The highly anticipated Europa! Europa Film Festival returns to Sydney for its third year with a specially curated program of 47 films from 28 countries.
There are many film festivals from countries all over Europe including the French, German, Italian and Greek. When asked how the Europa! Europa Film Festival differs from these other film festivals, Artistic Director Spiro Economopoulos is quick to respond.
“European cinema is so expansive. We’re not hampered by being the focus on just one country. We’re looking through all the European countries and getting a deep focus and a rich and interesting curation together.”
There are many award-winning movies screening at this festival and one which should prove to be a hit is the Italian drama Io Capitano which has been nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Film.
Directed by Matteo Garrone this film follows the tense and breathtaking journey that two young Senegalese teenagers partake to start a new life in Italy.
“It’s about the perilous journey that many illegal immigrants are making to head into Europe and it’s very powerful, very exciting and it has a beautiful sensibility. There’s a magic realism to the film as well.”
Spiro has watched over 200 feature films in total for the festival and is proud of the 47 films which he has selected. When asked which he anticipates being the number one crowd pleaser he pauses momentarily.
“I’d go for the Spanish comedy Co-Husbands, which is about two men who are strangers and who come to the realisation that they are married to the same woman, when she is involved in a skiing accident. It’s a funny buddy comedy but also a slight take on toxic masculinity and an interesting spin on bromance.”
The festival presents 4k restorations of two widely acclaimed movies which are regarded as masterpieces, Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Conformist (1970) and Jean Luc Godard’s Contempt (1963). 4k restorations always seem to be popular choices at film festivals.
“They’re popular because it’s an opportunity to see these classics in a new light. They’re generally restored from the original negatives and it’s great getting these films back on the big screen and looking brand new. The Conformist and Contempt are both visually lush looking films so it’s great seeing them restored that way.”
There’s something in this film festival which should cater to all audiences – younger and older audiences and cinephiles. “If you’re more into edgier arthouse films or mainstream fun films the Europa! Europa Film Festival is one that you shouldn’t miss,” concluded Spiro.
SPIRO’S HOT PICKS
BLAGA’S LESSONS (Bulgaria) – a drama about an elderly woman who is caught up in a phone scam. A compelling and gripping movie.
HIGH & LOW: JOHN GALLIANO (France) – a documentary about the rise and fall of this iconic head fashion designer. Caught in a scandalous video drunk, high and spewing racial slurs which derailed his career.
THE BEAST: (France) – human emotions are viewed upon as a threat in this drama set in the near future where artificial intelligence is in control of society. Exciting and thought-provoking.
February 15 – March 10
Ritz Cinemas, 45 St Pauls St, Randwick