India to host 12th European Union Film Fest

MUMBAI: The 12th EU Film Festival in India, organised by The European Union, is scheduled to take place in the cities of New Delhi, Pune, Kozhikode and Kolkata from 27 April – 25 May.

At least 20 widely acclaimed films will be screened in the four cities over a period of one month. The screenings will be held in New Delhi from 27 April to 4 May, in Pune from 5 to 11 May, in Kozhikode from 14 to 18 May and in Kolkata from 19 to 25 May.

The EU Film Festival comprises a bouquet of films that offer vivid reflections of Europe’s myriad cultural streams and serve as a showcase of European life in a particular socio-economic and cultural environment. The Festival symbolises an important facet of the growing cultural relations between the EU and India and is part of the EU-India strategic partnership established at the 6th EU-India Summit in September 2005. It has been taking place in India since 1986.

This year the EU Film Festival showcases a package of approximately 23 films in New Delhi, each one representing a different member state including Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Poland, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Bulgaria and Romania.

The Festival is being staged with the support of the Nandan–West Bengal Film Centre (Kolkata), Kerala State Chalchitra Academy (Kozhikode) and the British Council (New Delhi).

The Films that will be screened at the festival are as follows:

Czech Republic – Hanele
Year – 1999, Duration – 99 minutes, Director – Karel Kachyna, Cast – Lada Jelinkova, Miroslav Noga
The beautiful Hanele escapes provincial Polana to meet and fall in love with Ivo Karadzic, a handsome, successful free thinking secular Jew, who has renounced all traditional religious beliefs. The result is a collision of the modern and the traditional world.

Cyprus – Honey and Wine
Year – 2006, Duration – 76 minutes, Director – Marinos Kartikkis, Cast – Androula Irakleous, Elena Dimitriou
Eleni lives alone, haunted by memories of the past. One afternoon, she has an unexpected visitor; Rhea, the young woman from across the street. What begins as a normal relationship between the two women leads to unforeseen consequences for both of them.

Denmark – Wallah Be (Kald mig bare Aksel)
Year – 2002, Duration – 85 minutes, Director – Pia Bovin, Cast – Adam Gilbert Jespersen, Nour Abou El-foul
Ten-year old Aksel has to spend a week’s holiday at his local after-school club. A budding friendship with two girls goes wrong and Aksel has to rescue a song contest, a dog and the school holidays.

Estonia – Stiilipidu (Shop of Dreams)
Year – 2005, Duration – 112 minutes, Director – Peeter Urbla, Cast – Marja Jakobson, Anne Reemann
Alice, Ada and Jana start a new company which can provide people with everything they need to make their dreams come true. Alice has to confront the darker side of the business world, but rediscovers the power of love and enduring friendship.

Finland – Mother of Mine (Äideistä parhain)
Year – 2005, Duration – 104 minutes, Director – Klaus Härö, Cast – Brasse Brännström, Penny Elvira Loftéen, Maria Lundqvist After nine-year-old Eero’s father is killed at the front in a war-torn Finland in 1943, his mother sends her only child to safety in neutral Sweden. Eero’s foster mother Signe welcomes him to her home but not to her heart.

France – Mon petit doigt m’a dit (By the Pricking of My Thumbs)
Year – 2005, Duration – 105 minutes, Director – Pascal Thomas, Cast – Catherine Frot, André Dussolier
An elderly woman disappears in a village which hides a dark secret. There’s a house split in half, tombs that are better left untouched, a doll that reappears from the past and a terrifying lawyer who wears a death mask.

Germany – The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen)
Year – 2006, Duration – 137 minutes, Director – Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, Cast – Martina Gedeck, Ulrich Mühe, Sebastian Koch
The Lives of Others traces the gradual disillusionment of Captain Gerd Wiesler, a highly skilled officer who works for the Stasi, East Germany’s all-powerful secret police. His mission is to spy on a celebrated writer and actress couple, Georg Dreyman and Christa-Maria Sieland.

Film Nr. 2 – Vier Minuten (Four Minutes)
Year – 2006, Duration – 112 minutes, Director – Chris Kraus, Cast – Monica Bleibtreu, Hannah Herzsprung, Richy Müller, Sven Pippig
A battle of wills develops between veteran pianist Traute Krüger and Jenny, a fiercely rebellious girl. In a frenzied finale, Jenny has only four minutes to do something that not even Traute could expect of her.

Hungary – A Long Weekend in Pest and Buda
Year – 2003, Duration – 90 minutes, Director – Károly Makk, Cast – Mari Törõcsik, Iván Darvas
The man who left Hungary during the 1956 revolution lives in comfortable retirement with his British wife. One day he receives a strange telephone call, which causes him to return to his birthplace after 40 years to meet his old love.

Italy – Tre Giorni d’Anarchia (Three Days of Anarchy)
Year – 2004, Duration – 96 minutes, Director – Vito Zagarrio, Cast – Lo Verso Enrico, Tiziana Lodato, Maria Coco
Seen through the eyes of a 25-year old man, this film details the events that unfold in a Sicilian village in a span of three days between the landing of the American troops in July 1943 and the entry of the ‘liberators’.

Luxembourg – Perl oder Pica (Small Secrets)
Year – 2006, Duration – 90 minutes, Director – Pol Cruchten, Cast – Thierry van Werveke, André Jung
Watch the miniature-scale adventures of Norbi, the mischievous 12-year-old son of a pious shop owner in the mining town of Esch in 1962.

Netherlands – Do Not Disturb
Year – 2000, Duration – 95 minutes, Director – Laurens Geels, Cast – William Hurt, Jennifer Tilly
After she witnesses a murder, 10-year old Melissa manages to reunite with her parents only after she crashes into a street café. And then things take a turn for the worst.

Portugal – Tiro no Escuro (A Shot in the Dark)
Year – 2005, Duration – 104 minutes, Director – Leonel Vieira, Cast – Joaquim de Almeida, Vanessa Mesquita
The search for her kidnapped baby takes Verónica through a journey where she poses as a stripper in a nightclub and robs banks as she gets involved with Carlos, the ex-doorkeeper.

Slovak Republic – Rain falling on our Souls
Year – 2002, Duration – 80 minutes, Director – Vladimir Balco
While stealing a car, young Yoko comes across little Kika and they quickly become close friends. Though the duo is on the ‘wanted’ list nationwide, Kika stays by Yoko’s side until the very last moment.

Slovenia – Delo osvobaja (Labour Equals Freedom)
Year – 2005, Duration – 71 minutes, Director – Damjan Kozole, Cast – Peter Musevski, Natasa Barbara Gracner
Peter, a machine operator, loses his wife and his job and ends up in a psychiatric ward. Life looks up when he meets a young woman from Primorska through a lonely hearts advertisement, and they agree to see each other the next Sunday.

Spain – Iberia
Year – 2005, Duration – 96 minutes, Director – Carlos Saura, Cast – Sara Baras, Manolo Sanlucar
Iberia is an intense journey and a celebration of the passionate heart of flamenco together with classical music, ballet and contemporary dance.

Sweden – As it is in Heaven (SÃ¥ Som i Himmelen)
Year – 2004, Duration – 132 minutes, Director – Kay Pollack, Cast – Michael Nyqvist, Frida Hallgren
A successful international conductor returns to his childhood village in Norrland, in the far north of Sweden. He develops the church choir, makes both friends and enemies and finds love.

Bulgaria – Crazy Day
Year – 2004, Duration – 78 minutes, Director – Sylvia Pesheva, Cast – Kosta Tsonev, Vesela Kazakova
Ina loses her job, her boy friend and all chances to help the person she loves most – her grandfather. But on the same crazy day, she learns that every end is a new beginning.

Journey to Jerusalem
Year – 2003, Duration – 112 minutes, Director – Ivan Nichev, Cast – Elena Petrova, Alexander Morfov
Two kids, both German Jews, escape from raging fascists in Europe and find their way to Palestine. After the sudden death of their uncle, they meet an itinerant troupe of artists and from then on their life is a roller coaster dotted by shabby hotel rooms, jalopy buses, ‘tremendous artistic success’ and constant shortage of money.

Romania – The Death of Mr. Lazarescu
Year – 2005, Duration – 2 hours 30 minutes, Director – Cristi Puiu, Cast – Ion Fiscuteanu, Luminita Gheorghiu
On a Saturday evening, what looked like a headache from a hangover turns out to be much more serious. As the night unfolds, a paramedic drives around Bucharest trying to find a hospital that will accept Mr. Lazarescu, whose state is deteriorating at an alarming rate.