Women directors dominate at the upcoming virtual European Film Festival

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This yr’s European Film Festival can even be held just about from October 14 to 24.

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Of the 18 movies chosen from throughout Europe, most are directed by girls. This yr’s theme is “Healing Journeys”, and the movies discover hope and humanity in a thought-provoking gentle.

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Peter Rorvik, who’s the co-director and curator of the European Film Festival, defined why that they had determined to maintain it online regardless of the nation being positioned on stage 1.

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“Live occasions inside the arts and tradition sector have been very arduous hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, and resulted in the closure of actions and venues throughout the nation.

“However, shifting the European Film Festival online in 2020 proved to be a extremely profitable response to the state of affairs, permitting folks to look at the movies from the consolation and security of their houses.

“Importantly, folks in all components of the nation have been in a position to entry the movies, which might not have been the case if it have been a bodily occasion held solely in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Pretoria, as in earlier years,” Rorvik stated.

He continued: “ Yes, the 2021 version of the pageant is once more online – and all movies and particular occasions are free.

“The technique of organising an occasion like this entails months of preparation and negotiation with rights holders, necessitating early choices about whether or not to go bodily or virtual.

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Gérard Depardieu as Georges in a scene from Robust. Picture: Supplied

“With South Africa nonetheless going through a whole lot of uncertainty round Covid, and following the success of final yr’s online pageant, the resolution was made to be predominantly a virtual occasion.

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“A restricted variety of bodily screenings are provided in communities the place entry to cinema is constrained. Screenings are adopted by a post-screening dialogue about points raised in the movies.

“Community companions embrace Isivivana Centre in Khayelitsha, Windybrow in Hillbrow, Luthuli Museum in Groutville and Sibikwa Cultural Centre in Benoni.

“The pageant additionally continues to service numerous secondary faculties with screenings and post-screening discussions.

“All bodily occasions adhere to strict Covid protocols.”

As for the new members this yr, Rorvik revealed: “The pageant is a choose showcase of very new movies from Europe, offering perception into what’s recent and new in the film industries of the collaborating nations.

“Last yr there have been 12 movies, this yr there are 18. In addition to movies from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the UK, we’re happy with the return of Portugal and 4 new nations in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Switzerland and Ukraine.

“The presence of Eastern European nations affords an intriguing dimension and steadiness to the programme.

“In addition, the pageant consists of ’Quo Vadis Aida?’, a particular co-production between at least 9 European nations that went on to earn an Oscar nomination earlier this yr.”

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Maria Fedorchenko as Masha Chernykh in a scene from “Stop-Zemlia”. Picture: Supplied

When requested if the resolution to showcase movies directed by girls was a acutely aware one or a contented coincidence, Rorvik stated: “Within the line-up of 18 movies, 13 have girls directors.

“This is a deliberate response to the gender inequality that persists in our societies, together with in the film business.

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“As a part of the pageant’s occasion programme, the stay zoom dialogue at 6pm on October 15 is breaking glass ceilings for ladies in film – the challenges, the accomplishments, the journey.

“Exploring how far have we come and the way far there nonetheless is to go in acknowledging, honouring and empowering girls in the business will probably be veteran Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Holland, who has revamped 40 movies in her illustrious profession, together with some Oscar-nominated and quite a few award-winners amongst them.

“She will probably be joined by skilled Dutch film-maker Antoinette Beumer. Providing a South African perspective on this significant subject is Zanele Mthembu of Sisters Working In Film and Television (SWIFT), with moderation by South African producer ofHappiness is a Four-Letter Word’, Bongiwe Selane.”

It was troublesome for Rorvik to level out the stand-out choices.

He shared: “It’s a troublesome query as a result of folks have preferences and preferences.

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“All of those movies have gained awards – main awards – besides these which are too new to have accomplished so but.Another Round’, the present Oscar-winner for Best International Feature Film, will probably be a preferred alternative, however viewers are inspired to make use of this chance to discover movies that will not attain our shores in the industrial cinemas – movies resembling ’Stop-Zemlia’ about teenage youth in Ukraine; ’Run Uje Run’ (Sweden), a witty, music-infused drama about the method life takes turns you could possibly by no means have imagined; ’Risks and Side Events’ (Austria) – a full of life comedy about marriage, hypochondria, pals, architects, secrets and techniques and taking dangers.”

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A scene from The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis. Picture: Supplied

Rorvik added: “Film buffs can take pleasure in the beautiful black-and-white cinematography and framings of the auteur cinema work ’The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis’, whereas educators ought to see ’Mr Bachmann and His Class’, a rare three-and-a-half-hour documentary about an ever-patient instructor who makes use of unconventional strategies to encourage his younger citizens-in-the-making with curiosity and appreciation of their worlds.

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“Then you’ve gotten Gerard Depardieu and Deborah Lukumuena starring in ’Robust’, a film straight from Critics Week at the Cannes Film Festival, and which can solely be launched in France subsequent yr. The checklist goes on.”

Visit European Film Festival for extra info.

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