The annual European Union (EU) Film Festival was officially opened at the Cinema Nouveau complex in Pretoria’s Brooklyn Mall on 14 September by the Finnish Ambassador, Heikki Tuunanen.
This sixth edition of the Festival has been expanded to include Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. Participating countries are Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and United Kingdom. Included in the programme are two of this year’s Oscar nominees in the Best Foreign Language Film category, Sophie Scholl a€” The Final Days by German filmmaker Marc Rothemund and France’s Merry Christmas by Christian Carion.
Prior to introducing the opening night film, FC Venus by Finnish director Joona Tena, Ambassador Tuunanen stressed the importance of exposing European culture to other parts of the world. “It is very important for individuals and different groups of countries to attach significance to the importance of culture. We all need to nurture our roots, identity and cultural environments. This vital concept is often ignored today with the strong global focus on economics and politics. The EU festival offers a variety of different genres of films from many different countries.
“I note a lot of similarities between South Africa and the EU, which comprises 25 member countries, in the sense that South Africa has exposed itself as a multi-national, multi-cultural, multi-racial and multi-lingual country. Similarly, the EU is a composite grouping of many different nations, each with its own culture, language and race.
In conclusion Tuunanen thanked Ster-Kinekor Pictures and its art house circuit, Cinema Nouveau, for once again hosting the Festival. The opening night event was attended by dignitaries from the various European embassies represented at the Festival.
Festival dates and venues:
Pretoria (Brooklyn Mall): 15 a€” 21 September
Johannesburg (Rosebank Mall): 22 a€” 28 September
Cape Town (Cavendish Square): 29 September a€” 5 October
Durban (Gateway): 6 a€” 12 October
Films on the programme:
Welcome Home (Austria) a€” directed by Andreas Gruber
The Kiss (Belgium) a€” directed by Hilde Van Mieghem
FC Venus (Finland) a€” directed by Joona Tena
Merry Christmas (France) a€” directed by Christian Carion
Sophie Scholl a€” The Final Days (Germany) a€” directed by Marc Rothemund
Let’s go for an Ouzo (Greece) a€” directed by Kleoni Flessa
Intermission (Ireland) a€” directed by Johan Crowley
Antonio, Warrior of God (Italy) a€” directed by Antonello Belluco/Sandro Cecca
Hush Hush Baby (Netherlands) a€” Albert ter Heerdt
A Perfect Afternoon (Poland) a€” directed by Przemyslaw Wojcieszek
Portugal SA (Portugal) a€” directed by Ruy Guerra
Two Syllables Behind (Slovakia) a€” directed by Katarina Sulajova
Things That Make Life Worth Living (Spain) a€” directed by Manuel Gomez Pereira
Gypo (United Kingdom) a€” directed by Jan Dunn
For more info please visit www.sterkinekor.com