2015 marks the 25th edition of the European Union Film Festival (EUFF), and what makes it special for the longest-running foreign film festival here is that it falls on Singapore’s 50th birthday!
Celebrating a passion for European cinema, the EUFF will feature 29 films from 29 countries, with Latvia and Serbia participating for the first time. With films that cater to every taste, film enthusiasts will be spoilt for choice with the wide range of films across all genres, ranging from artistic to mainstream.
The festival plans were unveiled at a media conference Thursday (Apr 16) by the European Union (EU) Ambassador to Singapore Dr Michael Pulch, France Ambassador to Singapore Mr Benjamin Dubertret, Executive Director of The European Season Mrs Laurence Harel, and Chairman of the Singapore Film Society Mr Kenneth Tan.
The EUFF will open with The Connection by director Cedric Jimenez, a French film about a young French magistrate starring Oscar-winner Jean Dujardin whom gained prominence after 2011 Oscar-winning movie The Artist.
Notable films include Ida, a black-and-white Polish drama that won the 2015 Oscar for Best Foreign Language film. Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski, it is his first feature film in Polish and will enjoy its Singapore premiere in the EUFF. Also to be shown is A Royal Affair, a Danish historical drama directed by Nikolaj Arcel that was nominated for Best Foreign Language film at the 85th Oscars and 70th Golden Globe Awards.
“The significance of EUFF to Singaporeans and its importance here goes beyond consumption”, said Mr Tan. “It is not just about the films, but about the growth of films. It should foster and spur filmmaking, and allow people to get a taste of a country they have never known about through their films. That is why the existence of EUFF for 25 years is itself significant.”
In recognition of embodying the filmmaking passion in Singapore, 29 short films from the Puttnam School of Film, LASALLE College of the Arts will also be screened alongside each feature film in the EUFF. Within these films are core issues of national identity, another aspect that adds to the SG50 celebrations.
Presented by the European Union Cultural Committee and the Embassy of France, the EUFF will be held from 13 – 24 May. The festival will take place at GV Suntec City, with the exception of the opening film to be presented at GV Grand.
As Dr Pulch put it matter-of-factly, “Going on a dinner date? Look at the booklet and think about the EUFF.”