Pope Francis confers Knighthood on Malaysian former SIGNIS VP for commitment to social communication
SIGNIS Projects: new equipment to promote spiritual wellbeing through Radio Faraja FM, Tanzania
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI encouraged us to communicate the Gospel by approaching new media through the lens of our missiology
SIGNIS’s mission is very political: it aims to change cultures for a better world based on Christian values. This mission was also the reason for its foundation, as OCIC, in 1928. It enabled the organization to play a role in the politico-cultural forum of the League of Nations to support and disseminate those films promoting a culture of peace and better understanding among peoples. Immediately after 1945 UNESCO, European festivals such as Venice, Cannes, San Sebastian and Berlin, and cinematographic works reflected also this cultural policy which was the forging of a democratic Europe, based on values such as human rights and – dignity, solidarity, reconciliation, forgiveness, dialogue, etc In fact, it is a spiritual project to build a peaceful continental community, which is not solely based on economic-material interests. This spirit is revealed in the presence of our juries in festivals and its prizes, but also with the development of EUROCIC, now SIGNIS Europe, the collaboration with Interfilm in ecumenical juries and with representatives of other religions in inter-religious juries. It has to be recalled that e.g. awarding prizes to “dissident” filmmakers form Eastern Europe, our jurors have supported a culture of hope behind the Iron Curtain. After the fall of the wall, Eva Zaoralova, the artistic director of the most important film fest in Eastern Europe Karlovy Vary asked the OCIC General Assembly in Prague to continue more than ever its work in the (Eastern) European cinema world to encourage those filmmakers who make films based on values, to make them known and to promote them especially in Europe. For her, this was, and still is she said recently, crucial to contribute to a better understanding among Europeans, essential for peace on the continent.
Time has come for Guido Convents’ retirement as Editor in Chief of SIGNIS’ CineMag. Guido, editor of eight consecutive issues of CineMag including the creation and shaping of the first stand-alone issue, is a supporter and early witness of the SIGNIS mission. He is an enthusiastic promoter of a culture of peace grounded on social Catholicism. In a later edition, we will take an in-depth look at Guido’s involvement within the organization, but for now, we want to extend our deepest thanks for his dedication and involvement in the creation, design and promotion of CineMag during the past two years. Thank you Guido!
Magali Van Reeth
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