European Union Film Festival – available virtually country wide – Nov 12 to 28, 2021
The European Union Film Festival (EUFF) returns online, from November 12 to 28, 2021, offering access to some of the best films Europe has to offer, including a number of women and BIPOC directors, documentaries, and LGBTQ2+ films. This year’s festival provides cinephiles across Canada with access to works from some of Europe’s top talent, including a number of North American film premieres.
After the success of the 2020 virtual EUFF, the Canadian Film Institute (CFI), The Cinematheque in Vancouver, and the European Union Film Festival of Toronto have reunited to organize and host the 2021 virtual edition. As in the past, the festival is also hosted in collaboration with the Delegation of the European Union to Canada and the diplomatic missions of European Union Member States. Ranging from dramedy to documentary to fantasy, the diverse selection at the 2021 virtual EUFF has something for everyone. In addition to the films themselves, the festival will present interviews with a number of filmmakers whose works are being screened at the 2021 edition.
Boris Robič is an ordinary man leading an ordinary life. One day after supper, however, somebody fires a shot at him through his study window while he is reading. The police arrive to investigate. It seems Boris does not have enemies or any disputes with anyone. There are no suspects, as the meek, nondescript Boris appears to be someone totally unlikely to be targeted for assassination. Was the event a coincidence of some sort, or a random shooting? With no leads, the police stop investigating. Boris cannot come to terms with this, so he starts his own investigation. While he looks for potential perpetrators, Boris discovers that he is disliked by more people than he could ever have imagined, and that his perceptions of his own life might be merely illusions. Tautly constructed and merging elements of thriller, black comedy, and Kafkaesque paranoiac narratives, Inventory is brilliant debut feature film by Darko Sinko.
70 is just a number
Seija Kuula is a superstar singer and an ageless goddess with a career spanning decades and decades. Problems start to arise when Seija falls in love with a younger guy and everybody around her seem to suffer from a bad case of baby fever. Seija orchestrates a masterplan to make everyone happy only to realize that one can not play with love. 70 Is Just a Number is a warm and humorous coming-of-age story – at 70.
Into Dad’s Woods
Talented newcomer Vero Cratzborn’s feature film debut is a sincere, moving coming-of-age tale of a teenage girl becoming aware of her father’s serious mental illness. Fifteen-year-old Gina is growing up in a loving family. She admires her father Jimmy, an unpredictable man whose odd excesses she’s quick to forgive. That is, until Jimmy’s erratic behaviour goes over the edge and the family balance is shattered. Confused and angry, Gina allies herself with Nico, an adolescent from her neighbourhood, with a view to saving Gina’s father, who seems to be slipping further and further into madness. As the family struggles with Jimmy’s decline, Gina’s mother, facing financial hardship, is forced to make a difficult decision. In this tumultuous family drama, Gina finds herself leaving childhood behind much sooner than expected.
Zuzana is an up-and-coming sculptor living and working in Bratislava. Her husband, Andrej, is a computer programmer who has created a prototype for a Smart House. Andrej’s Smart House offers residents a whole new living experience where everything is perfect and, supposedly, nothing can go wrong. The couple move into the prototype so that Andrej can fully test the product which is programmed to cater to Zuzana’s every whim and keep her safe at all costs. Isolated and alone in the Slovakian countryside, however, Zuzana soon feels uncomfortable with this ‘smart’ house watching. Andrej dismisses her concerns, but events quickly turn sinister. Highly stylized and suspenseful, Intimate Enemy asks some unsettling questions about our increasing dependence on technology.
This highly entertaining, semi-satirical narrative feature revolves around a determined woman entrepreneur trying to make it in a male-dominated tech world, from Europe to Silicon Valley. Based on real-life stories of European start-ups, Chasing Unicorns follows Õie, a young bookkeeper from a small town, who by accident stumbles into the emerging tech scene of her home-country, Estonia. She is soon joined by serial failure Tõnu, who has gone bankrupt with each one of his companies but is nevertheless always trying again. Inspired by all the Musks, Bezoses, and Zuckerbergs of the world, and convinced they can make it big, too, the duo embarks on a bold (and just a wee bit quixotic?) journey to take on Silicon Valley.
Two in-person events at the Royal Cinema
EUFF KICK OFF: The Slovenian film, INVENTORY opens the festival on November 12. Merging elements of thriller, black comedy, and Kafkaesque paranoiac narratives, Inventory is brilliant debut feature film by Darko Sinko. Reservation
EUFF CLOSING: Enjoy the Portuguese film GUARDIAN ANGELas the closing film on November 28, a musical biopic of António Variações. Very much in the tradition of Bohemian Rhapsody, the film is a dramatic portrait of an artist who transformed popular music against considerable odds. Reservation
Both screenings are $10 with Advance Reservation, or free at the door on a first come, first serve basis.
Audiences will have access to each film online for a 48-hour period via the Eventive Platform. This format allows for the time and opportunity to enjoy each work. All films are presented in their original languages with English, and in some cases, French subtitles.
Festival passes are $100 CAD, tickets are available for purchase at $12 CAD per ticket.
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.