NNA – Culture Minister Raymond Areiji opened up on Monday evening at the “Metropolis Empire” Cinema in Ashrafieh the 22 “European Cinema Festival”, organized under his patronage by the European Commission in cooperation with the embassies of EU member states, in the presence of parliamentary, political, diplomatic, cultural and artistic figures.
Opening up the inaugural ceremony, EU Commission head in Lebanon, Ambassador Christina Lassen, said that the European Film Festival enriches for two decades the cultural arena in Lebanon with the best available creativity, innovation and cinematic excellence found in Europe.
“We shall celebrate such richness and diversity with 43 European films and Lebanese films to be presented this year,” Lassen said, adding that this year, as in every year, the festival shall introduce Lebanese young talents through the presentation of short films directed by students who graduated from audio-visual art institutes in Lebanon.
Minister Areiji, for his part, said that ties between Lebanon and Europe are deeply entrenched with both audience sharing the same cultural and humanitarian principles of freedom and dignity, and cinema is evidently one of these manifestations.
Areiji underscored the paramount role of mobilizing all sources to protect and bolster the voices of resistance through multiplying such cultural events and encouraging all artistic initiatives, deeming artistic people as tantamount to the “soldiers of humanity.”
“Their resistance is cultural,” Areiji concluded, saying that weapons are “their pens, movies and songs.”