The Wake Up Foundation
Never have our democracies felt so challenged. Never has the EU felt so fragile. Urgent change is needed.
The Wake Up Foundation (WUF) aims to educate and inspire citizen activism at a grassroots level via the Wake Up Europe! Impact Film Festival, designed to spark debate around defending and restoring Europe’s core values and vitality.
The film festival will take place in Turin, Italy, in early 2019, and will showcase long and short form documentaries on the theme of European identity.
The film festival will stimulate debate around the reforms Europe needs to restore its social, economic and political vitality. By encouraging young European citizens from diverse backgrounds to participate, it aims to galvanise them into playing a critical role in shaping their future.
Success will be to create a new kind of film festival centered on ideas which will attract young people, and galvanise them to participate in the democratic processes needed to reform the European project, culminating in a higher turnout in the crucial 2019 European Parliament elections.
WUF will begin to cultivate dialogue and interest around the festival and its objectives throughout 2018 via an ambitious programme of debates with young people across Europe, building on the already successful Wake Up Europe campaign and the significant following already gained with its educational films - "Girlfriend in a Coma" (2012), "The Great European Disaster Movie" (2015), and "Europe at Sea" (2017). These will be a springboard for discussion leading into the festival in early 2019.
WUF’s founders - Bill Emmott (former editor-in-chief of The Economist) and Annalisa Piras (film director and journalist) – firmly believe the threat of populism must be countered by engaging Europe’s youth, and empowering them to think, talk and act on Europe’s future, both at national and EU level.
Although this project seeks to involve citizens from across Europe in its entirety, our principle audience are young people, providing them with the information tools to learn about the value of democracy, and the confidence to identify fake news and counter the growth of populism.
Ideas on how to further engage young people across Europe, especially those not already active in politics, are always welcome.