18th Annual European Union Film Festival

March 6 through April 2

From March 6 through April 2, the Gene Siskel Film Center welcomes you to the “18th Annual European Union Film Festival,” a colorful and diverse European escape from the Chicago winter. This largest showcase in North America for the cinema of the European Union nations presents Chicago premieres of 61 new feature films from 27 nations, providing an in-depth portrait of Europe from east to west.

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 6, our host is Latvia’s Honorary Consul in Chicago, Robert Blumberg. Our opening film is the delightful feature-length animation THE GOLDEN HORSE, based on a Latvian folk tale, and suitable for all ages.

Entertaining, provocative, and challenging works abound, with new films by some of Europe’s best known directors, including: Alain Resnais (LIFE OF RILEY), Ettore Scola (HOW STRANGE TO BE NAMED FEDERICO), Jessica Hausner (AMOUR FOU), Ulrich Seidl (IN THE BASEMENT), Roy Andersson (A PIGEON SAT ON A BRANCH REFLECTING ON EXISTENCE), Mia Hansen-Løve (EDEN), Pedro Costa (HORSE MONEY), Bruno Dumont (LI’L QUINQUIN), Anne Fontaine (GEMMA BOVERY), and Christian Petzold (PHOENIX). Discoveries by new talents are also one of the most winning aspects of the festival.

Films recently selected to represent their respective nations in the Academy Awards competition for Best Foreign Film include: THE DARK VALLEY (Austria); COWBOYS (Croatia); WHITE GOD (Hungary); NEVER DIE YOUNG (Luxembourg); A STEP INTO THE DARK (Slovakia); and LIVING IS EASY WITH EYES CLOSED (Spain). We also present hot-buzz award-winning films from festivals including Cannes, Toronto, and Rotterdam, including: WASTE LAND (Belgium); IN THE CROSSWIND (Estonia); HIPPOCRATES and LA SAPIENZA (France); MAGICAL GIRL (Spain); and THE CHAMBERMAID (Germany).

Festival guests include Austrian director Gustav Deutsch with SHIRLEY: VISIONS OF REALITY, inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper, on March 27 and 28. Art Institute of Chicago Curator of American Art Judith Barter joins Deutsch for discussion on March 28 in a Movie Club event. Italian director Francesco Munzi will appear on March 14 to discuss his acclaimed crime saga BLACK SOULS, and Scottish director Anthony Baxter will appear on March 29 with A DANGEROUS GAME.

For the third year in a row, we incorporate films from the “Festival of New Spanish Cinema,” curated and organized by Pragda and Spain Arts & Culture. A discussion led by film historian Steven Marsh accompanies a screening of MAGICAL GIRL on April 1. Additional guests are pending as we go to press.

The festival closes on Thursday, April 2, with HOW STRANGE TO BE NAMED FEDERICO: SCOLA NARRATES FELLINI, a warm and nostalgic recollection of the Italian master tinged with fantasy, by his close friend and colleague. Receptions hosted by Whole Foods Market follow both opening and closing night films.

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 in your pass 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!
Enter to win Free Membership and 2016 EUFF 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 2016 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 AGNÈS (2009), THE WORLD IS BIG AND SALVATION LURKS AROUND THE CORNER (2010), DESERT FLOWER (2011), THE WELL-DIGGER’S DAUGHTER (2012), BROKEN (2013), and BICYCLING WITH MOLIÈRE (2014).

For their generous assistance in obtaining films for the European Union Film Festival, the Gene Siskel Film Center thanks:

Austria: Christopher Zimmerman, Austrian Cultural Forum New York; Carolin Stern, EastWest Filmdistribution; Belgium: Pamela Leu, Be For Films; Matthias Angoulvant, Wide Management; Bulgaria: Kasia Karwan, Premium Films; Mila Petkova, Bulgarian National Film Center; Cyprus: Kyriacos Tofarides, Avra Productions; Czech Republic: Matej Chlupacek, Barletta Production; Arkaitz Basterra, Evolution Films; Denmark: Lizette Gram Mygind, Danish Film Institute; Jette Renneberg Elkjær, Embassy of Denmark; Estonia: Birgit Pajust, Estonian Film Institute; Lili Pilt, Homeless Bob Production; Patricie Pouzarova, Pluto Film; France: 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; Greece: Liza Linardou, Greek Film Center; Patra Spanou; Nicholas Triandafyllidis; Hungary: Anna Koriagina, Alpha Violet World Sales; Italy: Andrea Raos, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Chicago; Barbara Klein, Italian Film Festival of St. Louis; Latvia: Normunds Pucis; Robert Blumberg, Honorary Consulate of Latvia, Chicago; Paul Thiltges Distribution; Daris Delins, Perry Street Advisors; Lithuania: Marijus Gudynas, Agnė Vertelkaitė, Consulate General of the Republic of Lithuania in Chicago; Luxembourg: Joy Hoffmann, Centre National de l’Audiovisuel (CAN); Katarzyna Ozga, Lucil Distribution; Vincent Quénault, Red Lion; Netherlands: Sarieke Hoeksma, Lemming Film; Digna Sinke, SNG Film; Poland: Paulina Jaroszewicz, New Europe Film Sales; Romania: Anca Florescu, DaKino Production; Josephine Settmacher, Films Boutique; Slovakia: Alexandra Strelková, Slovak Film Institute; Erika Paulinská, Azyl Production; Iveta Popislova, Trigon Production; Slovenia: Nerina Kocjancic, Slovenian National Film Center; Eva Rohrman; Forum Ljubljana; Spain: Marta Sanchez, Pragda; Antonio Martínez Luciano, Teresa Hernando Rojo, Instituto Cervantes de Chicago; Sweden: Gunnar Almér, Swedish Film Institute; UK: Anthony Baxter, Montrose Pictures; and also: Calantha Mansfield, Carlotta Films US; Ryan Krivoshey, Graham Swindoll, The Cinema Guild; Ryan Werner, Cinetic Media; John Poole, John Poole Jr., Corinth Films; Clemence Taillandier, Distrib Films; Maxwell Wolkin, Film Movement/RAM Releasing; Justin DiPietro, Kim Kalyka, IFC Films; Gary Palmucci, Jonathan Hertzberg, Kino Lorber Films; Maureen Masters, Martin Wendel, Nina Cates, Magnolia Pictures; Chris Conrad, Main Street Films; Ed Arentz, Brian Andreotti, Rebecca Gordon, Music Box Films; Paul Hudson, Outsider Pictures; Nathan Faustyn, Mike Williams, Strand Releasing; Anatol Chavez, Synergetic Distribution; David Shultz, Vitagraph Films.