The European Film Festival is back and after a successful virtual run in 2020. The 2021 edition is keeping things in the digital ether, which means you get to enjoy it from the best seat in your house once again. Taking place between 14 and 24 October, you can expect another selection of Europe’s finest films with 18 brand new films representing nations from across the continent. This year’s virtual film festival hosts no less than 13 films directed by women and includes four new participant countries in Czech Republic, Denmark, Switzerland and Ukraine.
This year’s theme is Healing Journeys, which is more relevant than ever with respect to the mental, physical and even spiritual duress suffered during the global pandemic. While we’re still in the throes, art and culture exists to speak to the human condition, reflect our experience and even question our existence. Films are borne of illusion, able to transport, immerse and challenge us making it the perfect medium for the here and now. This year’s slate includes self-discovery, growth, transition and a good sense of humour from rising talent to established filmmakers.
Here’s more on this year’s exciting and award-winning line-up…
Another Round (Denmark)
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Best known for winning Best International Feature Film at the 2021 Academy Awards, this mature comedy drama journeys with four disillusioned high school teachers who consume alcohol on a daily basis as an experiment to see how it affects their lives.
After Love (United Kingdom)
Director: Aleem Khan
A Muslim convert discovers life-changing secrets after her husband’s unexpected death.
Charlatan (Czech Republic)
Director: Agnieszka Holland
This politically-charged drama follows the life of a deeply committed yet unconventional herbalist as he endures Nazi and then Communist regimes in Czechoslovakia.
Mr Bachmann and His Class (Germany)
Director: Maria Speth
This life-affirming education documentary follows an ever-patient teacher who uses unconventional methods to inspire his young citizens-in-the-making.
My Father is an Airplane (The Netherlands)
Director: Antoinette Beumer
This drama journeys with a woman, who starts a poignant search for her past and seeks contact with her father.
My Little Sister (Switzerland)
Directors: Stéphanie Chuat and Véronique Reymond
An intimate, personal and powerful tale about a sister who drops everything to support her ailing twin brother.
Never Gonna Snow Again (Poland)
Director: Malgorzata Szumowska
An offbeat comedy-drama about a masseur and hypnotist who gain acceptance and stature in a wealthy gated community.
Parents vs Influencers (Italy)
Director: Michela Andreozzi
This comedy centres on a middle-aged professor of philosophy who’s struggling with his daughter’s social media addiction.
Quo Vadis Aida? (Co-Production)
Director: Jasmila Žbanić
An English teacher and translator tries to save her family when the Serbian army invades the small town of Srebrenica.
Risks and Side Effects (Austria)
Director: Michael Kreihsl
This lively comedy explores marriage, hypochondria, friends, architects, secrets, and taking risks when a woman needing a kidney discovers her husband has the same blood type.
Director: Constance Meyer
This odd couple comedy explores the relationship between an aging and jaded film star and his new assistant, a young female security officer.
Rosa’s Wedding (Spain)
Director: Icíar Bollaín
A romantic comedy about a surprise wedding and a woman who decides to take charge of her life.
Run Uje Run (Sweden)
Director: Henrik Schyffert
A autobiographical indie music dramedy about a ’90s pop star who’s diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Save Sandra (Belgium)
Directors: Jan Verheyen and Lien Willaert
In this drama, a couple discover their daughter only has a year to live, only to begin a fierce battle against the pharmaceutical industry in an attempt to gain access to medical treatment.
Director: Kateryna Gornostai
A deeply personal romance drama about an introverted girl who falls in love during her final year of school.
The Bright Side (Ireland)
Director: Ruth Meehan
A moving and uplifting comedy drama about a stand-up comedian diagnosed with breast cancer.
The Jump (Lithuania)
Director: Giedrė Žickytė
A stranger-than-fiction historical documentary about a Soviet sailor seeking political asylum, who jumped onto a US Coast Guard boat in 1970.
The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis (Portugal)
Director: João Botelho
José Saramago’s Nobel prize winning novel about a fictitious author’s homecoming, romances and ghostly encounters is lovingly adapted to screen.