Reaching its XXI edition, The European Film Festival is setting in motion with a spring in its step: an art director, a distinct orientation and a Romanian feature premiere that, for the first time in the festival’s history, will open all the local editions.
Romanian premiere of Aki Kaurismäki's feature, The Other Side of Hope, will open the 2017 edition of the European Film Festival. Kaurismäki's film will also kickstart all four local editions. The Other Side of Hope will be screened in Bucharest on May 4th, in Iași on May 12th, in Gura Humorului and Tîrgu Mureș on May 19th, and in Timișoara on May 26th.
"We have made efforts so that, for the first time in our Festival's history, the opening film can be watched in Bucharest and, as well, in all cities that host the local editions. I am pleased that we are able to offer a brand new film, intriguing and controversial but, first and foremost, rooted in topical issues on Europe’ public agenda. Moreover, we challenge the public to question and examine today’s multi-layered society, as during these times of political and social changes, the film – so much more than a mere intellectual pleasure – is poised to become a useful tool for this endeavour. The visual identity we’ve recently unveiled unapologetically points to this new direction of the Festival." said Alex Trăilă, the European Film Festival's art director
The Other Side of Hope won the Silver Bear for the Best Director Award, during the 2017 edition of Berlin International Film Festival, where Kaurismäki announced that this might be his last piece as a director. An extremely personal view on the European migrant’s crisis, peppered with outbursts of eccentric humour sometimes culminating in laughter, the film will leave viewers with a feeling of gentle elation, nourished by moments of humanity tenderly strewn across a background full of cruelty and indifference.
Another first in its long history is that the festival now has an art director, Alex Trăilă. He is a film adviser with an impressive experience in organizing festivals (Sarajevo FF, Transylvania IFF, When East Meets West - Trieste), and a founding member of the #FEEDback think-tank (Film Eastern European Dialogue), dedicated to cultural policy of the cinema in Eastern Europe. He was advisor to the Minister of Culture, and since January 2016, is member of the Board of Management of the Romanian Film Centre. As EFF's art director, he will steer the Festival's new narrative and will assist the embassies and cultural centres in films’ selection.
A new direction for EFF. The XXI edition will mark an editorial change; during these troubled times, the film, which is more than a mere intellectual pleasure may become a perfect instrument to reflect the different facets of society. In that vein, EFF aims to initiate dialogue on topical issues. Using some of the films themes as springboard, the Agora platform (a series of debates moderated by experts from various fields) will offer the viewers the opportunity to examine today’s European society, with its identity conflicts, aspirations, anxieties and dilemmas specific to the times we live in and regardless within which borders we live in.
The European Film Festival takes place in Bucharest (May, 4 to 11), Iasi (May, 12 to 14), Tîrgu Mureș (May, 19 to 21), Gura Humorului (May, 19 to 21) and Timișoara (May, 26 to 28).
The European Film Festival is organized by the Romanian Cultural Institute, under the aegis of EUNIC Romania, in conjunction with the European Commission Representation in Romania, with the support of embassies and cultural centres of European countries, the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant, the French Institute - Cinema Elvire Popesco, the Filmmakers Union in Romania and the European Parliament Information Office in Romania.
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