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European Cinema Night 2020: cinemas offer virtual screenings to weather the crisis

This year more than 70 cinemas across Europe will be participating in the 2020 edition of the European Cinema Night. The initiative, taking place from 16 to 20 November and in a hybrid format for the first time, aims to reach more than 10,000 people that will celebrate together the richness of European films.

The EU programme Creative Europe MEDIA, in collaboration with the network Europa Cinemas, is organising the third edition of a unique outreach event with the objective of connecting cinema lovers and bringing European films closer to citizens. 

In 2018 and 2019, European Cinema Night events took place in 34 and 54 cities respectively. MEDIA-supported films from over 30 different nationalities were successfully presented to audiences all over Europe, with the participation of renowned directors such as Nanni Moretti, Benedikt Erlingsson, Adina Pintilie and Teona Strugar Mitevska, just to mention a few.

In 2020, in this unprecedented year hit by the coronavirus crisis, the European Cinema Night is back in an adapted format as an opportunity to highlight not only the great capacity of the sector to adapt to the new normal by introducing innovative solutions, but also the essential role of cinemas in the circulation and visibility of European films, in attracting new audiences, and in spreading the richness and diversity of European culture.

The novelty this year – to comply with the lockdown established in several countries – is the introduction of virtual screenings that will be proposed in those cases where physical events are not recommended or allowed. Whether online or onsite, and always scrupulously respecting the national sanitary measures and guaranteeing the safety of participants, the concept remains the same: citizens can join free local screenings of European MEDIA-supported films and attend a debate around the film and the EU support to the sector.

Altogether more than 45 different MEDIA-supported titles have been chosen by the local exhibitors this year, according to their knowledge of their audiences and embodying the richness and diversity of the European audiovisual landscape. 

The list of participating cinemas gives more details about the screenings. Please note that the virtual screenings will follow the same dynamics as the physical event. That means that the screenings will be geo-blocked and with limited seats, so we advise to visit the website of your local cinema to check any potential registration needed to secure your virtual seat.


This event is part of the European Commission “going local” communication campaign, which shows citizens how European policy is linked to their lives – in this case to the emotions they feel at cinemas – and how by attending a locally-grounded event they can be part of a globally-connected experience across Europe. By connecting cinemagoers in numerous cities across Europe, the European Cinema Night aims to strengthen their shared European identity rooted in our cultural diversity and values, hence bringing EU policies closer to their everyday lives.