Cinema without borders

Film festival
Last Updated : 23 June 2016, 18:38 IST
Last Updated : 23 June 2016, 18:38 IST

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The ongoing European Union Film Festival has been attracting cinema lovers in droves. With the variety of themes and cultures being showcased in these movies, it is no surprise that youngsters and elders alike are fascinated by the on screen celebration.

The festival has been organised by the Delegation of the European Union and embassies of EU member states, in partnership with Alliance Francaise, Goethe-Institut/ Max Mueller Bhavan, British Council and Suchitra Film Society in Bangalore.

Speaking about the process of selection of the movies, Ashish Bhardwaj, part of the organising team for the film festival, says “Every year the film festival is based on a particular theme on the basis of which the movies are selected. This year the theme was ‘recent, award winning movies’. The European Union delegation in Delhi got in touch with all their member states and asked them to send their best movies. Consequently, we have taken movies made from 2011 onwards and that have won multiple awards.”

P B Murali from the Suchitra Film Society says, “This collection of 23 movies will be circulated throughout all the metros in India, thus providing every urban film lover with a chance to watch masterpieces from lesser-known European countries. The collection is a mixture of different types of movies — animated ones, historical themed ones, stories dealing with urban life and so on.”

He adds, “I saw the movie from Finland, called ‘Urban Family’. It is sort of a relationship drama which talks about the plight of a mother whose young son, a boy she gave up for adoption years ago, lands at her doorstep. It was a uniquely themed, musical film and I loved every bit of it.”

Anoop R, a member of the audience who is also a budding filmmaker, says that
he doesn’t miss a chance to watch movies from other countries and is a regular face at the various film festivals conducted in the city.

He says, “Their movies have none of the drama and noise that characterise our block busters. And it is not just for movie buffs like me. Even people who are just out for an entertaining evening will find these screenings an apt place.”

Among the must-watch movies on most people’s list is the one from Malta called ‘Simshar’. Directed by Rebecca Cremona, the movie has been inspired by true stories which occurred in the Mediterranean in the summer of 2008.

This poignant film tells the story of 11 year old Theo who sets sail with his seafaring family on their fishing boat when an accident throws them into open water. Simultaneously, a Turkish merchant vessel has rescued a group of stranded migrants between Italy and Malta, but neither country will take them in.

The stories collide and culminate in incredible ways. The movie is Malta’s first Oscar submission and has been sweeping awards at all international film fests.

Says Tomasz Kozlowski, Ambassador of the European Union to India, “The 21st edition of the festival showcases the recent award winning movies and I am happy to say that we have received an enthusiastic response from the audience till now. The audience will get to see movies from many European countries, which gives a glimpse into the unknown facet of European culture.”

“India itself is now a global giant in the movie business and Indians have been among the most appreciative and iconoclastic audiences of European cinema, anywhere. And so, this coming of age of the EUFF in India, testifying to its popularity, is a cause for celebration.”

Published 23 June 2016, 16:03 IST

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