Now in its 11th year of guilt-free Europhile indulgence, Toronto’s European Union Film Festival (EUFF) takes place November 14 to 28, 2015 at The Royal, 608 College St.  Latvia’s ALIAS LONER will open the 2015 edition of the Festival, while Luxembourg’s BABY(A)LONE will close the two-week cinematic celebration.

A unique black-and-white docudrama set in 1945, first-time writer/director Normunds Pucis’ ALIAS LONER will be making its Canadian debut at EUFF. This powerful feature tells the story of Antons Juhnevics, a rural Catholic priest, who in the wake of the second Soviet occupation, helps local men escape forced conscription in the red army. The film’s score was written by internationally acclaimed Latvian sacred music composer Rihards Dubra, and was produced with support by the National Film Centre of Latvia, and the State Cultural Capital Foundation. Writer/Director Pucis will be in attendance for ALIAS LONER’s Canadian Premiere.

This one is a bit long and drawn out, but an interesting story worthy of the screening.

alinas loner

Closing the 2015 edition is the Toronto Premiere of Donato Rotunno’s BABY(A)LONE, Luxembourg’s official Best Foreign Language entry for the 88th Academy Awards.  Adapted from Tullio Forgiarini’s hit novel Amok, the film is the story of two affluent thirteen year olds, who unite to find hope and joy, while growing up surrounded by a culture of violence, drugs, and pornography.

Fast paced, action packed along the lines of Natural Born Killers meets Kids.

baby(a)lone 2

There’s a total of 28 features being showcased at the 2015 edition of the Festival, one from each of the EU member countries.  Making their North American debut at the eleventh EUFF are: Robert Thalheim’s PARENTS (Germany), a modern, honest and humorous portrait of the contemporary family; and Simonas Askelavicius and Ricardas Marcinkus’ SAUL AND PAUL ROBBED THEM ALL (Lithuania), a heartwarming comedy on two average Joes whose lives are turned upside down by a wealthy girlfriend-stealing Georgian.
Among the nine features having their Canadian Premiere at the 2015 EUFF are: Stelana Kliris’ COMMITTED (Cyprus), a charming road-trip romcom on a man escaping the pressures of a marriage proposal, and a runaway bride in the same process; Elmo Nuganen‘s 1944 (Estonia), a thrilling war drama on the WWII Battle of Tannenberg Line, one of the bloodiest conflicts on the Eastern Front; and Laura Bispuri‘s SWORN VIRGIN (Italy), a critically acclaimed Berlin and Tribeca favourite, and a powerful, sensitive drama on transgender reversal in a traditional Albanian town.
Thirteen features are screening for the first time in Toronto at EUFF, including: Cedric Kahn’s WILD LIFE (France), a thought-provoking drama on a family on the run from the law, and winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 2014 San Sebastian Film Festival; Rebecca Cremona’s SIMSHAR (Malta), the country’s first-ever Foreign Language submission to the Academy Awards, and a heartbreaking drama on the realities faced by immigrants and others down on their luck in the Mediterranean; Mikkel Norgaard’s THE KEEPER OF LOST CAUSES (Denmark), a big-screen adaptation of the international best-seller by the same title, and a well-crafted thriller on a detective’s closed-case obsession; and Károly Ujj-Mészáros’ LIZA, THE FOX FAIRY (Hungary) a touching, playful comedy on a thirty-something’s belief that anyone who falls in love with her will immediately die.
Three compelling TIFF favourites will be back in Toronto for EUFF: Dome Karukoski’s THE GRUMP (Finland), Louise Osmond’s DARK HORSE (United Kingdom), and Malgorzata Szumowska ‘s BODY (Poland).

Ticket Information

General Admission to EUFF screenings is FREE. Availability works on a first-come, first-served basis. Seats to any screening can be secured by booking in advance. Advance Reservation for opening night: $40, which includes reception. Advance Reservation for regular screenings (including closing night): $10

More information can be found on the website.

About the European Union Film Festival

The European Union Film Festival (EUFF), a not-for-profit organization, strives to reflect the excellence, innovation, and diversity of European cinema in Toronto, the world’s most multicultural city. Founded in 2004 as a salve to Hollywood monotony, this free festival has grown to now showcase 28 contemporary films drawn from each of the EU’s member countries. The EUFF is a unique festival and the only one in the world to bring together disparate EU Consulates and local cultural institutes for collaboration. Represented countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.