19th Chicago European Union Film Festival

March 4 – 31, 2016

From March 4 through 31, the Gene Siskel Film Center welcomes you to our 19th Annual Chicago European Union Film Festival. It’s your ticket to experiencing the creativity and vibrant cultures of all twenty-eight EU nations from the comfort of your theater seat. Chicago premieres of 62 new features distinguish this largest showcase in North America for cinema from European Union nations.

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 4, our host is Consul General of The Netherlands Klaas van der Tempel. Our special guest is actor Issaka Sawadogo, featured in the opening-night film THE PARADISE SUITE, a powerful drama in which the compromised lives of five strangers intersect in today’s Amsterdam.

Films that entertain, challenge, and delight are all here, including new work by some of Europe’s best-known names: Alexander Sokurov (FRANCOFONIA); Chantal Akerman (NO HOME MOVIE); Julie Delpy (LOLO); Matteo Garrone (TALE OF TALES); Radu Muntean (ONE FLOOR BELOW); Álex de la Iglesia (MY BIG NIGHT); Terence Davies (SUNSET SONG); Athina Rachel Tsangari (CHEVALIER); Mika Kaurismäki (THE GIRL KING); Paolo and Vittorio Taviani (WONDROUS BOCCACCIO); Cristina Comencini (LATIN LOVER); and Klaus Härö (THE FENCER).

Films recently selected to represent their respective nations in the Academy Awards competition for Best Foreign Film include: Cannes award-winner THE HIGH SUN (Croatia); HOME CARE (Czech Republic); Oscar-nominated A WAR (Denmark); 1944 (Estonia); short-listed for an Oscar nomination THE FENCER (Finland); MODRIS (Latvia); BABY (A)LONE (Luxembourg); short-listed for an Oscar nomination VIVA (Ireland); THE PARADISE SUITE (Netherlands); AFERIM! (Romania); KOZA (Slovakia); and THE TREE (Slovenia).

This is a banner year for festival guests. MacArthur genius award-winning novelist and screenwriter Aleksandar Hemon appears to discuss his spicy comedy LOVE ISLAND on March 5 and 14. Irish screenwriter and actor Mark O’Halloran appears with VIVA on March 13, and again on March 14 in a Movie Club event. Lithuanian American director Aldona Watts will discuss her documentary LAND OF SONGS on March 19 and 21.

Writer/executive producer Briona Nic Dhiarmada and executive producer Christopher Fox will conduct a Q&A at the March 21 screening of 1916: THE IRISH REBELLION. Czech director Slávek Horák and actress Alena Mihulová are tentatively slated to discuss HOME CARE on March 12.

For the fourth year, we incorporate the Festival of New Spanish Cinema, organized by Pragda and Spain Arts & Culture, as a five-film sidebar. Director Daniel Guzmán discusses his film NOTHING IN RETURN on March 17 and 18.

The festival closes on Thursday, March 31 with PHANTOM BOY, a crowd-pleasing, family-friendly, noir-tinged tale that does for Manhattan what the directors’ Oscar-nominated A CAT IN PARIS did for the City of Light. All ticket-holders are invited to attend a Closing Night reception in our Galley/Café featuring fine French bites prepared by chef Greg Biggers from Café des Architectes, courtesy of Lycée Français de Chicago.

— Barbara Scharres (Director of Programming) and Martin Rubin (Associate Director of Programming)

Chicago European Union Film Festival Dining Discounts!

• Anyone attending a German film during CEUFF receives a complimentary Bavarian pretzel (one per table) with Gene Siskel Film Center ticket stub at The Berghoff Restaurant, 17 W. Adams.

• Anyone who attends a Gene Siskel Film Center screening (CEUFF or otherwise), receives 15% off with Gene Siskel Film Center ticket stub at Cafe des Architects at Hotel Sofitel Water Tower, 20 E. Chestnut.

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. Special thanks to our Gene Siskel Film Center Community Council, Sara Hall and Eva Penar, Co-Chairs.