© Nicolas Reitzaum
3rd WAR ON SCREEN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
I am delighted to be supporting the War On Screen International Film Festival for this third year running. War on Screen 2015, an international film festival of recent inception in Châlons-en-Champagne, is a pioneering and visionary event and one that goes to the heart of issues affecting our societies: an event celebrating both film and culture, and a local initiative of national significance. Its theme, dealing with conflicts far and wide, makes it a unique event in the world of cinema. It explores the diverse range of approaches to conflicts, with particular emphasis on the human element.
Given its beginnings and geographic location, the Festival represents a subject deeply rooted in the culture of Champagne-Ardenne. So too for the wider region of Alsace Champagne-Ardenne Lorraine, a territory that has often been marred by armed conflict over the course of history. Recent events are a reminder of the fact that wars do not necessarily manifest themselves in ways we expect, as demonstrated by the tragic events of early 2015.
This year more than ever, the International War on Screen Festival embodies its original aim: to show that fiction and an artist’s perspective are just as powerful as information when it comes to preventing conflict. I am particularly appreciative of the various digital media available for spreading culture, in a range of art forms, to both large and small screens. Cinema, television, video and the computer screen are now all media conducive to the dissemination of such works. The diverse range of artwork created via these new gateways to culture and imagery is something to be encouraged.
I welcome the Festival’s commitment to arts education and media awareness: to ensuring that our country’s younger generations are equipped with the means to understand their world while remaining mindful of the basis of citizenship and the meaning of sharing. Honing the critical eyes of our future citizens is a key issue for public policy on culture and education. The War on Screen Festival is playing its part in the development of arts and cultural education in rural areas, particularly in our country’s lycées agricoles (agricultural schools).
Finally, I welcome the support that the Festival has received from the Township Committee of Châlons-en-Champagne, the Council of Châlons-en-Champagne, the Community of Municipalities of Suippes, the Town Council of Châlons-en-Champagne, the Department Council of Marne and the Regional Council of Champagne-Ardenne. True to their original pledge, the Ministry of Culture and
Communication and the National Centre for Film and Animation are supporting this magnificent local initiative once more. I hope that it brings the region together and attracts large audiences again this year.
Minister of Culture and Communication