‘The essence of European cinema’: Europa! Europa Film Festival reveals full program

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‘The essence of European cinema’: Europa! Europa Film Festival reveals full program

europa film festival
words by staff writer

Grab a choc top and settle down in front of the silver screen.

Europa! Europa Film Festival is set to captivate Sydney and Melbourne audiences for its third year, running from February 15 to March 11, 2024.

This cinematic celebration promises an eclectic mix of European gems, featuring 47 films from 28 countries. Artistic Director Spiro Economopoulos describes the lineup as a testament to the power of diverse storytelling, offering narratives that resonate universally.

Europa! Europa Film Festival

15 February – 10 March
Ritz Cinemas Randwick

15 February – 11 March
Classic Cinemas Elsternwick and Lido Cinemas Hawthorn

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“Each film, carefully selected, is not just a viewing experience but an invitation to engage with stories that resonate universally, truly exemplifying the essence of European cinema,” he says.

The festival kicks off with Denmark’s Academy Awards submission, The Promised Land, transporting viewers to a historical 1755 Denmark with a gripping tale of love and land battles starring Mads Mikkelsen.

Following this, Freud’s Last Session explores the intellectual clash between Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis, anchored by Anthony Hopkins’ nuanced performance. Both opening night screenings will feature welcome drinks.

Highlighting the festival are three headline films. The Beast (France) presents a futuristic love story set in a world dominated by artificial intelligence.

Matteo Garrone’s Io Capitano (Italy) follows the journey of two teenagers seeking fame in Europe, while The Peasants (Poland) adapts Władysław Reymont’s Nobel Prize-winning novel into a visually captivating animated drama.

The festival also showcases 4K restorations of cinematic masterpieces, including Bernardo Bertolucci’s exploration of fascism, The Conformist, and Jean Luc Godard’s landmark film Contempt, restored for its 60th anniversary.

Europa! Europa dives into the lighter side of cinema with a lineup of comedies, from Spanish bromance in Co-Husbands to the quirky Greek comedy The Summer with Carmen and the darkly humorous The Hypnosis.

The drama selection weaves intricate storytelling and compelling characters, including Ladj Ly’s Les Indésirables, Robin Campillo’s Red Island, and Valerie Donzelli’s emotional exploration in Just the Two of Us. Timm Kröger’s The Universal Theory adds a touch of Hitchcockian suspense to the mix.

The festival’s documentary offering, High & Low: John Galliano, directed by Kevin Macdonald, delves into the rise, fall, and redemption of fashion icon John Galliano, featuring interviews with Galliano, Kate Moss, Penelope Cruz, and Charlize Theron.

Following the great success of the recently released Poor Things, a Yorgos Lanthimos Retrospective adds a surreal touch to the festival, honouring the Greek filmmaker’s distinctive vision with a selection of six films known for their wicked humour and unique stylistic approach.

Europa! Europa Film Festival 2024 promises an immersive cinematic experience, inviting audiences to engage with a rich tapestry of narratives that transcend borders and cultures.

With its diverse lineup, the festival continues to be a beacon of European cinema, offering a journey through stories that resonate with the human experience.

Browse the full program and buy your tickets here.