First European documentary film festival begins

The second smallest continent of the world, Europe plays host to people belonging to different cultures, speaking different languages and espousing different religious ideas. By embracing such religious and cultural diversity, Europe negates the theory of clash of civilizations.

These observations were made by the chairman of the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs, Fateyab Ali Khan, at the opening of the first European documentary festival on Friday evening. The festival is organized by the Royal Netherlands Embassy in collaboration with the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs, Karafilm Society and Alliance Francaise.

He also urged the audience to observe a one-minute silence in the honor of those who died at the Bari Imam shrine in Islamabad earlier in the day.

Earlier, Rabia Amjad of the Royal Netherlands Embassy said the European documentary festival aimed to contribute to the inter-cultural dialogue by showing various aspects of multicultural European society, such as the integration of immigrants in Europe, the impact of the historical fall of the Berlin Wall, portraying the rural life in the continent and providing an insight into the concept of the European Union.

The first documentary screened on Friday night was about Jean Monnet (1888-1979), who is widely regarded as an architect of European unity. The movie describes how Monnet strove for the integration of the various cultures of Europe throughout the First and Second World Wars.

The second documentary, titled “The New Europe”, sheds light on the evolution of the European Union over the years. The movie shows the conditions and challenges met by the applicant countries as well as the hard work put in by various statesmen who took part in tedious enlargement negotiations.

The third documentary highlights the various global assistance projects sponsored and funded by the European Union. According to the movie, the European Union is the biggest donor for external assistance in the world, contributing an annual average of 30 billion euros.

The fourth documentary, titled “A border of mirrors,” describes how the Mediterranean, separating Italy from Tunisia, has failed to stand in the way of cultural assimilation. Filmmaker Stefano Savona adroitly uses camera-work to highlight the everyday life of industrious fishermen of Tunisia and Sicily and captures the various similarities that mark their cultures and ways of living.

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