European Film Festival: A new take on European culture

It’s time, again, for the European Film Festival to blow your mind.

A film festival unlike any other in South Africa, the event packs 11 award-winning films into 10 days in four cities around the country.

None of the 11 films which form part of the festival have been screened in South Africa before and, this year, the festival is taking on a new meaning.

“This year’s selection does not reflect a theme, but an ambition to entertain, provoke thought and to portray a diverse Europe beyond cliches and generalisations,” explained the festival’s director, Katarina Hedrén.

“Just as Africa is not a country, France is not just about baguettes and berets and Italy is not just about pizza.”

For the first time since the festival was established in South Africa, this year will see the addition of three documentaries to the line-up – one of which is the tragic and fascinating story of British jazz vocalist, Amy Winehouse.

The Goethe Institut, which has its headquarters in Parkview and a branch in Maboneng called GoetheOnMain in which they exhibit a number of cultural art projects, is one of the many institutes that has made the festival possible in South Africa.

The coordinator for cultural programmes in the fields of film, theatre, art and dance at the institute is Francois Venter, who said a few words at the launch of the festival.

He explained that this year, the festival is designed to start a narrative about the new and evolving Europe, how the people who live there perceive the country and how others perceive it from every angle. “Film has always been a powerful medium to share such views and, with this in mind, we are more than happy to present the European Film Festival 2016 which is set to bring the best of contemporary European film to cinemas in South Africa,” said Venter.

The films will be screened at Cinema Nouveau at Rosebank Mall from 6 to 15 May.

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Racine Edwardes

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