Just like we got used to every year, European Film Festival (FFE) brings us once more films which will uncover a hidden and more complex face of Europe.
This year, the festival will be held in eight cities in Romania: Bucharest (May 7-13), Galați (May 11-13), Râmnicu Vâlcea (May 18-20), Tîrgu Mureș (May 18-20), Timișoara (May 24-27), Alba Iulia (May 25-27), Iași (June 1-3) and Sibiu (June 1-3).
FFE 2018 features not only films, but also unique meetings with actors and filmmakers, and debates which will be hard to forget. As we already mentioned, this year’s programme is diverse and attractive, so we contacted Benjamin Ribout, artistic director of the festival, who told us what should not be missed and why it is worth it to attend the festival, regardless of the city or weather:
In 2018, European Film Festival takes place in eight cities in Romania; in Bucharest, the festival is scheduled between 7thand 13thof May. Which are the highlights and not-to-be-missed moments in the seven days of the festival?
Benjamin Ribout: We have the largest number of local editions; we will be present in eight cities, three of which the festival will have its first edition: Galați, Râmnicu Vâlcea and Alba Iulia, the city of the Great Union.
If you are talking about special moments, my favourites would be the screening of ‘An Unforgettable Summer’, directed by Lucian Pintilie (May 10th), the documentary ‘Brexitannia’ (scheduled also Thursday, May 10th) or the screening of the Czech documentary ‘When the War comes’ (May 9th), when we will have the chance to interact with the director Jan Gerbert, who will attend the festival. I have some other personal preferences, too: all the Italian films are very good, and the German film ‘All of a Sudden’ signed by the young Turkish director Asli Ozge is a revelation; I also enjoyed ‘L’animale’ also directed by a young woman, this time from Austria – Katharina Mueckstein. But, I would not like to focus just on a few films…
Oh… I should not forget about the opening film!
What do we need to know about the opening film Au revoir là-haut / See you up there?
Benjamin Ribout: Au revoir là-haut/See you up there is the last challenge of the director Albert Dupontel who has chosen to focus on a lesser known subject using his strong humour: the scams which have happened right after the end of World War I. The scam in the film is not real (others are), but it has been the starting point for a famous book which was awarded a couple of years ago with the Goncourt Prize and was sold in 500.000 copies. Albert Dupontel is both actor and director of this film, which casts the ‘crème de la crème’ of French actors. For the 100-year celebration, this film combines very well key elements for a successful film: history, tragedy, comedy and poetry, together with Albert Dupontel’s ‘madness’. He is the great provoker of today’s French film industry, the one who likes to challenge the famous ideas and ‘knock down’ the history.
What can you tell us about the Special Sections of the European Film Festival?
Benjamin Ribout: The special sections are marked by two important aspects of the 2018 edition: in the first place, the high number of quality European films which will have their national premiere, and secondly, this year’s anniversaries: the Great Union Centenary, the European year of Cultural Heritage and last but not least, the 50thanniversary of the dramatic moment of May 1968.
These events allow us to highlight several masterpieces of the European cinema, old films which have been restored, that are brought for the very first time in Romania.
The new films are the essence of many sections: Agora section focuses on the role of women in society; this is why we have a record number of films directed by women or which feature women in leading roles. The new section called Pulse of Europe wants to analyse the situation of the continent through films that approach several hot current topics: Brexit, populism, immigration crisis.
European Film Festival takes place between 7thand 13thof May in Bucharest. The full schedule, as well as details about the events held in the other cities can be found on their official website.
an article by Romina Banu
English translation by Andreea Andrei