The pandemic has been keeping many of our mainstream and local cinemas to remain closed. Local and international film festivals have resorted to online schemes as they have no choice but to follow the strict social distancing and health protocols. Cine Europa is one of them.
For its 23rd edition, Cine Europa goes online and releases 19 critically acclaimed films from 20 European Union-member countries, available to watch for FREE from October 31 until November 29.
A carousel of films portrays compelling social and political issues facing by some European countries. The list covers a wide range of genres, including romance, thriller, crime drama, and comedy. Some of the films have never been screened and premiered in the country.
This year’s opening film is the German comic-thriller Sweethearts, which tells the story of a professional criminal Mel and his easily-panicked hostage Fanny.
Cine Europa also launches the Festival Scope, EU’s library of quality films. This allows Philippine-based viewers to access films from countries not represented in the Philippines.
Including in the roster of films under Festival Scope is And Then We Danced by Levan Akin, which received a 15-minute standing ovation at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.
According to the first counselor of the EU delegation to the Philippines, Rafael de Bustamante, the film festival aims to expose the Filipino public to quality European films that are not made available in local mainstream theaters. It is also a way of showcasing the diversity of the European creative industries and highlighting the cultural relations between the European Union and the Philippines.
Cine Europa is the longest flagship film festival in the country organized annually by the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines together with the EU Member States.
Here is the complete list of films available to watch for this year’s festival:
Director: Karoline Herfurth // Germany
Forced together by fate and an ill-executed diamond robbery, Mel and her easily panicked hostage, Franny, race against time. When a relentless detective and the greedy Berlin underworld begin pursuing them, they must work together.
Bad Poems (2018)
Director: Gabor Reisz // Hungary
The 33-year-old Tamás Merthner is heartbroken, after his girlfriend Anna, who is on a scholarship in Paris, breaks up with him. While wallowing in self-pity, Tamás takes a trip down memory lane to figure out if love only exists when it’s practically gone. As he is trying to pick up the pieces, he begins to realize what makes this current society so confused, which gives us a highly subjective view of Hungary’s present.
Women on the Run (2019)
Director: Martin Horský // The Czech Republic
Věra has lived a wonderful life with Jindřich, and she is determined to fulfil his last wish – running a marathon! She and her daughters would split up the route into four parts, to overcome the over 42-kilometer-long challenge as a family relay team. There’s three months left until the start, and trainer Vojta has prepared a great fitness plan. The daughters aren’t rushing to start running, however. They’re dealing with a different sort of problems altogether. What applies to running applies to life as well. It’s important to persevere and not give up when the finish line is within reach.
All These Sleepless Nights (2016)
Director: Michal Marczak // Poland
A new era is coming, and Warsaw stands uncomfortably at its edge. Art school classmates Christopher and Michal, on the precipice of their own coming of age, restlessly roam their city’s streets in search of living forever inside the beautiful moment. Never content with answers, they push each experience to its breaking point, testing what it might mean to be truly awake in a world that seems satisfied to be asleep.
Before the Frost (2018)
Director: Michael Noer // Denmark
As winter approaches in rural 1850s Denmark, an old farmer (Jens) and his family face starvation. With the harsh circumstances and the prospect of yet another tough winter, Jens agrees to ally with the neighbor family in a marriage between his daughter and their son. However, when the rich farmer at a nearby farm wants to buy Jens’s land, he sees a chance to provide him and his family with an even better life.
The Conductor (2018)
Director: Maria Peters // The Netherlands
Antonia Brico dreams of becoming a conductor, but she isn’t taken seriously because she is a woman.
She is the Other Gaze (2018, Documentary)
Director: Christiana Perschon // Austria
Christiana Perschon’s documentary She is The Other Gaze presents a series of interviews with five female visual artists. Most of these artists started their careers in the 1970s, in Vienna, and the film explores the relation between their practice and feminism.
My Life as a Zucchini (2016, Animation)
Director: Claude Barras // Switzerland
After losing his mother, a young boy is sent to a foster home with other orphans his age where he begins to learn the meaning of trust and true love.
Too Far Away (2019)
Director: Karoline Herfurth // Germany
A bullied 12 year old boy bonds over soccer with a 11 year old, new in town, a Syrian refugee.
Let The Girls Play (2019)
Director: Julien Hallard // France
Reims, 1969. Paul Coutard, inveterate seducer and sports reporter on a daily basis the Champenois, decides to organize a women’s football match to defy its director at the annual fete of the journal. Its best enemy, Emmanuelle Bruno, Executive Secretary, is found obliged to attend. Without the knowledge, they will launch together in the creation of the first women football team of France.
And Then We Danced (2019)
Director: Levan Akin // Sweden
A male dancer and his partner have been training for years for a spot in the National Georgian Ensemble. The arrival of another dancer throws him off balance, sparking both an intense rivalry and romantic desire that may cause him to risk his future.
Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles (2019, Animation)
Director: Salvador Simó // Spain
In Paris in 1930, Luis Buñuel is left penniless after a film leads to a falling out with Salvador Dalí. On a whim, Buñuel’s good friend, sculptor Ramón Acín, buys a lottery ticket and promises to devote his winnings to fund Buñuel’s next film.
King of the Belgians (2016)
Directors: Peterson Brosens, Jessica Woodworth // Belgium
Desperate to return home from a state visit to Istanbul when his country suffers its worst-ever political crisis, but unable to fly due to a solar storm, the King of the Belgians finds himself on a tumultuous road trip across the Balkans.
Vice of Hope (2018)
Director: Edoardo De Angelis // Italy
A woman who works for a baby trafficking ring faces a crisis of conscience when she suddenly and unexpectedly finds herself pregnant.
Mellow Mud (2016)
Director: Renars Vimba // Latvia
In order not to lose their home, 17-year-old Raya and her little brother keep their grandmother’s death a secret. Raya tries every trick in the book to make it seem like she’s still alive, while at the same time fully indulging her feelings for her English teacher. But in spite of her best efforts, things are getting out of control. Raya hopes for help from her mother in far-off London.
Jacob, Mimmi And The Talking Dogs (2019, Animation)
Director: Edmunds Jansons // Poland & Latvia
Jacob lives in the city and dreams of becoming an architect like his busy dad. He spends a lot of time drawing buildings and daydreaming while his father is at work. One day dad needs to go away on business for longer than usual and Jacob has to spend the whole week with his bossy cousin Mimmi and her ex-pirate father Eagle in Riga’s historical suburb called Maskachka. As soon as Jacob arrives it turns out that the local park is about to be transformed into new skyscrapers by a greedy businessman. Jacob and Mimmi decide to stop the development. It turns out that they can only do it with the help of a pack of local dogs that… can talk!
Tel Aviv on Fire (2018)
Director: Sameh Zoabi // Belgium, Luxembourg & France
Salam, an inexperienced young Palestinian man, becomes a writer on a popular soap opera after a chance meeting with an Israeli soldier. His creative career is on the rise – until the soldier and the show’s financial backers disagree about how the show should end, and Salam is caught in the middle.
The Line (2017)
Director: Peter Bebjak // Slovakia
There are borders you cross only once… Criminal thriller about traffickers and smugglers from Ukranian border. The feature films about the borders and the life on their edge.
Lady Time (2020, Documentary)
Director: Elina Talvensaari // Finland
Sirkka-Liisa died alone with no one left to miss her. Elina happened to buy her home after her death and ended up with all Sirkka-Liisa’s possessions from books to photos.
HOW TO WATCH CINE EUROPA FILMS: