The film festival is presented by the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to the Philippines and the EU Member States Embassies, together with Cultúr Éireann (the Irish Film Institute), Goethe Institut Manila, the Philippine-Italian Association, and Instituto Cervantes de Manila.
“Film is deeply rooted in Europe’s culture which we are very proud about. It mirrors our identity and speaks a lot about our heritage and what we are,” said Dr. Ana-Isabel Sanchez-Ruiz, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation, during the film festival opening at SM Seaside in Cebu City on Sept. 14.
Cebu was one of the festival’s pioneer host cities when Cine Europa was brought outside Manila in 2001.
With the COVID-19 pandemic easing up, the silver anniversary edition of Cine Europa will follow a hybrid format, opening doors both physically and virtually keeping in mind the safety and health of viewers.
This year, Cine Europa will screen 30 films from 15 EU Member States which will be shown for free. Screenings will be held onsite in select venue partners in Cebu City, Metro Manila, Iloilo, and Palawan, or online upon signing up at www.cineeuropaph.com.
To be shown this year are award-winning films showcasing different genres with a particular emphasis this year on youth in celebration of the European Year of Youth 2022. The film festival has a guest participation of a Ukrainian film in solidarity with Ukraine and its people in view of its current war with Russia.
Cine Europa opened on Sept. 14 with a film from Cyprus and Greece titled Páfsi (Pause), directed by Tonia Mishiali, which focuses on a middle-aged woman and her fantasy world that she uses to escape her real world misery.
The other films being shown this year are:
• Sanremo (a co-production between Slovenia and Italy). This film revolves around Vruno who has a condition that causes him to forget.
• Libertad (Freedom). A Spanish film about friendship and how two different people from different places and different lives can create a unique friendship.
• Mysi Patri Do Nebe (Even Mice Belong in Heaven)a co-production between the Czech Republic, France, Slovakia, and Poland. The only animated film in this year’s roster, it focuses on unlikely friendships between enemies who become inseparable friends.
• Kapsalon Romy (Romy’s Salon), a co-production of the Netherlands and Germany. The film is described as a well-made, inter-generational film full of tenderness when dealing with the nature of the disease. Directed by Mischa Kamp who won the Golden Calf Award for Best Director in the Netherlands Film Festival for this film.
• Bicycle Thieves: Pumped Up (a film from Ireland). A comedy about a hot-headed pizza delivery cyclist, this film is described as part investigative thriller, part heist, and part magical-realist action comedy.
• Nematoma (Invisible), a co-produced between Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine, and Spain. This is a drama that has dancing, deception, and revenge. The choreography of this film is described to be as important as the script.
• Lola Vers La Mer (Lola), a film from Belgium and France, winner and multiple nominations of the Magritte Awards from the Académie André Delvaux of Belgium, which recognize cinematic achievement in the film industry.
• Aatos Ja Amine (Gods of Molenbeek) from Finland, Belgium and Germany. This documentary look at a deprived neighborhood in Brussels at knee’s height or through the eyes of children.
• Las Niñas (Schoolgirls) from Spain. This multi-award winning drama focuses on two girls that form a friendship, and their lives in the 1990s. Directed by Pilar Palomero.
• Marina is a Belgian biographical film that is based on the life of Italian Singer Rocco Granata who moved to Belgium when he was young.
• Un Triomphe (The Big Hit). A comedic story of an actor who runs a theater workshop in a prison and brings together an unlikely troupe on tour with a final performance in Paris.
• Seltsimees Laps (The Little Comrade) from Estonia. A children’s film about a six-year-old who is separated from her mother and vows to be on her best behavior in the hopes of bringing her mother back.
• Dating Amber, an Irish film set in the mid-1990s, is a love letter to all the kids who grew up in a small town and who needed to escape in order to find or be themselves
• Tytöt Tytöt Tytöt (A Girl Picture) from Finland. A coming-of-age film released in 2022, nominated in multiple International Film Festival and a winner in the Sundance Film Festival.
• Nech Je Svetlo (Let There Be Light) from Slovakia and the Czech Republic. A drama about Milan, his teenage son, and his journey to find the truth about what happened and about himself.
• Oskar & Lilli – Ein Bisschen Bleiben Wir Noch (Oskar & Lilli – Where No One Knows Us) from Austria. A bittersweet odyssey about two refugee kids and the many ways of perceiving the world to survive.
• La Vita Facile (Easy Living) from Italy. A comedy about a young woman, a bizarre American, and an illegal immigrant set between the French and Italian border
• Granny Project from Hungary. A seven-year long investigation of three young men coming into terms with their heritage through the lives of their grandmothers. Both a coming-of-age story for the three young men and a coming out of age story for their grandmothers
• Bashtata (The Father),a co-production from Bulgaria and Greece. A comedy about Vasil, his son Pavel, and their journey with the loss of Ivanka, Vasil’s wife and Pavel’s mother.
• Never Gonna Snow Again from Poland. A dark fairy tale about a masseur who hails from the East and enters the lives of residents in a walled off community, going door-to-door to heal the residents using his hands
• Im Feuer (Sisters Apart), co-produced by Germany and Greece). About a German soldier and native Kurd who volunteers to train female Kurdish soldiers in Iraq to fight ISIS.
• Exil (Exile), from Germany. A film by director Virar Morina, it describes the importance of the protagonist’s personality as he integrates into a new society.
• Dopunska Nastava (Extracurricular), from Croatia. A dark comedy about a father-daughter relationship and a school hostage crisis.
• Klondike from Ukraine. An angry war film about a Ukrainian family living on the border of Russia and Ukraine as their village is taken by armed forces, then a plane crashes.
• The Most Beautiful Boy in the World, from Sweden. A documentary set in 1970 as filmmaker Luchino Visconti travelled Europe looking for the perfect boy to personify absolute beauty.
• Luzzu from Malta, a drama about a Maltese fisherman and his wooden boat, focusing on his livelihood and family traditions from generations before him.
• Sluzibnici (Servants), a co-production between Slovakia, Romania, Czech Republic. and Ireland. About two students at a theological seminary in Czechoslovakia, and their story as the possibility of dissolution of their school looms over them.
• Krajina Ve Stinu (Shadow Country), a co-production from the Czech Republic and Slovakia. A fictional tale of killings, a growing evil, and the roles of humility and hope in one’s life.
• The Spiders’ Man, from Italy. A dark comedy about two half-brothers and their American friend and their encounter with a group of inexperienced thugs.