Download the EUFF March Gazette (pdf).
From March 7 through April 3, the Gene Siskel Film Center welcomes you to the “17th Annual European Union Film Festival,” the largest showcase in North America for the cinema of the European Union nations. This year’s festival presents the Chicago premieres of 64 new films from 26 EU nations, bringing the diverse national cultures of east and west Europe as close as your movie seat.
According to the tradition of our festival, the opening night is presided over by the nation currently holding the presidency of the European Union. On Friday, March 7, our host is the Honorable Ioanna Efthymiadou, Consul General of Greece in Chicago. Our opening film is THE ETERNAL RETURN OF ANTONIS PARASKEVAS by Elina Pyskou, a dark satire on celebrity in which a popular TV anchorman attempts to increase his fame by faking his own kidnapping.
The festival includes work by scores of seasoned directors as well as many young rising stars in the cinema world. Close to 20% of the films are directed by women. Some of the great and provocative names of Europe are represented with new work, including: Daniel Auteuil (FANNY and MARIUS), Francois Ozon (YOUNG & BEAUTIFUL), Paul Verhoeven (TRICKED), Lukas Moodysson (WE ARE THE BEST!), Michael Winterbottom (EVERYDAY and THE TRIP TO ITALY), John Akomfrah (THE STUART HALL PROJECT), and Mika Kaurismäki (ROAD NORTH).
Our selection includes the Chicago premieres of a goodly number of hot-buzz films from international festivals like Toronto: THE STRANGE LITTLE CAT (Germany), CHILD’S POSE and WHEN EVENING FALLS ON BUCHAREST OR METABOLISM (Romania), WHAT NOW? REMIND ME (Portugal), A SPELL TO WARD OFF DARKNESS (Estonia), and IDA (Poland).
For the second year in a row we incorporate the “Festival of New Spanish Cinema,” curated by Pragda, as a six-film sidebar. Director Juan Cavestany appears in person with the March 13 screening of his film PEOPLE IN PLACES, an intriguingly offbeat narrative in the tradition of Luis Buñuel that has been hailed as signaling a new direction in Spanish cinema.
Guests include Austrian directors Jim Libby and Nicolas Neuhold with ANOTHER ONE OPENS, a fully improvised feature film which will have its US premiere screenings on March 8 and 13; Polish documentary director Anna Ferens with A PLACE TO STAND on March 16; Chicago Reader film critic Ben Sachs discussing THE STUART HALL PROJECT on March 19; and German director David Sieveking presenting his very personal documentary FORGET ME NOT on March 21. Additional guests are pending as we go to press. Visit our web site at www.siskelfilmcenter.org for updates and added events.
The festival closes on Thursday, April 3 with the dark comedy/drama HONEYMOON by prolific Czech director Jan Hrebejk, who will appear in person for audience discussion, courtesy of the Consulate General of the Czech Republic, Chicago. A reception by Whole Foods Market follows.
The Gene Siskel Film Center thanks the consulates, the consuls general, and the cultural institutions of the European Union in Chicago, and their embassies in Washington, D.C., for their enthusiastic participation. We especially salute the efforts of all those who served as festival advisors.
—Barbara Scharres and Martin Rubin
Purchase a European Union festival pass for $50!
6 movies at a reduced price, plus a free small popcorn with each film. Turn your pass in at the end of the festival for a $5 discount on a Gene Siskel Film Center membership. An $87 value for $50!
Vote for the Audience Award!
Win an Annual Membership and a 2015 EU Festival Pass!
Vote for the European Union Film Festival's Audience Award, and your ballot may be selected for the grand prize of a year's membership to the Film Center plus an EU Festival Pass (6 films + popcorn) for the 2015 festival! Ballots are available in the lobby. Past winners of the award include I'M NOT SCARED (2004), COLOSSAL SENSATION! (2005), CLEAN (2006), AFTER THE WEDDING (2007), THE UNKNOWN WOMAN (2008), THE BEACHES OF AGNES (2009), THE WORLD IS BIG AND SALVATION LURKS AROUND THE CORNER (2010), DESERT FLOWER (2011), THE WELL-DIGGER’S DAUGHTER (2012), and BROKEN (2013).
For their generous assistance in obtaining films for the European Union Film Festival, the Gene Siskel Film Center thanks:
Austria: Markus Blunder, Dreamrunner Pictures; Nicolas Neuhold, English Lovers; Belgium: Katayoon Shahabi, Navid Karimpur, Noor Pictures; Carolina Jessula, Media Luna; Bulgaria: Niki Iliev; Mila Petkova, Bulgarian National Film Center; Croatia: Igor Princ, Princ Films; Ankica Juric Tilic, Kinorama; Czech Republic: Oscar Alonso, Javier de la Fuente, Latido; Denmark: Lizette Gram Mygind, Danish Film Institute; Jette Renneberg Elkjær, Embassy of Denmark; Estonia: Tristan Priimägi, Estonian Film Foundation; Paul Thiltges Distributions/Juliette Films; Finland: Mari Ljokkoi, Crystal Eye Ltd.; France: Institut Français; Fabrice Rozie, Denis Quenelle, Laurence Geannopoulos, Cultural Services at the Consulate General of France in Chicago; Germany: Werner Ott, Irmi Maunu-Kocian, Goethe-Institut Chicago; Hella Schmidt, Laure Tinette, German Film and Television Academy Berlin; Greece: Liza Linardou, Greek Film Center; Katja Lenarcic, M-Appeal; Nikos Alevras; Maria Douza, Steficon;Hungary: Bela Bunyik, Bunyik Entertainment; Katalin Vajda, Magyar Filmunió, Hungarian National Film Fund; Italy: Silvio Marchetti, Andrea Raos, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Chicago; Barbara Klein, Italian Film Festival of St. Louis; Pascale Ramonda; Latvia: Daris Delins, Perry Street Advisors; Laila Pakalnina; Astra Spalvena, National Film Center of Latvia; Lithuania: Marijus Gudynas, Agnė Vertelkaitė, Consulate General of the Republic of Lithuania in Chicago; Luxembourg: Joy Hoffmann, Centre National de l’Audiovisuel (CAN); Philipp Reimer, Amour Fou; Youn Ji, Autlook Filmsales; Netherlands: Claudia Landsberger, André Naus, Eye Film Institute; Lisette van Dalen, Topkapi Films; Poland: Konrad Zielinski, Consulate General of Poland, Chicago; Portugal: Matthias Angoulvant, Wide; Slovakia: Alexandra Strelková, Slovak Film Institute; Zuzana Bielikova, Negativ Film Productions; Katja Lenarcic, M-Appeal; Slovenia: Nerina Kocjancic, Slovenian National Film Center; A. Veronika Prosenc, Triglav Film; Carolina Jessula, Media Luna; Spain: Marta Sanchez, Pragda; Antonio Martínez Luciano, Teresa Hernando Rojo, Instituto Cervantes de Chicago; Sweden: Gunnar Almér, Swedish Film Institute; UK: John Flahive, Wavelength Pictures; and also: Ryan Krivoshey, The Cinema Guild; John Poole, John Poole Jr., Corinth Films; Rebeca Conget, Mallory Jacobs, Film Movement; Elizabeth Brambilla, Justin DiPietro, Cary Jones, Kim Kalyka, IFC Films; Ian Stimler, KimStim; Gary Palmucci, Jonathan Hertzberg, Kino Lorber Films; Neal Block, Maureen Masters, Magnolia Pictures; Ed Arentz, Brian Andreotti, Rebecca Gordon, Music Box Films; Nathan Faustyn, Mike Williams, Strand Releasing; Clemence Taillandier, Zeitgeist Films.