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EFA Conference focuses on comedy

Press releases 2008-11-19
On the occasion of the 21st EUROPEAN FILM AWARDS in Copenhagen:

WHAT MAKES EUROPE LAUGH - Local Comedies for an International Market
Cinematek, Cinema Carl, Saturday, 6 December 2008, 11.00 - 14.30

As part of the weekend programme for the 21st European Film Awards in
Copenhagen, this year's EFA Conference is dedicated to film comedies. A
series of panel dicussions with European filmmakers and critics will
look at different cultural variations of humour and the way they are
depicted and perceived in film.

"You know what? Comedians aren´t funny at all," said Spain´s megastar,
the actor and director Santiago Segura Silva when talking about his
contribution as a speaker to the EFA Conference. But if humour is a
serious business, how then do film comedies work? What eventually
triggers laughter?

Is there a topography of humour, a shared European quality that unites
us in laughter? In other words: Can film comedies be cross-culturally
funny, humorous or witty? WHAT MAKES EUROPE LAUGH?

The EFA Conference 2008 takes an informed look at the cinematography of
humour and how it works. After an introduction by EFA´s Deputy Chairman
Nik Powell, a series of compact panel discussions will follow, chaired
by film journalist and scholar Eva Novrup Redvall and Jacob Neiiendam,
director of the new CPH:PIX-Copenhagen Film Festival.

Nordic Humour and Latin Laughter, the polar zones of European film
comedies, will be subject to scrutiny in Panel 1 with film directors
Anders Thomas Jensen from Denmark, Reza Bagher from Sweden, and Santiago
Segura Silva from Spain, all of whom became a household name in their
respective countries for their cinematographic achievements in this
genre. Anders Thomas Jensen, the award-winning director and scriptwriter
who invented the so-called Danish action-comedy with the box-office hit
IN CHINA THEY EAT DOGS (1999), wrote the scripts for many of the Dogma
films and received much critical acclaim for ADAM'S APPLES (2005) which
he also directed. Screenwriter and director Reza Bagher is known across
Europe for his prominently casted film POPULAR MUSIC FROM VITTULA
(2004). And Spanish actor, screenwriter, director and producer Santiago
Segura Silva rose to stardom in 1998 with his directorial debut film
TORRENTE, THE STUPID ARM OF THE LAW in which he also played the lead.

Laughing On Your Own? attempts to challenge the widely accepted
conjecture that humour like wine travels badly, a phenomenon generated
by cultural as well as religious differences. This subject will be
presented and discussed by the Polish actor, comedian and founder of a
highly successful cabaret ensemble Maciej Stuhr and the renowned and
critically acclaimed Norwegian director, writer and producer Bent Hamer
whose films which are marked by his silent humour have been distributed
in more than 40 countries, have participated in over 80 film festivals
around the world, and have won him some 30 prizes and awards.

What´s So Funny? At first glance a simple question easy to answer that
will be debated by two eminent film experts, Derek Malcolm from the UK
and Jean Roy from France. Humour was born in Britain, the British claim,
it is emotional, gentle, genial. French wit is seen to be opposed to
Anglo-Saxon humour. What's the truth in that?
Derek Malcolm, one of the most respected British film critics, film
historians and author of acclaimed books like ´A Century of Cinema´,
will join forces with his French colleague Jean Roy who is also active
as critic both in newspapers and in television and like Malcolm author
of many books on film.

The Unbearable Lightness of Laughter -Where Does Humour End? will
highlight a delicate matter which has become a globally discussed
conflict: Does humour end where religion begins? Is there something like
´good´ humour and ´bad´ humour and where is the line between those two?
German director, actor, scriptwriter and producer Dani Levy, whose
latest film MEIN FÜHRER: THE TRULY TRUEST TRUTH ABOUT ADOLF HITLER
(2007) has been enormously successful but also controversially discussed
in regard to the ´fun factor´ of dictatorship, will debate with Danish
stand-up comedian Omar Marzouk who seeks, as he once said, "to overcome
the polarization between Islamic and Western societies with the help of
humour".

A final round-table session will look at strategies for internationally
successful comedies, bringing together EFA Board members Adriana Chiesa
di Palma (producer & sales agent, Italy) and Antonio Saura (producer,
Spain), and producer Peter Aalbaek Jensen from Denmark.

The EFA Conference 2008 is presented by the European Film Academy e.V.
And EFA08 ApS with the support of The Danish Film Institute, FFA German
Federal Film Board, MEDIA Desk Denmark, TNT Express, and United
International Pictures (UIP).

Berlin and Copenhagen, 19 November 2008
--------------------------------------------------------
Pascal Edelmann
Head of Press & PR
EUROPEAN FILM ACADEMY e.V.
Kurfürstendamm 225
10719 Berlin
GERMANY
tel. +49 - 30 - 887 167 - 0
fax +49 - 30 - 887 167 - 77

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.europeanfilmacademy.org

Director: Marion Döring / registered at Amtsgericht Charlottenburg 14236 Nz

THE 21st EUROPEAN FILM AWARDS: Copenhagen, 6 Dec 2008

The European Film Awards 2008 are presented by the European Film Academy
e.V. and EFA Productions gGmbH in collaboration with EFA08 ApS and the
Copenhagen Film Festivals with the support of the City of Copenhagen,
the City of Frederiksberg, the Capital Region of Denmark, the Danish
Ministry of Culture, the Danish Film Institute, Wonderful Copenhagen,
the Nordic Film Fund and the Danish film industry.

PATRONS: ADRIANA CHIESA ENTERPRISES SRL * AGICOA * CENTRO NIEMEYER *
DANISH FILM INSTITUTE * EGEDA * ERNST & YOUNG AG * EURIMAGES * FUNDAÇÃO
CALOUSTE GULBENKIAN * KORDA STUDIOS * MALTA FILM COMMISSION * MINISTRY
OF EDUCATION AND CULTURE OF CYPRUS (CULTURAL SERVICES) * POLISH FILM
INSTITUTE * RAI CINEMA * SEVILLE EUROPEAN FILM FESTIVAL, A PROJECT OF
ICAS, ORGANISED BY ANDALUCIA FILM COMMISSION AND SEVILLE FILM OFFICE *
SOCIEDAD GENERAL DE AUTORES Y EDITORES (SGAE) * TELEWIZJA POLSKA S.A.
(TVP) * UGC CINE CITE SAS (UGC) * UNITED INTERNATIONAL PICTURES

PARTNERS & SPONSORS: * FFA German Federal Film Board * MEDIA Programme
of the EU * Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg * German State Minister of
Culture and the Media * Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin * TNT *
UIP *