European Film Festival 2018 launched in Armenia on 17 November 2018 giving the audience a chance to enjoy new award-winning films from 11 European countries. Film screenings took place in Yerevan, Gyumri, and Dilijan. Entrance to all the screenings was free of charge.
The official opening of the festival was held at Moscow Cinema with the screening of British “Colette”. Moscow Cinema hosted daily screenings, with English subtitles and Armenian subtitles untill November 27. Afterwards, the festival toured the regions until 30 November and included events such as photography competition, workshops, and master classes.
The festival was held within the framework of the European Year of Cultural Heritage, aiming to encourage more people to discover and engage with Europe's cultural heritage, and enhance the sense of belonging to a common European space. The slogan for the year was: “Our heritage: where the past meets the future.”
European Film Festival 2018 was organised by the EU Delegation in Armenia and the EUNIC Armenia cluster. British Council Armenia acts as implementing partner.
Award and Closing Ceremony of the Film Festival took place on 4 December at the Parajanov Museum in Yerevan. The event was attended by the EU Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, EU member state ambassadors in Yerevan, and representatives of partner organisations. During the ceremony, winners of the festival competitions were rewarded, and Certificates of Gratitude were handed to representatives of partner organisations.
The EU Ambassador expressed the hope that the festival had brought something new to the calendar of cultural events in Armenia: “This is the first European film festival after a long break held in Armenia; hopefully there will be follow-on developments in the coming years. The purpose of this festival is not only to disseminate European culture, the purpose of this festival is to make bridges between Armenia and the rest of us even stronger and more inspiring. I confirm that we will continue our support for other initiatives aimed at developing film culture in Armenia”.
British Council Armenia Country Director Arevik Saribekyan noted in her concluding remarks: "For almost three weeks, Armenian audience has been exposed to the best of the European film productions of the last 2 years. During this period, we aimed to bring in the diversity of European film industry by showcasing the breadth and diversity of topics and views of different people and cultures and to demonstrate the drama of human relationships when facing the real-life challenges".