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From March 8 through April 4, the Gene Siskel Film Center brings the creative diversity and excitement of Europe to Chicago, with the 22nd Annual Chicago European Union Film Festival. This largest festival in North America exclusively showcasing films originating in the European Union brings the vibrant cultures of Europe to the comfort of your theater seat, with 60 Chicago premieres representing all 28 EU nations.
According to the tradition of our festival, the opening night is presided over by the nation in the presidency of the European Union, and this year Romania has the honor. On Friday, March 8, the evening is hosted by Tiberiu Trifan, Consul General of Romania in Chicago. Our opening night presentation is the U.S. premiere of the investigative drama THOU SHALT NOT KILL by directors Catalin Rotaru and Gabi Virginia Sarga.
We are proud to announce that 22 of this year’s 60 films are directed or co-directed by women.
They include Romanian director Adina Pintilie, who won the Golden Bear at the 2018 Berlin Film Festival with her first feature TOUCH ME NOT; and Polish director Jagoda Szelc, who has been sweeping international awards with her first feature TOWER. A BRIGHT DAY. Also directed by women:
THOU SHALT NOT KILL/Romania (March 8, 12) by Gabi Virginia Sarga (with Catalin Rotaru);
AMATEURS/Sweden (March 8, 12) by Gabriela Pichler;
TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT/Estonia (March 8, 14) by Liina Trishkina-Vanhatalo;
CARMEN & LOLA/Spain (March 10, 14) by Arantxa Echevarria;
THE WALDHEIM WALTZ/Austria (March 15, 17) by Ruth Beckermann;
LITTLE HARBOR/Slovakia (March 15, 19) by Iveta Grofova;
TIGER MILK/Germany (March 15, 20) by Ute Wieland;
HOLY BOOM/Greece (March 29, April 3) by Maria Lafi;
YOU ARE MY FRIEND/Netherlands (March 15, 20) by Petra Lataster-Czich (with Peter Lataster);
THE SOWER/France (March 16, 18) by Marine Francen;
THE EX-WIFE/Sweden (March 22, 23) by Katja Wik;
THE SUMMER HOUSE/Italy (March 24, 27) by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi;
HOMO NOVUS/Latvia (March 24, 27) by Anna Viduleja;
FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY/Ireland (March 29, 30) by Carmel Winters (plus Toma McCullim, production designer; both will appear in person on March 29 and 30 for audience discussion);
ALEKSI/Croatia (March 29, 30) by Barbara Vekaric;
EMMA PEETERS/Belgium (March 29, April 2) by Nicole Palo;
LIMESTONE COWBOY/Malta (March 29, April 4) by Abigail Mallia;
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO MY REVOLUTION/France (March 30, April 1) by Judith Davis;
THE SILENCE OF OTHERS/Spain (March 31, April 1) by Almudena Carracedo (with Robert Bahar);
THE LITTLE COMRADE/Estonia (March 31, April 2) by Moonika Siimets.
Films to appeal to every taste and interest are here, including films by some of Europe’s well-know names: LORO (Paolo Sorrentino); ETHER (Krzysztof Zanussi); THE SUMMER HOUSE (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi); THE LAST NOTE (Pantelis Voulgaris); THE BRA (Veit Helmer); WINTER FIES (Olmo Omerzu); WONDERFUL LOSERS (Arünas Matelis); YOU ARE MY FRIEND (Peter Lataster and Petra Lataster-Czich); COINCOIN AND THE EXTRA-HUMANS (Bruno Dumont); ROCK ’N ROLL (Guillaume Canet); THE WALDHEIM WALTZ (Ruth Beckermann); A FAITHFUL MAN (Louis Garrel); and INFINITE FOOTBALL (Corneliu Porumboiu).
We have scores of films by Europe’s rising stars too, including young French directors Antony Cordier (GASPARD AT THE WEDDING), Judith Davis (WHATEVER HAPPENED TO MY REVOLUTION), Marine Francen (THE SOWER), and Samuel Jouy (SPARRING).
Guest filmmakers are still being confirmed as we go to press. On March 16, Lithuanian director Arūnas Matelis presents his documentary WONDERFUL LOSERS, delving into the world of professional cyclists. Irish director Carmel Winters and production designer Toma McCullim will be present for March 29 and 30 screenings of FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY, a coming-of-age story featuring a wealth of traditional Irish tunes. On March 23 and 25, Italian director Giacomo Durzi will discuss his film FERRANTE FEVER, a documentary examining the cult popularity of the reclusive pseudonymous author.
The festival closes on Thursday, April 4, with Italian director Francesco Falaschi tentatively in person with AS NEEDED, his appealing comedy-drama about a disgraced chef who redeems himself by mentoring a struggling young talent. A reception hosted by the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) follows the show.