DISCOVER THE BEST OF EUROPEAN CINEMA AT THE RETURN OF EUROPA! EUROPA FILM FESTIVAL
After a successful debut, Europa! Europa returns to Australia for its second year from Thursday 16 February to Tuesday 7 March 2023. An exciting line-up of 29 films from 24 different countries, including international festival favourites and star-studded blockbusters.
The festival will take place in Sydney and Melbourne, and audiences will be able to experience the most cutting-edge, boundary-pushing, and critically acclaimed European cinema of the moment. Be transported on a journey of discovery and inspiration as the festival unveils the best of what European cinema has to offer.
"Europa! Europa is a celebration of the diversity and richness of European cinema,” said Artistic Director Thomas Caldwell. “Whether you prefer relationship dramas, police thrillers, feel-good sports films, period biopics, disaster films, or comedies, we have a film for you. Our program offers a wide range of genres and styles, catering to a diversity of tastes.”
“One of the highlights of this year's festival is the Australian premiere of the new 4K restorations of Krzysztof Kieślowski's masterful Three Colours Trilogy,” added Caldwell. “These films perfectly embody the spirit of European cinema and exemplify our guiding programming principles: showcasing films that are multinational, arthouse alternatives to mainstream Hollywood cinema, and bold in their storytelling.”
OPENING AND CLOSING NIGHTS
The Blaze (France) is a French eco-thriller that follows Simon and his ageing father Joseph as they try to escape a devastating wildfire in the south of France. Directed by Quentin Reynaud and featuring standout performances by André Dussollier and Alex Lutz, The Blaze will launch the festival's program.
Closing out the festival is a special screening of Allelujah, a British film featuring a star-studded cast including Judi Dench and Jennifer Saunders. Directed by Richard Eyre and adapted from the lauded stage play by Alan Bennett, the film explores the challenges of healthcare in a geriatric hospital facing closure while paying tribute to the UK National Health Service.
INTERNATIONAL OSCAR SUBMISSIONS
Europa! Europa will screen 8 films submitted by their home countries for the Best International Feature Film category at the Academy Awards. Highlights include Aurora’s Sunrise (Armenia), a documentary film blending animation and rediscovered footage that tells the forgotten story of a 14-year-old Armenian genocide survivor and reluctant Hollywood sensation, Aurora; Carbon (Moldova), an absurd and dark comedy that comments on war's destructive effects; and Il Boemo (Czech Republic) a film that tells the extraordinary and unknown life story of Josef 'Il Boemo' Myslivecek, a Prague miller and Mozart contemporary who became an opera composer in 18th century Italy.
A multi-award-winner at the prestigious Locarno International Film Festival, Safe Place (Croatia) is a deeply personal drama that takes place over 24 hours as a family navigates the struggles of caring for a suicidal loved one. Orchestra (Slovenia) takes audiences on an uproarious journey as a brass band of rowdy Slovenians hit the road in a tour bus to Austria to escape their daily lives.
Other Oscar submissions include Victim (Slovakia), a gripping and emotional story of a mother's relentless pursuit of justice; Kalev (Estonia), a classic underdog tale based on a true story; and A Long Break (Georgia), a tense drama that explores how we contextualize our school experiences as adults.
BOX OFFICE HITS
The Festival will showcase a selection of internationally acclaimed films that have captivated audiences across Europe. Starring Vicky Krieps and Gaspard Ulliel, in his final role, More Than Ever tells the story of a woman torn between love and empathy as she battles a life-threatening illness. My Sailor, My Love, directed by Finnish filmmaker Klaus Härö (The Fencer), is a heart-warming drama that delves into themes of love, forgiveness, and familial dynamics. In Simone: Woman of the Century, director Olivier Dahan (La Vie En Rose) presents a biopic of French feminist icon Simone Veil, tracing her journey as a Holocaust survivor, human rights advocate, and politician.
A box office smash hit in its native Germany, Wunderschön explores the interconnected lives of five women as they navigate modern issues. It was the highest grossing German film of the 2022 box office. In Stay With Us, acclaimed comedian Gad Elmaleh (Gad Elmaleh: American Dream) both directs and stars in an autobiographical comedy that reflects on acceptance, family, and the importance of understanding, as he leaves New York for Paris and converts to Catholicism. Finally, the Spanish box office hit comedy Undercover Wedding Crashers follows a classical musician and new police recruit as he goes undercover as a keyboard player to catch criminals.
Luxembourg, Luxembourg, a fun and unpredictable dramedy coming from Ukraine is about frayed family ties as two brothers attempt to reunite with their dying father and cause more chaos than intended. This humorous and humane film, inspired by the Ukrainian director Antonio Lukich’s own father's death, delivers a reprieve from the country’s current crisis with a rich story of interpersonal family relationships.
Europa! is proud to present a selection of critically acclaimed films that wowed audiences during the 2022 film festival season. The Accusation, premiering at the Venice Film Festival and starring Charlotte Gainsbourg, delves into the intersection of class, sex, truth, and consent through the story of a power couple struggling with their son's rape accusation at Stanford University. The Odd-Job Men, a multi-award-winning film at the Locarno International Film Festival, is a smart and insightful comedy that follows the challenges of three diverse men as they navigate their roles in a small plumbing and electricity company, exploring themes of masculinity and the immigrant experience.
Remains of the Wind premiered as a Special Screening at Cannes and is a captivating drama about mob behaviour, intergenerational male toxicity, and injustice, set in a village in northern Portugal. The Beasts, nominated for Best Film at the 37th Goya Awards is a psychological thriller following a French couple in a Galician village whose refusal to implement a wind farm escalates tensions with their neighbours until the domestic dispute reaches a shocking breaking point.
Tickets to Europa! Europa are on sale now. For the full program and more information, visit europafilmfestival.com.
2023 Europa! Europa Film Festival Screening Dates:
16 February – 7 March 2023
Classic Cinemas, Elsternwick
Lido Cinemas, Hawthorn
16 February – 7 March 2023
Ritz Cinemas, Randwick
Tickets: Adults $24, Concession $18.50
Festival Passes: 10-pass $175, 20-pass $300, Festival pass $400
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