ABOUT THE EUROPEAN UNION FILM FESTIVAL
The European Union Film Festival is an annual event that showcases a selection of European films, giving local audiences a taste of Europe’s diversity and creativity. Films screened are recent and have encountered success in their country of origin. The films showcased in this festival may belong to a specific country, but they are all representative of Europe’s common cultural heritage. This film festival, now in its 29th year, is a window into the intriguing world of European cinema but also offers a platform to showcase films by young Singaporean film-makers.
EUFF 2019: FOREWORD
29 years ago a festival was born. Its intent: to shine the light on the wealth of European movies that often did not get a mainstream theatrical release here.
Quite like life, 29 years can make you feel jaded with the original. Not so with the European Union Film Festival (EUFF). The festival has gone through a critical re-invention and continues to be driven by content, fresh programming ideas and critically acclaimed cinema from across Europe.
In its original incarnation, EUFF was presented in a commercial space. In 2019, for a third year in a row, we continue our partnership with National Gallery Singapore reinforcing the excellent cultural collaboration and cooperation between Singapore and Europe. Art and film are indeed a natural fit to do this. Our venue provides us the important cultural context that establishes the EUFF as a keenly anticipated and significant cultural event in Singapore's vibrant arts and cultural calendar.
In its 29th iteration this year, EUFF brings Singaporean and European communities together, adding to the cross-cultural dialogue through the rich and diverse narratives of European cinema.
We are grateful to each of the participating countries who offer us the best films they have available to them. Through their carefully curated selection, they help us present the depth and wide range of European cinema to audiences here. We present more postshow conversations with those associated with the nuanced craft of cinema. Such engagements have over the years resulted in growing audience numbers, deepening our engagement with various communities as well as garnering us much critical acclaim for EUFF.
From 10th to the 19th of May, we invite you to discover the many facets of Europe, through a wide variety of thought-provoking films, starting with the opening film Beside Me, from this year's Featured Country Romania. Tedy Necula's directorial debut sees passengers trapped in a subway station. The touching drama is a telling reminder that we are all strangers until sometimes circumstances entirely beyond our control bring us together and end up shaping and often defining our lives.
The EUFF celebrates not just Europe’s diversity; it shines the light also on the craft of filmmaking here. We continue our partnership with Ngee Ann Polytechnic's School of Film and Media Studies. This allows several student shorts to be presented alongside European films, offering a first festival platform for budding filmmakers. Over the years, we have been delighted to see films featured here travel to other film fests around the globe.
We are grateful to our Title Sponsor – the German European School Singapore (GESS) for their support for a third year in a row and very much look forward to working with a new group of students who will be our festival faces taking on various roles from event MCs, ushers to floor managers.
We wish to thank the 26 contributing European countries for selecting the finest films from their home countries and for allowing us to present another exciting edition of EUFF.
Our greatest appreciation to our many partners, friends and long-time supporters for making this festival what it is today. We are where we are thanks to each of you.
We look forward to welcoming you at EUFF 2019.
European Union Ambassador to Singapore
Florin Marius Tacu
Romanian Ambassador to Singapore
WELCOME BY EUFF 2019 TITLE SPONSOR
GESS’ relationship with the European Union Film Festival (EUFF) continues into its third year and the privilege and honour of being able to sponsor a festival of this scale and significance is not lost on us. Over the next few days, we will be able to traverse the distances between cultures, witness the stories that need remembrance and reimagine our own world as we are exposed to new perspectives.
In saying that, it is evident how much the festival mirrors what we do at our own school, GESS. We are an international school with strong European and German origins but our story does not stop there. We are in a position where we get to celebrate our German heritage and make that prominent in our narrative while also offering every individual under our roof a welcoming safe space to talk about their cultures and share it with the community. We achieve this by being anchored to our values ‘respect’, ‘openness’ and ‘inclusiveness’.
And in the spirit of those very values, and in an effort to harness the power of the arts in encouraging our students to be introspective global citizens, GESS recently launched an exhibition at the Singapore City Gallery, featuring artworks from our students created around the theme “Thank You Singapore”. The students went through a process of reflection on their experience of growing up on the little red dot, synthesised their sentiments and gave artistic form to the gratitude they feel for life here.
If there is a coherent and recurring idea that really stood out from the exhibition, it is that there is a lot of diversity among the students but their life in Singapore threads them together. So we simultaneously celebrate and embrace differences while being all the more conscious of our similarities.
This resounds the exact spirit of the festival as well. The festival, with its huge variety of films originating in many different countries, at once celebrates pluralism while capturing human experiences that transcend cultural differences and evoke a beautiful sense of camaraderie among all of us, regardless of where we are from.
I am very much excited to watch the films lined up and hope that throughout the festival we will all find something that impacts us.
Address by National Gallery Singapore CEO
It is a great honour and pleasure for us to be a venue partner of the European Union Film Festival in Singapore, for a third consecutive year. We congratulate the organisers on yet another exciting edition of the Festival and thank them for choosing to partner with us once again.
The European Union Film Festival is an excellent showcase of Europe’s multicultural heritage that encourages cross-cultural dialogue amongst the diverse communities residing in Singapore. The Gallery is delighted to be part of the Festival because we are similarly committed to deepening cultural understanding not just about art but about the world around us. By partnering with carefully-curated programmes like the European Union Film Festival, the Gallery hopes to expand our repertoire of offerings to foster and inspire a thoughtful, creative and inclusive society.
While you’re here at the Gallery, complete your cultural experience with a complimentary visit to our permanent art galleries where you’ll encounter story-tel- ling through a different medium from a varied cast of artists from the 19th century to the present day. You may also look forward to Gallery Children’s Biennale 2019: Embracing Wonder and Awakenings: Art in Society in Asia 1960s-1990s opening on 25 May and 14 June respectively. So, don’t forget to factor in some time to let art surprise you!
Chong Siak Ching
CEO, National Gallery Singapore
ABOUT SINGAPORE FILM SOCIETY
Celebrating its 60 th Anniversary in 2019, the Singapore Film Society (SFS) is the longest-established cultural film organisation in Singapore. Run by an executive committee of experienced professionals, the Society curates and runs a year-round programme of screenings of feature and short films from all over the world. SFS works with embassies, high commissions, arts groups, educational institutions, charities, film distributors, and any entity sharing the same objective of promoting the appreciation of Film as a medium of art as well as entertainment. SFS provides expert advice, friendly assistance, and full-scale turnkey management resources for film festivals and other movie-related events. Contact Kenneth Tan, Chairman.