Luxembourg City Film Festival a.s.b.l. has announced the appointment of its new president, Georges Santer.

Georges Santer succeeds Colette Flesch who announced her withdrawal after ten years during the opening ceremony of the tenth edition of the Luxembourg City Film Festival on 5 March 2020.

The board of the a.s.b.l. Luxembourg City Film Festival elected its new president, Georges Santer, at its general meeting on 26 May 2020 - an election which should have been held in April but which was postponed because of the restrictions imposed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

After having pursued a master's degree in History and German at the University of Vienna in 1978 and post-graduate studies at the Vienna Diplomatic Academy from 1978 to 1980, Mr. Santer began his career as a diplomat at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1980. He then took up his post at the Luxembourg Embassy in Paris, at the Luxembourg mission to the United Nations (UN) in New York and in Madrid as Charge d'affaires. He was then appointed to the following posts: Ambassador in Beijing (1991-1995) and co-accredited to Vietnam; Permanent representative to the O.S.C.E. in Vienna (1995-2000); Ambassador of Luxembourg in Vienna, co-accredited to Hungary and Slovenia (1995-2002); Ambassador to the Holy See (2004-2008), in Paris (2007-2012) and co-accredited in Monaco; in Berlin (2012-2017) and co-accredited in Croatia. From 1988-1991, he held the post of Director of Budget, Finance and Administration at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and from 2002 to 2007, he was the Secretary General of the Ministry, the highest function of the diplomatic career.

In addition to his duties within the Luxembourg diplomatic corps, Georges Santer was a member of the board of directors of the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra (2002-2007), a member of the board of directors of "Luxembourg and the Greater Region, European Capital of the Culture 2007 ”, President of the International Music Festival of Echternach (2007-2013), head of delegation (since April 2016) and then President of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance / IHRA (March 2019-March 2020). Since 30 April 2020, he is also the President of the Luxembourg Chamber Orchestra.

Europa Film Festivals 

Furthermore, the Luxembourg City Film Festival and Galway Film Fleadh, one of Ireland's most important film festivals, have announced the launch of a new network: Europa Film Festivals, born from common reflections and from a project initiated within the framework of Galway 2020, European Capital of Culture. The main goal of the network is to formalise a system promoting the exchange of information, strategies and culture between member festivals with a resounding European voice. It will formulate and develop common positions and perspectives around key questions, resources, management models, good practices and infrastructures for this exchange of information in order to support its members in the emerging cinematographic ecosystem. The network hopes to provide a unique opportunity to support and strengthen film festivals.

Miriam Allen, EFF President, General Manager of Galway Film Fleadh and member of the Documentary Jury of LuxFilmFest 2019, explained: “We are full of enthusiasm and delighted to finally be able to present our network. All members look forward to contributing to the important work that Europa Film Festivals can hope for in the near future".

Alexis Juncosa, Artistic Director of the Luxembourg City Film Festival and Vice-President of Europa Film Festivals, continued: “We are particularly happy to take part in this initiative, the result of joint efforts to unite the dynamics specific to festivals. Oriented towards solution-finding, we hope to make this federation a partner of dialogue and propositions. We will soon reveal more in detail the ambitions of this federation”.

Europa Film Festivals intends to make full use of the experience, know-how and creativity of its members to provide a sustainable network dedicated to constant development. In collaboration with Galway 2020 and the Galway Film Fleadh, member festivals will co-organise "Peripheral Visions", a competitive programme of thirteen films centred around the themes of "language, landscape and migration". The selected films, accessible from Irish territory, will be shown online on the Galway Film Fleadh website from 7 to 12 July 2020 and followed by Q&As in which the public can participate. The winning film will be awarded €3,000. The Luxembourg City Film Festival has chosen Julie Schroell's "Raconte-moi le fleuve" (Cuentos del rio) (a co-production of Calach Films) for the competition.

The members of the Europa Film Festivals network are:

  • Miriam Allen (President) - Galway Film Fleadh, Ireland
  • Alexis Juncosa (Vice-president) - Luxembourg City Film Festival, Luxembourg
  • Michele Devlin - Belfast Film Festival, Northern Ireland
  • Hrönn Marinósdóttir - Reykjavik International Film Festival, Iceland
  • Alejandro Díaz Castaño - Gijón International Film Festival, Spain
  • Fredau Buwalda - Noordelijk Film Festival, Netherlands
  • Kathrin Kohlstedde - Filmfest Hamburg, Germany
  • Nektarios Sakkas - Athens International Film Festival, Greece
  • Emmanuel Cuénod - Geneva International Film Festival, Switzerland
  • Guilhem Caillard - CINEMANIA Film Festival, Montreal, Canada
  • Milja Mikkola - Midnight Sun Film Festival, Finland
  • Johanna Caraire - International Independent Film Festival of Bordeaux, France