Organized by the Delegation of the European Union and embassies of EU Member States in partnership with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India in Delhi, the Festival was kick-started with a screening of the Belgium mockumentary road movie “King of the Belgians”. In the absence of the Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Mr. Prakash Javadekar, who could not come for the inauguration of the film festival because of some  urgent official commitment .

The Festival was inaugurated by Raimund Magis, Chargé d’Affaires, Delegation of the European Union to India and François Delhaye, Ambassador of Belgium to India.

The love for international films and cinematic appreciation in India has been all-time high. Promising an unparalleled cinematic journey across Europe, the European Union Film Festival (EUFF) premiered in Delhi,  with a line-up of 22 contemporary, award winning movies exploring unique stories, experiences, and histories from across Europe.The 24th edition of EUFFfeatures movies from 22 European countries – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

The European Union Film Festival ran in New Delhi across two venues – India Habitat Centre and Instituto Cervantes from 28thJune to 7thJuly, and brought to the city a selection of some of the finest and most riveting films from Europe. EUFF promises to be a ready cocktail of romantic comedy, period drama, mockumentary, satire, family drama, and socio-political thriller.

As a special attraction, audience, students and filmmakers got an opportunity to interact with Peter Sant (Director of Malta movie Of Time and the Sea) and Vithika Yadav (Indian protagonist who appears in the Swiss film #Female Pleasure) in Delhi. Peter Sant will also host a masterclass in Goa. Indian Producer Prithvi Chavan will present his film “Ashes in the Snow” (Lithuanian film) in Mumbai going forward.

Peter Sant (Profile): Peter Sant grew up in Sydney, Australia and relocated to London in 1998 where he completed his MA at the Slade School of Fine Art. His debut feature “Baħar Żmien (Of Time and the Sea)” premiered at the 2018 FIDMarseille and won best film at Cinemistica Film Festival.  His work have been exhibited in numerous galleries and festivals including, Black Canvas (Mexico), Transcinema, (Peru), Valletta (Malta), Granada (Spain), Aesthetica Film Festival (York), ASC Gallery (London), Alexandria Film Festival (Egypt), Birkbeck Cinema (London), Blackfriars Gallery (London) and Moves Festival (Liverpool). Peter is also the founder of Hereonin, a film production company based in Malta.

Bringing some of the latest award winning and contemporary films from the European film circuit, the European Union Film Festival has some unusual stories to tell: an uninspired soap opera writer turns his gaze upon his dysfunctional neighbours and gets more than he bargained for; the transformation of a strong woman torn from her contented world during a sailing trip; a wayward monarch profoundly lost in the Balkans; a gifted engineer flees his austere roots to pursue wealth and success; five courageous, smart and self-determined women fight for sexual liberation and autonomy.

Elaborating on the significance of the EUFF, Raimund Magis, Chargé d’Affaires, Delegation of the European Union to India said, “We are happy to provide an annual platform for the film enthusiasts to watch award winning European movies sitting right here. I believe that the cinema has a universal appeal and helps to bring people and cultures together. The European Union Film Festival has won a special place in the Indian film calendar and in the hearts of viewers and we hope that 24nd edition of the festival will delight audiences as before.” The Belgian ambassador said, “Our filmmakers may not compete with Bollydood/Hollywood. We make films based on realities. “

EU film festival after running in Chennai and Delhi,will traverse further through 7 other cities in India including Goa, Pune, Puducherry, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Kozhikode till September’2019.

The films to be screened at the EUFF are:

Austria /Styx; Belgium /King of the Belgians; Bulgaria /Bubblegum; Cyprus /Rosemarie; Czech Republic/ Tender Waves; Denmark /A Fortunate Man; Finland/Laugh or Die; France/Hope; Germany /Me and Kaminski; Greece/Little England; Hungary/The Troupe; Ireland/Black 47; Italy/Drive Me Home; Latvia/ Return of Sergeant Lapins; Lithuania /Ashes in the Snow; Malta /Of Time and the Sea; Netherlands/ Tulipani: Love, Honour and a Bicycle; Portugal /Diamantino; Romania /Beside Me; Slovakia /Backstage; Spain/ María (and Everybody Else); Sweden / Drifters; Switzerland / #Female Pleasure.

The EU, which consists of 28 countries, has the world’s largest economy and its third largest population, after China and India. Though richly diverse, the countries that make up the EU (its ‘Member States’) are all committed to the same basic values: peace, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights. They have set up common institutions so that decisions on matters of joint interest can be made democratically at the European level. By creating a frontier-free single market and a single currency (the euro) which has been adopted by 19 Member States, the EU has given a significant boost to trade and employment. It is also at the forefront of policies on sustainability. For over 50 years the EU and India have worked together to reduce poverty, prevent disasters, expand trade, and promote joint research in energy, health, agriculture and many other fields of mutual interest.

24 th European Film Festival has been a great Success in Delhi. Incidentally, I happened to be on the preview Panel of this festival along with Pankul Gupta, filmmaker, and Cherian Thomas, Director of Photography. I congratulate Raimund Magis, Chargé d’Affaires, Delegation of the European Union to India,Ministry of information and broadcasting and Ms. Gauri Sharma, the coordinator of the film festival in Delhi on the grand success of the 24 th EU film festival. I wish and hope that 25 th European Film festival will also be held in India. CinemaArticlesBollywood Trade Magazine