EU Film Fest opens


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

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