Monday, April 15, 2013

Our School Screens in the European Parliament!

On April 11, 2013, Our School finally screened in the European Parliament. It's been a long time coming. This was one of our goals with this film from the very beginning, even before we shot the first minute for it. And thanks to Member of the European Parliament Monica Macovei and her wonderful staff, we were able to finally make it happen during a week-long series of actions centered on the International Roma Day (April 8) in Brussels. 

Monica Macovei has been a long-time advocate for human rights. Director Mona Nicoara first met her in the early 1990s, when they were both working with the Romanian Helsinki Committee. Over the years, Monica Macovei has shown an unwavering commitment to human rights and rule of law principles, even as she entered into politics, first as Minister of Justice in Romania and now as an elected member of the European Parliament. 

We are so grateful for this opportunity to show the film before members of the European Parliament, their staffers, and other decision-makers in the European Union. This is a crucial year for Roma integration in Europe, as the European Commission and its member states finalize and begin to implement continent-wide integration policies. We were thrilled to see a full house turn up for the screening - including activists and journalists who made the trip to the Parliament building for the specific purpose of attending the screening and meeting European representatives and their staffers. We were also pleased to see the Roma interns at the European Commission come to support the film - as they always did over the past two years. The questions after the screening showed a keen interest in the key challenges to integration: project implementation at the local level,