[Diocese in Europe] An international jury of Christian film critics have given an award to one of the films shown at Cannes this year, and have held an ecumenical service in an Anglican Church in Cannes to celebrate the potential contribution of film to human and spiritual values.
It was the first time in the 29 years the service has been held that the English-language Anglican Church of Holy Trinity, part of the Church of England's Diocese in Europe, had hosted it. The chaplain, the Revd Peter Anderson, welcomed the congregation in French and the service itself was conducted in French.
An ecumenical and international jury of six people is appointed each year by two agencies (SIGNIS, a Roman Catholic organisation concerned with communications generally, and INTERFILM, a Protestant organisation concerned with the cinema). Their task is to award a film for both its artistic merit and also on the human and spiritual values portrayed by its imagery. This year the jury consisted of two French, two Swiss, an Egyptian and a Canadian.
They chose the film "A cinq heures de l'apres midi" made in Afghanistan by 23 year old Samira Makhmalbaf. It tells the story of a young Afghan family discovering the tension between the traditional and modern worlds in which they live. It focuses on women and their role in building for the future.
The ecumenical service at Holy Trinity Cannes took place before the end of the festival and before the award was announced. It was intended to give a worship opportunity for all involved in the film industry. It was attended by church leaders from Roman Catholic, Church of England, Lutheran, and Greek Orthodox churches, as well by as civic leaders from Cannes who provided a buffet afterwards. The members of the Jury each read a prayer.
Details about the award and film can be accessed at http://juryoecumenique-cannes.cef.fr/