Winner of the Grand Prix Best Film “Saint Omer” opened the festival
• Featuring movies from 18 women directors, the festival provides audiences a Window to Europe through the lens of cinema
• 28 European countries represented at the EUFF in true Team Europe spirit; it celebrates the diversity and depth of European cinema and culture
New Delhi, December 2, 2023: The European Union Film Festival (EUFF) inaugurated its 28th edition with the much-anticipated Grand Prix-winning French film “Saint Omer” directed by the acclaimed Alice Diop. This on-ground film festival is set to captivate audiences in New Delhi across three prominent venues—the India Habitat Centre, Instituto Cervantes (Spanish Cultural Center), and The Goethe-Institut /Max Mueller Bhavan—running until December 10th, 2023. Chennai chapter of the 28th edition, which follows Delhi screenings, will start from Jan 19th to 28th, 2024.
The annual festival was inaugurated at the Instituto Cervantes by the Ambassador of the European Union, H.E. Hervé Delphin. The event commenced with the screening of “Saint Omer,” leaving the audience enchanted by its compelling storyline, setting an immersive tone for the festival’s forthcoming cinematic experiences. The evening witnessed presence of representatives from participating EU Member States and notable figures from the industry.
Inaugurating the film festival, Ambassador of the European Union H.E. Hervé Delphin said, “Europe and India share a common love story with cinema and storytelling. The EU film festival is a Window to European culture, people, society, and themes that are universal in nature. Organized together with the 28 European Countries in true Team Europe spirit, it celebrates the diversity and depth of European cinema. It aims to highlight cinema’s role as a unifying force bridging the cultural ties between Europe and India. This year, we also welcome a film from Ukraine to the festival. EUFF is an excellent opportunity to meet the master storytellers, get insight into diverse cultures, and experience a myriad of emotions, all in one place!”
“Saint Omer’ by celebrated director Alice Diop showcased the prejudices and preconceptions surrounding a crime that goes beyond all comprehension while subtly weaving the issue of racism. It chronicles the journey of young novelist Rama, who attends the trial of Laurence Coly, a young woman accused of killing her 15-month-old daughter.
“After going through all the stages with Alice of making Saint Omer, I realized that being an actress, actually, was always in my gut maybe since the beginning of my life.” Guslagie Malanda, the actress of Saint Omer, said proudly before the screening of the opening film Saint Omer.
Veronica Flora and Valerio Caruso, Curators of EUFF 2023, said, “Cinema is a journey that we undertake together with people sitting next to us in a theatre or miles away. This metaphorical journey is the central theme of the 28th edition of the European Union Film Festival in India. Through the curated films, our aim is to get the audience to experience what it’s like to sometimes escape reality while sometimes embracing things as they are and explore emotions, humanity and new ideas. The
festival also offers an opportunity for the audience to interact with and explore the art of storytelling with exceptional European and Indian filmmakers and artists. The line-up offers evocative, innovative, independent, and offbeat voices across genres such as drama, comedy, sci-fi, documentary, and animation.”
Annika Pinske’s critically acclaimed “Talking About the Weather” movie was also screened today at the Goethe Institute at 5 p.m. The film is a sensitive social study about home and imprinting, post-reunification traumas, and milieus from which one can emancipate oneself but never completely overcome them.
The 10 day festival will also have an engaging panel discussion – Women in European Cinema on 2nd December, 2023 at Instituto Cervantes. Moderated by Sukhpreet Kahlon, the panel will have Estonian Director – Anu Aun, French Actress for Film Saint Omer – Guslagie Malanda and Curator of EUFF 2023, Veronica Flora. In association with UnBox Culture Futures, an intensive masterclass on ‘New Frontiers in Filmmaking’ facilitated by Hanna Västinsalo (Finland), Savyasachi Anju Prabir (India) and Cyril Abraham (Finland/India), three filmmakers with unique experiences producing shorts, features and experimental work in South Asian and European regions will be held on 6th December, 2023 at Instituto Cervantes.
In addition, She – Hero from Slovakia and Icarus and the Minotaur from Luxembourg will be screened as part of the special section dedicated to young audiences named ‘BACHPAN’ in association with SIFFCY on the morning of 7th December 2023 at Instituto Cervantes.
This year, the festival has an excellent line-up of films that have won accolades at top film festivals worldwide, including Cannes, the Academy Awards, the Venice Film Festival, the Tribeca Film Festival, and IFFI, among others. Rich in genre, the EUFF brings some of the best stories and creators from Europe to the Indian audience.
The films to be screened at the on-ground EUFF 2023 are:
Breaking the Ice – Austria; Tori and Lokita – Belgium; Mother- Bulgaria; Murina- Croatia; The Man with the Answers- Cyprus; Ordinary Failures- Czech Republic; The Quiet Migration- Denmark; Walker on Water- Estonia; Palimpsest- Finland; Saint Omer- France; Talking About the Weather- Germany; Listen- Greece; Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time- Hungary; The Banshees of Inisherin- Ireland; The Eight Mountains- Italy; My Love Affair with Marriage- Latvia; Remember to Blink- Lithuania; Icarus and the Minotaur- Luxembourg; Carmen- Malta; Kiddo- Netherlands; The Perfect Number- Poland; Wolf and Dog- Portugal; Mikado- Romania; She – Hero- Slovakia; Riders- Slovenia; The Beasts- Spain; After Work- Sweden; Luxembourg, Luxembourg- Ukraine
The ‘free for all’ festival, organised by the Delegation of the European Union to India, Embassies of EU Member States, and regional partners, brings to its audience an incredible cinematic experience with 28 films in 25 different languages from 28 European countries. Featuring movies from 18 women directors, the festival celebrates Women in Cinema and the art of storytelling from the woman’s perspective.
Note: All films have English subtitles and are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Some movies are 18+; please check the ratings before planning a visit. This is a free-for-all festival.