“It is sensational at Pippi’s! We can do what is not allowed at home, “ enthuses one of the friends of the famous red headed rebellious girl Pippi Longstocking. If you’d like to be reminded of how sensational it is at Pippi’s or what sort of dirty tricks she and he friends can perform, visit this year’s 57th Zlín Film Festival. And there is more! In addition to the film adaptations of the books of the Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren the organizers of the festival are bringing another 30 Swedish feature films for children and youth to Zlín.


The main impulse for choosing this Scandinavian country was an important anniversary in the field of film making for children and youth. In 2017, 110 years passes since the birth of internationally recognized children’s literature author Astrid Lindgren. Who would not be familiar with the incredible expeditions of Pippi Longstocking, the adventurous story of Ronja, the Robber’s daughter or the thrilling investigation of the little detective Kalle Blomkvist? Film adaptations of these and other novels will be brought to you during the festival in a special section dedicated to this famous author.

Sweden is among the countries known to be very productive in the field of film making for children and youth and to be awarded success for this production even at international festivals. Two other mini-sections of the Zlín Film Festival will include thematically and temporally diverse selection of films for children and youth. One of the most famous ones is an early work of world-renowned director Lasse Hallström My Life as a Dog (1985). This melancholic view at the childhood of a little boy Ingemar, his first love, family sorrows and happy moments of a small Swedish village life even brought him an Oscar award nomination. Charms of the Swedish countryside and landscape will be shown in films like Hugo and Josephine (1967), a summer story of friendship of two children, as well as in an emotional film Elina (2002) describing a tough situation of the Finnish minority in Sweden in the 50s.

In the youth section, we will be reminded of a debut of Lukas Moodysson Show Me Love (1998), acclaimed by the critics, about two completely different girls and their relationship which disturbs the atmosphere of the society around them. A talented director and a screenplay writer Josef Fares will share his experience from the wartime Lebanon and subsequently from his new home in Sweden in his drama Zozo (2005) on Monday. Drama Sebbe (2010) collected a number of festival awards, including the Zlin Film Festival Golden slipper for the best film for youth, it is a story of a fifteen year old outsider seeking a getaway from a difficult family social situation and constant bullying at school. Your spirits can be lifted by watching a bitter-sweet comedy Simple Simon (2010) starring Bill Skarsgård as a young man suffering from Asperger's syndrome.

“Child in Films by the Classics“ is a festival section dedicated to the experienced audience and film enthusiasts. In this section we should not forget to mention one of the most acclaimed directors of the world cinema Ingmar Bergman and his three hours longm partly autobiographical saga from the early 20th century Fanny and Alexander (1982) which earned him his first Oscar award. Sunday’s Children (1992), a film by Bergman’s son Daniel Bergman, shows the audience how well the director managed to turn his fathers‘ literary childhood memories into a movie. An exceptional film style by Roy Andersson will be presented in his debut A Swedish Love Story (1970), a love story of a fifteen year old Pär and a thirteen year old Annika.

In the selection for the Days of Swedish Cinema we can not leave aside animated films for children, especially two names. Per Åhlin, director, illustrator and animator whose two feature films will be screened during the festival - Thundering Fatty (1974), a combination of live action and animation and a story of an adventure of living toys and The Journey to Melonia (1989), an adventurous fantasy film loosely inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Åhlin‘s filmography also includes cooperation on medium-length animations for the youngest viewers The Little Ghost Laban (2007) and The Little Anna and her Tall Uncle (2012). These films will be presented in Zlín by one of the Swedish animation directors Alicja Jaworski- Björk who will sit on the animation film jury.

Alicja Jaworski- Björk, of course, will not be the only Swedish guest at the 57th Zlín Film Festival. For example, director Catti Edfeldt, an extraordinary woman of many film professions, will become one of the main jury members. She will be presenting other Swedish film, especially the ones in the Astrid Lindgren section since she worked as an assistent director on Ronja, the Robber’s daughter, or starred in the film and the series The Bullerbyn Children.

Polish The Last Family and Lithuanian Woman and the Glacierwin in Vilnius

Polish Jan P. Matuszyński's feature debut film The Last Family and documentary Woman and the Glacier by Lithuanian director Audrius Stonys won the main competition programmes last night in Vilnius Film Festival Kino Pavasaris. Bulgarian social drama Glory and the new film by Ukrainian documentarian Sergei Loznitsa Austerlitz are also among the winners.

Matuszyński's film recreates the real-life story of Zdzisław Beksiński, a legendary Polish surrealist painter. The film was praised for its exceptional camerawork and the unique, disturbing portrait of the troubled family.

Stonys made history as the first Lithuanian director to ever win for the best film in any of Kino Pavasaris competitions. Woman and the Glacier focuses on Lithuanian scientist Aušra Revutaitė living in isolation in the 3,500 metres high mountains in Central Asia, researching the climate change.

The festival was a success for Stonys, the prominent Lithuanian documentarian, now working on an upcoming film Baltic New Wave, together with Latvian director Kristine Briede. Their new film focused on Baltic documentary filmmakers from the Soviet times was chosen as one of the winners in Meeting Point - Vilnius industry screenings. It will be shown in Cannes industry screenings this May.

Among this year's winners of Kino Pavasaris is Ukrainian Sergei Loznitsa with his new documentary Austerlitz, which shows tourists visiting former concentration camps. “Why do they go there? What are they looking for?” asks the director.

Bulgarian directors Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov are awarded for their work on the film Glory, depicting corruption in Bulgaria. The film also got a special award by the CICAE jury.

Vilnius Film Festival traditionally hosts two main competition programmes. New Europe – New Names includes upcoming directors from Central and Eastern Europe. Only the first or second feature films of the directors take part in the contest. Another competition programme is Baltic Gaze. It includes films from countries that border the Baltic Sea.

The winner of Short Film Competition was Close Ties by a Polish director Zofia Kowalewska.

The closing ceremony of the biggest and oldest film festival in Lithuania was held this Thursday at the Lithuanian National Philharmonic. This year, the festival screened more than 130 feature films and 70 short films. The festival counted more than 100,000 cinemagoers in 5 biggest cities in Lithuania.



Best Film:
The Last Family / Ostatnia rodzina (Poland)
Directed by Jan P. Matuszyński

Best Director:
Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov for Glory / Slava (Bulgaria, Greece)

Best Actress:
Mia Petričević for Quit Staring at My Plate / Ne gledaj mi u pijat (Croatia, Denmark)
Directed by Hana Jušić

Best Actor:
Marius Repšys for The Saint / Šventasis (Lithuania, Poland)
Directed by Andrius Blaževičius

The CICAE Award:
Glory / Slava (Bulgaria, Greece)
Directed by Kristina Grozeva, Petar Valchanov


Best Film:
Woman and the Glacier / Moteris ir ledynas (Lithuania)
Directed by Audrius Stonys

Best Director:
Sergei Loznitsa for Austerlitz (Germany)

Best Actress:
Lene Cecilia Sparrok for Sami Blood (Sweden, Denmark, Norway)
Directed by Amanda Kernell

Best Actor:
Petr Skvortsov for The Student (Russia)
Directed by Kirill Serebrennikov


Best Short Film:
Close Ties (Poland)
Directed by Zofia Kowalewska

Short Film Special Mention:
Half a Man (Croatia, France)
Directed by Kristina Kumrić

Audience Award – Best Feature Film:
Perfect Strangers (Italy)
Directed by Paolo Genovese

Audience Award – Best Short Film:
Running Lights / Kaukai (Lithuania, India, Finland)
Directed by Gediminas Šiaulys

Student Film Award:
Vegetation Walk / Pasivaikščiojimas augalų pasaulyje (Lithuania, Switzerland, Luxembourg)
Directed by Anouk Chambaz and Julija Paškevičiūtė

20 minutes of each ot the winning film projects will be shown at Cannes Marche du Film industry screenings:

Baltic New Wave (Lithuania, Estonia)
Directed by Audrius Stonys and Kristine Briede

To Be Continued (Latvia)
Directed by Ivars Sileckis

A Long Day (Slovakia)
Produced by Katarina Tomkov

Headlong (Ukraine)
Directed by Marina Stepanska

Here you can find information about any of Kino Pavasaris films: http://kinopavasaris.lt/en/programa

Let us know if you have any other requests.

Best wishes from Vilnius!

Attention documentary directors and producers! 
If you are working on:
-    feature length creative documentary project
-    thematically bound to Central and Eastern Europe
-    that is in development or early production stage
APPLY for the EX ORIENTE FILM workshop!
We focus on helping you to:
→ Develop the subject, narrative and the visual style of your project
→ Create a production, financing and distribution plan
→ Find international partners
→ Promote your film through pitching, networking, marketing
→ Explore alternative platforms and funding strategies
3 different locations & 3 one-week workshops & 3 areas of focus
  • 1st Session: Split, Croatia – 26th June – 1st July 2017: „Focus and Inspiration“
  • 2nd Session: Jihlava, Czech Republic – 23rd - 28th October 2017: „Story Packaging“
  • 3rd Session: Prague, Czech Republic – March 2018: „Market Opens“
Apply HERE by May 4th 2017
Participants: The workshop is open for 12 documentary projects represented by director-producer teams primarily from Central and Eastern Europe (incl. EU acceding and candidate countries, Post-Soviet states and Russia) and/ or for creative documentary projects dealing with stories from Central and Eastern Europe.
Participation fee: The participation fee is 1,800€ per selected project (includes accommodation, coffee breaks and lunches during all the three workshop sessions for 2 pers.).
Scholarship: Selected participants may apply for a scholarship to cover part of the participation fee associated with the workshop. Applicants must prove that there is no access to scholarships in their own country.
Practical requirements: Directors and producers can only participate with their own creative documentary projects. It is required that ALL workshop sessions be attended by both the director and the producer. Participants must be proficient in English.
We look forward to receiving your applications!
Kristýna Balabán, Ex Oriente Film Manager/ email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tereza Ritterová, Ex Oriente Film Coordinator / email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Did you recently finish your documentary film? Apply for East Silver 2017, documentary market specialized in Eastern and Central European documentary film.

More details and online entry form is here (application is free of charge).

Deadline for East Silver: June 30, 2017

Digital Single Market
23/03: Digital Single Market: watching TV shows when travelling – EPP website

The European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee made yet another step in achieving the Digital Single Market. The Committee approved a deal with the Council on a regulation on the cross-border portability of online content services in the internal market. 

29/03: GS Media and Its Implications for the Construction of the Right of Communication to the Public within EU Copyright Architecture – Common Market Law Review
This article assesses the implications of the GS Media decision in respect of linking, and - more generally - the construction of the right of communication to the public.
1/04: Conference report: Online platforms and intermediaries in copyright law – The IPKat
The conference on “Online Platforms and Intermediaries in Copyright Law” hosted by Ansgar Ohly and Matthias Leistner at the LMU Munich on 23 and 24 March 2017 shed light on several issues and challenges concerning current trends and developments in copyright law and intermediaries’ liability. 

Media Literacy
28/03: New study published by the European Audiovisual Observatory on Media Literacy in Europe – EAO
“Mapping of media literacy practices and actions in EU-28” is focused on projects relating to media services delivered on electronic communication networks, both linear and non-linear, and on information services where pertinent, whereas press, radio and off-line media are excluded from the report’s scope. Considering the existence of specific studies on actions related to school curricula, the European Commission has asked to include only media literacy actions that have taken place outside schools.

19- 22/06 CineEurope - more information here
16/04: Deadline European Commission's public consultation on Creative Europe MEDIA – more information here
21/05: European Audiovisual Observatory Conference, Cannes
22/05: European Film Forum, Cannes

25 film projects from 21 countries will be presented this Wednesday, at the 8th international film industry event Meeting Point – Vilnius.

The projects were selected from more than 50 applications from the Baltic States as well as Central and Eastern Europe countries: Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Georgia, Ukraine, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria and others.

In the 8th edition of Meeting Point – Vilnius filmmakers will present their projects in two categories: Coming Soon from Baltics and Coming Soon New Talents.

The best film projects will be picked for the industry screening at Cannes Marche du Film. 20 minutes excerpts of selected winners will be shown in "Vilnius IFF Goes to Cannes" session at this year’s Cannes film festival.

The winners will be selected by the international Jury which consists of Marie-Pierre Valle (Head of Acquisitions of Wild Bunch), Nikolaj Nikitin (Berlinale delegate for Eastern and Central Europe) and Guillaume de Seille (Arizona films (France) producer).

Coming Soon from Baltics 

Lithuanian director Audrius Stonys together with Latvian director Kristine Briede will present documentary project Baltic New Wave. It puts spotlight on the unique phenomenon in the history of cinema: the Baltic school of poetic documentary. Established in 1960s by filmmakers from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia it broke the dogmatic propaganda documentary tradition of the Soviet Union. Baltic New Wave's documentaries were completely different: humane, meaningful and poetic.

Lithuanian director Eglė Vertelytė and producer Lukas Trimonis will present a feature film Miracle co-produced with Bulgaria and Poland. This tragicomic drama depicts a middle aged Lithuanian woman, who struggles to keep her pig farm. A handsome American businessman arrives pledging to save the struggling enterprise and turns the woman's life upside-down.

Up and coming director Aistė Žegulytė, together with a promising producer Giedrė Burokaitė will pitch their first full-length documentary film project People, Animals and Things on the art of taxidermy. 

Coming Soon New Talents

Ashes in the Snow is among the most awaited films in 2017 in Lithuanian cinema's as well as worldwide. The story is based on "Between Shades of Grey"the New York Times best-seller by Rūta Šepetys. Directed by Marius Markevičius (director of The Other Dream Team, producer of producer of Like Crazy), produced by Žilvinas Naujokas (producer of Tadas Blinda. Pradžia). The World War II drama focuses on Stalin's brutal dismantling of the Baltic region in 1941. An aspiring artist and her family are deported to Siberia. In a seemingly hopeless place, love is the only means of survival. The film stars Brittish actress Bel Powley (The Diary of a Teenage Girl).

Feature documentary Ultra,distributed by HBO Europe, directed by Balazs Simonyifocuses on runners from around the world participating in the Spartathlon, one of the most challenging of races. A historic distance of 246 kilometres from Athens to Sparta takes 36 hours to finish. Runners from Hungary, Germany and France, and also the director himself, have their own personal reasons for joining the run. None of them knows if they will ever be able to finish. The film is in co-production between Hungary and Greece. 

Industry Screenings

9 films will be shown in the Industry Screenings session on April 4-6 in Forum Cinemas Vingis. Among them is a feature documentary About Stops, Runs and Bananasby an award winning Lithuanian director Arūnas Matelis. The creator of Before Flying Back to Earth (the winner of Silver Wolf in Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival, 2005was negotiating for 7 years to get a permission to shoot inside the prestigious Giro d‘Italia bicycle race. Now he is able to tell an unexpected story of the unspoken side of cycling sport – cyclists who sacrifice their careers to help teammates. They are called water carriers, domestics, Sancho Panchas of professional cycling. The film allows the viewer to jump into the magnificent world of the race seen through the window of the medical team.

Lithuanian and German co-production film Hello, Dear Granny! produced by Ieva Norvilienė (Tremora), directed by Jūratė Samulionytė and Vilma Samulionytėdocuments a journey oftwo sisters from Lithuania – filmmaker and photographer – diving into their German grandmother’s history.

The Man Slayer. The Virgin. The Shadowemploys a theme from the Scandinavian and Estonian folklore. The time frame of the story is from the early morning of a wedding day until the early morning of the following day. The characters are driven by force majeure – the local customs and rituals which were common a hundred years ago. The film is directed by Estonian Sulev Keedus, produced by Estonian Kaie-Ene-Raak and Lithuanian Rasa Miškinytė.

B2B Doc – Belarussian documentary projects

This year Meeting Point – Vilnius starts a partnership with Belarusian documentary filmmakers who will pitch 5 film projects during B2B Doc presentations.

Ekaterina Markavets will present her film Towards the Miracle about Sasha Avdevich, a social media phenomenon in Belarus. He became paraplegic after a motorcycling accident but now he is the most famous wheelchair user in Belarus.

Alexander Mihalkovich's film Babushka. Lost in Translation tells a story about an elderly Ukrainian woman who has been living in Crimea for the last 15 years. Both the director and producer Volia Chajkouskaya will attend Meeting Point – Vilnius.

Maksim Shved's film The Art of Cencorship takes on two artists who came up with a bold idea to make street art the national brand of Belarus and promote it worldwide.

Ordinary film (directed by Liubov Ziamtsova, produced by Volia Chajkouskayais a love drama of two totally different women who love one man.

Mein Deutschland by Alexander Svishchenkov depicts Andrei Schimanski, an ethnic German, tormented by the past.

Established in 2010, Meeting Point – Vilnius is a growing international film industry event, attracting around 300 film professionals from Lithuania, Baltic countries and all around the Europe. Coming Soon screenings are an important part of the event. Previously, films such as The Gambler, Summer of Sangaile or Mellow Mud were succesfully pitched after the Coming Soon sessions in Vilnius.

dok.incubator, well-established rough-cut stage workshop, has just announced the final selection of 8 talented teams for 2017 edition. The filmmakers will be supported by individual mentorship with a focus on dramaturgy, distribution and audience building by top European and US editors, producers, distributors and marketing experts such as Yael Bitton, Freddy Neumann, Sigrid Dyekjaer and many others.

Screen Shot 2017 04 05 at 09.16.53

The teams behind the projects are coming from the whole world are covering a wide range of topics and genres:

Norwegian project Golden Dawn Girls by Håvard Bustnes shows how representatives of Greece’s third largest political party get thrown in jail for allegedly leading a criminal organization. What happens to their family members and to the organization itself?

Mamacita presents the story of 98-year-old grandma, whose grandson promised to make a movie about her life. This Mexican film is a documentary of the imagination that explores – using the technique of re-enactment – family history and memory in the quest for forgiveness.

Georgian team of Before Father is Back brings on the screen everyday life of two girls, whose fathers have left their homes in Pankisi months ago with very unclear job reasons.

Petra Costa from Brazil has worked on a story of the behind-the-scenes look at the Brazil’s first female president in a documentary with a self-explanatory name Impeachment.

Polish director Marta Prus has been following a great rhythmic gymnast, Margarita Mamun, during her career break. Margarita is fighting for her dreams in an intimate portrait Over the Limit, which also shows the structure of the Russian sports system.

A team from Hungary presents a portrait of a modern day slave Marish in a documentary called My Marish.

A Machine to Live in from the USA is a feature-length artistic documentary about the imaginative and material processes of building one's utopia.

Swedish project Events in Ydre tells a story of one of the Sweden’s smallest rural municipalities and a way of life that is threatened by depopulation. What are the ways to secure the survival of community in Swedish countryside?

The eight projects have been selected out of 81 applications and they got a chance to join other successful documentaries which went through the dok.incubator workshop. In five-years existence of dok.incubator more than one third of the films ended up at IDFA, other competed at Sundance, Vision du Reel, CPH:DOX, Hot Docs and other platforms.

Find more information about the projects here.


Festival Opening with Nana & Simon's MY HAPPY FAMILY 

The 17th edition of goEast - Festival of Central and Eastern European Film will kick off with a screening of MY HAPPY FAMILY (CHEMI BEDNIERI OJAKHI, Germany, France, Georgia, 2017) on Wednesday, April 26th. The film, made by Georgian-German directorial duo Nana & Simon (Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross), sheds light on family structures and role patterns as seen from the perspective of 52-year-old protagonist Manana. Nana & Simon won the Award for Best Film in 2013 at goEast for IN BLOM.

MY HAPPY FAMILY is one of 16 entries to the goEast Competition, which includes ten fiction features and six documentaries; 13 of the films will be celebrating their German premieres at the festival, which takes place from April 26th to May 2nd in Wiesbaden and the surrounding area. The productions featured in the Competition are vying for four awards: the Golden Lily for Best Film (worth 10,000 euros), the Award of the City of Wiesbaden for Best Director (7,500 euros) and the Award of the Federal Foreign Office for Cultural Diversity (4,000 euros). The award winners will be determined by a five-member international jury, consisting this year of Latvian director Laila Pakalnina (chairperson), producer Maxim Tuula (Estonia/Russia), producer Sam Taylor (Great Britain), actor Jakob Diehl (Germany) and director Igor Drljača (Bosnia and Herzegovina/Canada).

A separate jury representing FIPRESCI will present the International Film Critic's Awards - this year the FIPRESCI jury will be bestowing an Award for Best Documentary Film for the first time in addition to the traditional Award for Best Fiction Feature.

The complete festival program now is available online at www.filmfestival-goeast.de/en/program.


The Films of the Competition

The Caucasus will not only be making an appearance in the opening film - the documentary film CITY OF THE SUN (MZIS QALAQI, Georgia, USA, Qatar, Holland, 2017, directed by Rati Oneli) is also set in the region: the film paints a portrait of the few remaining inhabitants of the Western Georgian mining settlement of Chiatura, which is well on its way to becoming a modern ghost town. In A FATHER'S WILL (ATANYN KEREEZI, Kyrgyzstan, 2016, directed by Bakyt Mukul and Dastan Zhapar uulu) Azat rediscovers his native Central Asian homeland, as he returns to the Kyrgyz highlands after a 15-year absence in order to fulfil his deceased father's final wish. 

In EXILED (PELNU SANATORIJA, 2016), a Latvian-Lithuanian co-production directed by Dāvis Sīmanis, Ulrich Matthes plays a German surgeon who encounters a sealed-off universe inhabited by shell-shocked patients in a Latvian hospital in the final year of the First World War. Matthes is expected to attend the film's German premiere in Wiesbaden on Sunday, April 30th, at 8:30 pm at Caligari FilmBühne.

Representing South-Eastern Europe this year: Hana Jušić's virtuoso fiction feature debut QUIT STARING AT MY PLATE (NE GLEDAJ MI U PIJAT, Croatia, 2016), a coming-of-age story that can also be read as a critique of the patriarchy; the poetic, essayistic documentary film ISLANDS OF FORGOTTEN CINEMAS (KINO OTOK, Croatia, 2016, directed by Ivan Ramljak) about the nearly forgotten history of the cinemas that once dotted the Dalmatian Islands; and REQUIEM FOR MRS. J. (REKVIJEM ZA GOSPOĐU J., Serbia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, 2017), a deft mix of copious black humour and social criticism directed by Bojan Vuletić, whose debut film PRACTICAL GUIDE TO BELGRADE WITH SINGING AND CRYING celebrated its international premiere at goEast 2013. Leading actress of the film Mirjana Karanović is also expected to attend the festival, where she will be presenting her own directorial debut in the goEast Gurus festival section.

Director Adrian Sitaru is also no stranger to goEast. His latest fiction feature THE FIXER(FIXEUR, Romania, France, 2016) follows Radu, a news agency employee supporting foreign journalists in their efforts on the ground in Bucharest and beyond who finds himself painfully confronted with fundamental ethical questions regarding the nature of his work. 

THE CITIZEN (AZ ÁLLAMPOLGÁR, Hungary, 2016, directed by Roland Vranik) on the other hand is at once a humorously differentiated genre picture of Hungarian society and an unusual love story between African immigrant Wilson and his married tutor Maria.

Germany's immediate neighbours to the East are also well represented in the festival's Competition section: THE SUN, THE SUN BLINDED ME (SŁOŃCE, TO SŁOŃCE MNIE OŚLEPIŁO, Poland, Switzerland, 2016, directed by Anka and Wilhelm Sasnal), an up-to-the-minute political adaptation of Camus' The Stranger; the documentary film YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU (NAWET NIE WIESZ JAK BARDZO CIĘ KOCHAM, Poland, 2016), in which celebrated filmmaker Paweł Łoziński observes intimate therapy sessions between Hania and her mother Ewa; the drama and fiction feature debut FILTHY (ŠPINA, Czech Republic/Slovak Republic, 2017, directed by Tereza Nvotová), which mounts a devastating critique of the treatment of mentally ill individuals in Slovakia; THE TEACHER (UČITEĽKA, Slovak Republic, Czech Republic, 2016, directed by Jan Hřebejk), a dramedy set in Bratislava during the last years of the communist era which deals with an abuse of power at a middle school and its subsequent investigation; and finally TEACHING WAR (VÝCHOVA K VÁLCE, Czech Republic, 2016, directed by Adéla Komrzý), which documents how certain Czechs are preparing for a potential war by attempting to re-introduce military training to the school curriculum.

TEACHING WAR will be shown as part of a double feature, together with the Russian documentary film ALL ROADS LEAD TO AFRIN (VSE DOROGI VEDUT V AFRIN, Russia, 2016), in which young Muscovite filmmaker Arina Adju pays a visit to her father in Afrin, Syria, where he has started a new family and now must worry about their immediate safety in light of the looming threat represented by ISIS. The Competition selection is completed by the second Russian documentary film in the section, RUSSIA AS A PHANTASMA (ROSSIYA KAK SON, Russia, 2016, directed by Andrey Silvestrov and Daniil Zinchenko), which paints a provincial portrait encompassing the whole of Russia, with all of its laconic charm, surrealness and brutality.


For more information, please contact:
Mirjam Wiekenkamp & Saskia April Kluge
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The program was included by Eurimages Fund among the European industry events to present the Eurimages Co-production Development Award amounting to €20,000.

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.

Partners and media partners: Municipality of Iaşi, Gura Humorului Municipality, Tirgu Mures Municipality, K'Arte Association Tirgu Mures, Timisoara Municipality, 365.ro, Citatepedia, aarc.ro, Agerpres, Blog de Cinema, Bookblog, Cărturești, Cațavencii, CineFAN, Cinemagia, Decât o Revistă, Dilema Veche, Dor de Ducă, Eskape, Gratuitor, HotNews, Hyperliteratura, Igloo, LiterNet, Movie News, Radio București FM, România Pozitivă, Urban.ro, Webcultura.


  • Alex Trăilă, EFF Artistic director, tel. +4 0747 28 98 93, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Anca Hrab, EFF Coordinator – Romanian Cultural Institute, tel. +4 0722 59 15 61, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.