• Cine Europa celebrates Sweet 16


    Twenty-one films from 17 European nations promise to bring a totally different kind of movie experience to Filipino film enthusiasts as Cine Europa returns for its 16th year.

    From just 11 films when it began in 1998, Cine Europa will now present 21 films from countries such as Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

    To be held at the Shangri-La Plaza Mall Shang Cineplex Cinema 2 from September 5 to 15, this year’s festival will also showcase classics from Filipino master filmmakers like Peque Gallaga’s “Oro, Plata, Mata,” Manuel Conde’s “Genghis Khan,” and the romantic documentary “Jazz In Love,” among others.

    Austria presents Das Pferd auf dem Balkon (The Horse on the Balcony)—the story of 10-year-old Mika, who suffers from a mild form of autism. Mika’s strictly controlled life is turned upside down one winter’s night when he hears a neighing sound of a horse.

    Belgium’s entry, A Pas de Loup (With a Wolf’s Gait) tells the story of six-year-old girl Cathy who must accompany her parents to the countryside every weekend despite her distant relation with her parents. Weekends at the farm are as dreary as usual, until Cathy receives ‘magic seeds’ from the hands of an old farm worker.

    Directed by Ivailo Hristov, Bulgaria’s Ñòúïêè â ïÿñúêà (Footsteps in the sand) is a sad and funny story about the love of a boy (Slavi) and a girl (Nelly), who at the age of six promised to marry each other, and whose intertwined lives take them through love, friendships, betrayals, partings, and roamings around the world, until reaching a final homecoming.

    Czech Republic’s Musíme si Pomáhat (Divided We Fall) begins in a small Czech town occupied by Nazi German forces during the Second World War. Josef and Marie Cizek, a childless couple, are trying to survive the difficult times of war by confining themselves in their house, simplifying their lives to everyday passive commonness.

    A Royal Affair from Denmark is a true story of an ordinary man who wins the queen’s heart and starts a revolution. Centering on the intriguing love triangle between the insane Danish King Christian VII, the royal physician Struensee, and the young but strong Queen Caroline Mathilda, A Royal Affair is the gripping tale of brave idealists who risk everything in the pursuit of freedom for their people.

    From Paris in the 60’s to London’s modern days, France’s Les Bien Aimes (Beloved) tells the story of Madeleine and her daughter Vera waltz in and out of the lives of the men they love.

    About nine years before the fall of the Wall, Barbara (Germany), a doctor from Berlin, applies for an exit permit from the GDR, but she is arrested and transferred to a provincial hospital after her release in the summer of 1980. When the day of her escape finally arrives, Barbara makes a surprising decision.

    In Almanya—Wilkommen in Deutschland (Germany), Hüseyin Yilmaz came to Germany in 1964 as an Anatolian guest worker. Shortly before he is about to be naturalized, he realizes he is not sure he wants to become a German citizen. Unexpectedly, he reveals to his wife, children and grandchildren that he has bought a house in his old hometown and that he expects them to go there and help him renovate it but their reactions are mixed.

    O xenagos (The guide), Greece’s entry in Cine Europa, is the comedic tale of Iasonas who arrives in Athens to start his new ambitious career as an “architects’ guide” to international students of architecture.

    At a time when everybody else would like to escape to the West, Hungary’s Made in Hungária tells the story of an adolescent boy who returns home from America to spread rock’n’roll.

    Italy’s Pranzo Di Ferragosto (Mid-August Lunch), a middle-aged man lives with and looks after his elderly mother, as unpaid bills pile up around him. He is given at least a partial solution to his problem when his landlord and his doctor each persuade him to let them dump their elderly relatives on him.

    La Stanza Del Figlio (The Son’s Room), the second title from Italy, is the story of a family having to face tragedy, and an extenuating and heart-rending period of mourning that is only exacerbated by misunderstandings and the different ways in which each one faces the immense loss.

    Based on the best-selling novel by Jacques Vriens, Achtste Groepers Huilen Niet (Cool Kids Don’t Cry) from The Netherlands, tells the story of Akkie, a spirited young girl who loves soccer, even though her classmate Joep thinks that soccer is not meant for girls.

    Norway presents Kautokeino-opprøret (The Kautokeino Rebellion), which examines the events following the eve of November 7, 1852, when 57 of the Sami people, men, women and children leave their tents and their reindeer behind and head for Kautokeino to spark a revolution.

    In Tatal Fantoma (Phantom Father) presented by Romania, American Professor Robert Traum takes a leave and decides to embrace an adventure that has a close connection with the past.

    Nedodr+an+ S+ub (Broken Promise) from Slovakia is a powerful cinematic retelling of the real life story of Martin Friedmann, a Slovak Jew during the Second World War.

    Spain’s Silencio en la nieve (Frozen Silence) brings audiences back to the Russian front in the winter of 1943 where a battalion of the Blue Division encounters a series of horses’ heads scattered on the frozen surface of a lake with the bodies submerged beneath the ice.

    Svinalängorna (Beyond), director Pernilla August’s debut feature from Sweden, is loosely based on Susanna Alakoski’s award-winning novel of the same name. The film is a gripping story of a woman’s confrontation with memories from her troubled childhood.

    From Switzerland, Operation Libertad revolves around the story of the members of a small revolutionary group who break into a Swiss bank near Zurich. The group films the entirety of their actions to prove the collusion between the Helvetic financial system and dictators.

    Finally, the United Kingdom screens two titles for the film festival. Project NIM, from the same Oscar-winning team behind Man on Wire, is the story of Nim, the chimpanzee who in the 1970s became the focus of a landmark experiment which aimed to show that an ape could learn to communicate with language if raised and nurtured like a human child.

    And Dreams of a Life, a documentary that focuses on Joyce Vicent who died in her bedsit above a shopping mall in North London in 2003, and whose body wasn’t discovered until three years later.

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