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The European Film Festival, which opened nationwide on 5 May 2017 at Cinema Nouveau and is running concurrently in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Pretoria and Durban until 14 May, invites the audience to rate each film according to their liking. The winning film will be announced after the festival.
This feature ties into an increased level of audience interaction at the festival, including a ticket-competition where the public was invited to pick their potential favourites and the ongoing offer of personalized movie recommendations by the Festival Director online. Furthermore the 2017 edition of the festival, just like last year’s, has seen local personalities, including authors Mandla Langa and Zukiswa Wanner, comedian Kagiso Lediga and actress Quanita Adams, engage with the selection by watching and sharing their personal reflections on selected films.
As a grand festival finale, after the Johannesburg-screening of the film on Sunday 14 May, the audience will get a chance to meet Rory O’Neill, the main character of the acclaimed documentary The Queen Of Ireland by Conor Horgan. The film traces the life and activism of the charismatic and relentless O’Neill – a.k.a. Pandora Panti Bliss – who played a crucial role in the lead-up to the successful campaign ahead of the world’s first popular vote on whether to legalise same-sex marriage.
“There are few better ways to put a message across without preaching, than through film – a medium with visceral super-powers. I hope that the selection of amazing, award-winning comedies, biopics, slice-of-life stories, animal-right thrillers, road-movies and documentaries will stimulate imagination and inspire new ways of being, seeing, thinking and creating.”, said Festival Director Katarina Hedrén at the Festival Opening Night on 4 May, which presented the thoughtful and hilarious drama King Of The Belgians to a select audience at Rosebank’s Cinema Nouveau.
Three days into the festival, there’s still time to catch most of the festival picks – such as the thrilling family adventure Zip & Zap and the Captain’s Island, which offers a great opportunity to open children’s hearts and minds to film and the magic of storytelling from other parts of the world. Of Stefan Zweig: Farewell To Europe, Austria’s entry to the Oscars for Best Foreign Film, Mandla Langa says, “I thoroughly enjoyed this film and would recommend it to anyone interested in the journeys people take to seek freedom, personal and communal”. The French drama Things To Come features brilliant acting by the acclaimed French actress Isabelle Huppert and has already mesmerised local audiences. This coming week holds another chance to see this subtle film about philosophy teacher Nathalie Chazeaux, who searches for a new direction in life amidst student demonstrations. The scenic and original animal rights thriller Spoor by Oscar nominated Director Agnieszka Holland, can still be seen on Thursday (JHB, CPT, PTA) and Sunday (DBN).
The European Film Festival continues to screen at Cinema Nouveau in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria until Sunday 14 May. Tickets are priced at R64. Normal benefits and ticket discounts apply to members of SK Club, Discovery Vitality and Edgars Club. For more information, visit www.eurofilmfest.co.za or join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook: #EuroFilmFestSA.
The European Film Festival is coordinated by the Goethe-Institut South Africa, hosted by Ster-Kinekor Cinema Nouveau, and organised in partnership with the Delegation of the European Union to South Africa and 12 other European cultural agencies or embassies in South Africa: the General Representation of the Government of Flanders, the French Institute, the Italian Cultural Institute, the Camões Institute, the British Council, and the Embassies of Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain. The European Film Festival is part of the EuropeFest, presenting in South Africa in May 2017 a diverse range of EU Member States cultural events.