBTI activists (Anna Nygren, Sweden), as well as, naturally, documentarians and filmmakers. At 24, Marek Łużyński (Poland) has already worked at 7 different film festivals, 3 movie theaters and 1 film school; when he says, "I do not believe in life beyond films," you know he means it.

Nearly all of them write for blogs and film journals, and the best and the brightest will be tapped to take part in a film criticism workshop conducted by another of the LUX committee's experts. In addition, all 28 will contribute daily to the Cineuropa blog specially created for the event. And when they're not busy being jurors, the ‘dream team' will devote their energies to exploring the new edition of the LUX Prize, viewing the 3 finalist films and consulting with their directors, as well as European Parliament members on hand for the occasion.

A perfect sampling of the new art-house audience, our 28 jurors revere screen classics without turning up their noses at box office hits, their tastes ranging from the tiniest of European co-productions to the spectacular Chinese Wuxia. Yes, a chorus of many different voices will surely keep the jurors' debates at a fever pitch, and the president will have the challenge of blending them all harmoniously to come up with a final verdict that rewards the spirit of such a unique jury.

Ida-Maria Olva, from Finland, says she has never yet lost her heart to a film. Let's hope she'll soon be giving that special film top honors, at Venice Days!

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