European film Festival – 12 countries and some unbelievable talent. Here is what you need to know …

AFRICAN PERSPECTIVE: Francois Venter talks about the Goethe Institut's involvement in the European Film Festival last year.

As we head towards the month of May, it’s time to gear up for loads of popcorn and litres of slushie during the European Film Festival.

The line-up of films this year represents 12 countries, including – for the first time – Ireland and Croatia. Each film reflects the skills of filmmakers who are not limited by national borders.

You can expect stories such as Strike a Pose, which is a Dutch documentary exploration of Madonna’s men, the male dancers who served to consolidate the pop icon’s message and status as an outspoken advocate for LGBT rights.

Festival director Katarina Hedrén, who returns as the curator for the second time, is delighted with the pickings. “With this year’s selection, which includes films of different genres, textures and moods, the aim is to entertain, amuse and offer opportunities for reflection, new discoveries and recognition,” she said.

“The theme binding the films together is cinematic excellence through acclaimed and award-winning films.”

Read: Joburg Film Festival comes to town

This year’s assemblage is a mixed pot in terms of film topics, which span from animal rights to family dynamics, dramas and documentaries, comedies and tales of grief to children’s adventures which sit side by side on this eclectic and exciting programme.

“The films are new, but the commitment remains the same, which is to offer audiences in South Africa an opportunity to experience acclaimed and award-winning European cinema,” added Hedrén.

Motheo Matsau, chief of marketing and sales at Ster-Kinekor Theatres added, “Our Nouveau cinemas are synonymous with the screening of the very best in art-house and foreign language films from across the globe and the European Film Festival content certainly delivers on that promise.”

With great contribution from the organisation, Norbert Spitz, director of the Goethe-Institut, spoke on behalf of the European partners.

“European filmmaking has seen another year of highly creative output and filmmakers continue to produce works that challenge and uproot. We are happy that festival director, Katarina Hedrén’s 2017 film selection has given even more variety to the European Film Festival.”

Catch the festival from 5 to 14 May.

Details: www.eurofilmfest.co.za; Twitter #EuroFilmFestSA.

Edited by Beryl Knipe

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