On May 21st at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival, film celebrities backed the presentation of a manifesto to encourage citizens to vote in the European elections, which are about to take place in a few days' time, from 23-26 May, all across the member states of the European Union.
Drawn up by the Société des Réalisateurs de Films (SRF), the organizer of Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight, the European Film Academy (EFA), the Federation of European Film Directors (FERA) and the Society of Audiovisual Authors (SAA), the document is a call to action at what is a decisive moment for the European Union.
French director Céline Sciamma (who is incidentally competing for this year’s Palme d’Or with her new film, Portrait of a Lady on Fire), together with Croatian filmmaker Hrvoje Hribar, in the presence of several other directors, read out the Call-to-vote Manifesto in front of the Centre d'art La Malmaison, seat of the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes.
The more than 500 signatories include, among others, Céline Sciamma, Wim Wenders, Agnieszka Holland, Miguel Gomes, Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Valeria Golino, Jacques Audiard, Susanne Bier, Pawel Pawlikowski, Julie Bertuccelli, Alan Parker, Costa-Gavras, Julie Delpy, Stephen Frears, Stellan Skarsgard, Ralph Fiennes, and many more.
Check out the Call-to-vote Manifesto below:
It is true, Europe is hardly perfect.
We sometimes blame it, and rightly so, for lacking soul and emotion, for speaking a language that few of us understand.
We blame it for not doing enough to face the ecological, social and political crises that are threatening to unravel it today, for not doing enough to face the refugee tragedy.
Yet, despite its frailties and its failings, we also perceive humanity and beauty at its core. And we strive to portray it through delicate imagery, in a more accessible language for all the people that make it whole.
Let us remember that Europe united for peace. What started as a union of 6 countries has now grown to include 28 countries in a unique alliance that is inspiring for all of humanity.
This Union was built on the principles of open borders, free circulation, fraternity, solidarity, values that are today under attack on all fronts, including from within Europe itself.
But this Union is also one of culture, a truly ambitious purpose for a continent whose innovation and creation have always shone bright.
And a free and democratic Europe is a Europe of creativity, freedom of thought and expression. As we are facing extremism and backwards tendencies, once again spreading like a plague, it is our duty to stand up for these values.
This incredibly fragile balance must be strengthened and improved, when facing those who want to destroy it by dividing, giving up and looking for a way out.
To the question: how do we build a desirable, unifying, open Europe offering a space for freedom and peace?
We must reply by standing firmly for what we believe in, in this battle of ideas.
From May 23 to 26, for the European elections, we will therefore vote.
It is our common future that is at stake, if not our future itself.