Showcasing the diversity of European cinema:
The 2019 European Film Festival
Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town are in for a ten-day feast of award-winning films as the European Film Festival celebrates its 6th edition in South Africa. The festival will be held simultaneously at Cinema Nouveau theatres in the three cities from 29 November to 8 December. The carefully curated festival is packed with Oscar-nominated and multi-award-winning films from twelve European countries including Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Opening the festival is the French film Les Misérables, which won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019 and then picked up Best International Feature Film at the Durban International Film Festival in July. Inspired by the Paris riots of 2005, witnessed first-hand by director Ladj Ly, the film revolves around three members of an anti-crime brigade who are overrun while trying to make an arrest. It has been selected as the French entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards in 2020.
The newly arrived European Union Ambassador to South Africa, Dr Riina Kionka, expressed her support for the festival, saying, “The European Film Festival is a showcase of recent award-winning films and provides a snapshot of issues and themes that inspire European filmmakers and audiences. As the many topical stories show, lived experiences in Europe are not that dissimilar from life in South Africa … or elsewhere, for that matter. Film is a cornerstone of our European cultural and creative industries and the rich diversity of European cinematic approaches on show will be a delight to critics and publics alike. Don’t miss out on this smorgasbord of great entertainment!”