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Media Programme to Host Their First Gala Screening at 55th BFI London Film Festival: Habemus Papam (We Have a Pope)

7 September 2011

The MEDIA Programme is hosting a Gala screening of Nanni Moretti’s award-winning Habemus Papam (We Have a Pope), at this year’s 55th BFI London Film Festival, in partnership with American Express. The event is the centrepiece of UK celebrations for this year’s 20th anniversary of the MEDIA Programme which will also include a Europe Loves Cinema film season this autumn that will bring European classics of the last 20 years to cinemas across the UK.

The Gala screening at the 55th BFI London Film Festival is supported by the European Union’s MEDIA Programme and MEDIA Desk UK. The MEDIA Programme grants over €100 million a year to Europe’s film and television production and distribution companies, as well as organisers of festivals, training courses and promotional events.

Nanni Moretti’s work seamlessly demonstrates the legacy of the MEDIA Programme from Caro Diario (Dear Diary) in 1994, which won Moretti the Best Director Award in Cannes, through to La stanza del figlio (The Son’s Room) in 2001, which won him the Palme d’Or, through to award-winning Habemus Papam (We Have a Pope) in 2011. MEDIA has nurtured Moretti’s talent as a writer, director and actor, by supporting these films and helping ensure they were watched by audiences across Europe.

Agnieszka Moody, Director MEDIA Desk UK said “Over the years the MEDIA Programme has nurtured the best of the UK’s filmmaking talent, from Mike Leigh and Ken Loach to Danny Boyle and Andrea Arnold. I am delighted to mark the 20th anniversary of the MEDIA Programme with a Gala screening of one of Europe’s most acclaimed directors at the UK’s prime film festival. The Gala is not only a wonderful chance to celebrate MEDIA’s successes over the years, but this partnership with the festival is particularly significant for MEDIA Desk UK, as this is our first year of being hosted by the BFI.”

Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education and Culture said "This year's London Film Festival is a great opportunity for us to recognise the achievements of the MEDIA Programme over the past 20 years and to highlight one of its chief aims - to encourage audiences to see great European films. We are now in the process of preparing a new MEDIA Programme which will boost support for European filmmakers and respond to the challenges of a fast-changing industry."

About the MEDIA Programme

The MEDIA Programme’s aim is to strengthen the audiovisual industry in Europe and to enable audiences worldwide to enjoy great European feature films, documentaries, and animated films. MEDIA Desk UK (hosted by the BFI) is the UK’s information and advice office for the MEDIA Programme.

The European audiovisual market is worth an estimated €107 billion to the economy and provides 1.2 million highly-qualified jobs. A vibrant audiovisual industry also plays a vital role in expressing the cultural and linguistic diversity of the EU.

1991-2011: 20 years of support

Did you know that:
Since 1991 the MEDIA Programme has invested over €1.7 billion in the development of the European audiovisual industry
Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech received over €1 million from the MEDIA Programme to help audiences see it in more than 18 European countries
In 2010 over €6.7 million was invested to boost the European cinema releases of more than 40 British films
€8.5 million a year funds Europa Cinemas - a network of 827 independent cinemas across 475 European cities, which favour European films (including the Curzon Soho, Filmhouse in Edinburgh and Showroom in Sheffield).

Europe Loves Cinema UK film season

This autumn also brings the Europe Loves Cinema film season to cinemas across the UK – from Devon to Dundee. All the films included have received funding from the MEDIA Programme and include European classics such as Talk to Her, This is England and Waltz with Bashir. See for a full list of films, participating cinemas and screening date/times. This film season is presented by MEDIA Desk UK and the European Commission Representation in the UK, in partnership with the ICO and MUBI, in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the MEDIA Programme.

For further press information about the BFI or MEDIA Desk UK please contact:

Judy Wells, Head of Press and PR BFI / +44 (0)2079578919

For further press information about BFI London Film Festival please contact:

Christelle Randall/ Paul Smith
Tel: +44 (0)20 7292 8330
For Festival press accreditation enquiries contact: