WAR ON SCREEN: A KEY ATTRACTION FOR THE PAYS DE CHÂLONS
As a region marred by a history of conflict, not least the First World War, the Pays de Châlons was keen to establish a major cultural event: an international festival on the subject of “conflict”, a theme that has been unduly neglected thus far despite the enormous diversity of film formats and media dealing with the topic (feature, short, documentary, tragedy, comedy, cartoon, fantasy, musical comedy...).
War on Screen, our international film festival, will thus complement what is currently on offer and make up for the absence of cinematic events in the Champagne-Ardenne region.
Right from the very first edition, both the State and local communities have been keen to support this groundbreaking initiative, given its strong connection with our history and identity. By choosing “conflict” as a theme, our region is not wishing to retreat into its past but instead look to the future.
Filmmakers the world over find conflict appealing as a theme, as it allows exploration of the full range of human emotions and touches on man's place in today's society and his dealings with others.
This is therefore a humanistic festival, embracing the thinking of illustrious Châlons-born Nobel Peace Prize laureate Léon Bourgeois, one of the founding fathers of the League of Nations – the precursor to the UN, which exists to foster peace-keeping and the avoidance of conflict.
Through this film festival organised by La Comète, our Scène nationale theatre, the Pays de Châlons, the department of Marne and indeed the whole Champagne-Ardenne region will all reap the benefits of a contemporary cultural event with what it takes to bring large audiences of all ages into the region, from avid film buffs to ordinary cinema-goers, both French and international.
War on Screen will be a showcase for the passion and vitality of our region. As a stand against elitism, the festival will be readily accessible to men, women and children from the area and activities will take place across three sites – Châlons, Mourmelon and Suippes, thus also giving visitors from outside the area or abroad the chance to get to know our region.
Events such as the Festival mondial des théâtres de marionnettes and the Festival international de la photo animalière have demonstrated that is possible for a regional event to reach international acclaim and attract hundreds of thousands of visitors, providing an extraordinary opportunity to turn the spotlight on smaller towns and cities. Let us follow in their examples.
So, here’s to the success of War on Screen long into the future! Here’s to our very own international film festival and what promises to be a key visitor attraction and boost to the prestige of the Pays de Châlons, the department of Marne, the region of Champagne-Ardenne and indeed the whole of France!
Pierre DARTOUT, Prefect of Marne and Champagne-Ardenne
René Paul SAVARY, Senator and President, General Council of Marne
Jean-Paul BACHY, President of the Regional Council of Champagne-Ardenne
Bruno BOURG-BROC, Mayor and President of the Township Committee of Châlons-en-Champagne
Jacques JESSON, President of the Pays de Châlons
Fabrice LONCOL, Mayor and President of the Community of Municipalities of Mourmelon
François MAINSANT, President of the Community of Municipalities of Suippes
Jean HUGUIN, Mayor of Suippes