Zagreb's Europa Cinema Receives Letters of Support from Abroad

By 20 April 2019

ZAGREB, April 20, 2019 - Representatives of Croatian and European institutions and professionals, including Slavoj Žižek, Geraldine Chaplin and Claude-Eric Poiroux, have sent letters of support to the former owner of Zagreb's Kino Europa cinema, the Zagreb Film Festival (ZFF) organisation, following the city's decision not to renew its lease contract.

Poiroux, general director of the Europa Cinemas network, regrets that the survival of Kino Europa has been brought into question in the tenth year of its Europa Cinemas membership.

Kino Europa is one of the best and most important cinemas in the Europa Cinemas network, he says in his letter. In 2016, in recognition of the high quality of programming and promotion, it was given the Europa Cinemas award, which put it near the very top of the European film industry, ahead of the network's other 1,078 member-cinemas, he adds.

The team running Kino Europa is widely recognised for their knowledge and professional skills, and their reputation spans far beyond Croatia's borders. The European Commission's favourite location when it comes to events in Zagreb is Kino Europa, Poiroux wrote.

Actress Geraldine Chaplin, who was a guest at last year's ZFF, wrote that she was deeply saddened by the news about Kino Europa's uncertain future.

My husband Pato Castilla and I visited Zagreb and Kino Europa thanks to the Zagreb Film Festival. We were delighted by the architecture and the beauty, the excellent programme and the lively atmosphere of the cinema, a rarity in today's world, which is dominated by multiplexes. Kino Europa is a true cultural heritage, the famed Charlie Chaplin's daughter wrote.

She extended full support to the ZFF team, saying they breathed new life into the old beauty Europa and created the heart of Zagreb's cultural life.

"To break the link between Kino Europa and the ZFF would mean to bring into question the survival of Croatia's capital on that map. We don't need to mention what a hard blow it would be to film culture in Croatia," said the Sarajevo Film Team.

The ZFF was also supported by Simon Popek, programme director of the Ljubljana International Film Festival, notably given the cooperation with the ZFF.

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