Arts & Entertainment

Europa, Europa Film Festival

Movie-goers who enjoy attending film festivals should be happy to learn that the inaugural Europa, Europa Film Festival is coming to Sydney!

This specially curated film festival will screen 43 films from 42 countries all over Europe. Sydney currently has many annual European film festivals from Italy, Germany, France and Greece, just to name a few. So when asked how he would respond if somebody asked, ‘do we really need another European Film Festival?’ Artistic Director Thomas Caldwell explained that this is a very legitimate question.

“We wanted to do something quite specific and curated. There’s no film festival focused directly on European cinema as a whole which would capture all those countries that you don’t tend to get represented. We didn’t just want to pick one region and program every film that comes from that country regardless of quality. We really wanted to nail down what were the really good films from each country. It’s a mid-sized festival and some countries are represented more than others because different countries have different outputs.”

With so many good films to choose from Caldwell explained that it’s difficult to pick three ‘must see’ films screening at the festival. For horror film enthusiasts’ the Norwegian production of The Innocents is a film that won’t disappoint.

“Set on a summer resort a group of children discover they have telekinetic powers and being children, they don’t channel it in the most appropriate way. There’s a lot of resentment, anger and rage that builds up. It’s just an intense beautifully made but quite full-on film and I enjoyed how uncomfortable and frightened I was. One of the most refreshing horror films I’ve seen in a long time!”

The Souvenir Part II  opens the festival and is the sequel to the UK hit The Souvenir. “This lovely, frequently funny, very self-aware, film is about a young woman becoming an emerging filmmaker.”

The Finnish production of Compartment No. 6 had its premiere screening at the Sydney Film Festival and should also prove a crowd-please at the festival. “It’s about a chance meeting between strangers while journeying on a train. The story focuses on the bond between the two, that romantic twinge that’s not going to happen, but there’s something quite special there about their meeting.”

Coming along to catch a couple of films at this festival is a great way for moviegoers to see films that would otherwise not be seen in cinemas, especially now with the streaming platform. “You just see fewer and fewer films outside the big blockbusters and to be honest a lot of these films may not emerge in Australia in any form. If a film doesn’t fit in an easy niche, it won’t get picked up.”

Feb 4-27. Ritz Randwick, 45 St Paul’s St, Randwick. $23-$175+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.europafilmfestival.com.au

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