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European Film Festival 2021 goes virtual again

Following the success of last year's virtual European Film Festival, the 2021 edition will take place predominantly online from 14-24 October.
The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis
The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis

A selection of 18 films from Europe, 13 of which have been directed by women, will be screened free of charge, providing a window onto what is fresh and new in the film industries of the respective countries. Four new participants – the Czech Republic, Denmark, Switzerland and Ukraine – will complement those from last year: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, along with the return of Portugal.

This is reflected in the theme of this year’s festival, Healing Journeys. Healing – be it mental, physical, spiritual or societal – is vital to the human condition, to our humanity, to our existence. This applies in both South Africa and in Europe, where despite our different contexts and histories, there exists common experience and a mutual need for healing.

The films on show will present, through the lenses of European filmmakers, a snapshot of experiences of re-establishing oneself after sometimes traumatic and possibly cathartic experiences. They deal with journeys that include organic growth, transition, and processes of self-discovery. Many include a healthy dose of humour, bringing some possibly much-needed laughter into our lives. Much of the humour is of a more cerebral nature … films that make you smile and think at the same time.

Essentially, these films present stories of hope, humanity and thought-provoking intrigue, showcasing new work by some of Europe’s most accomplished filmmakers alongside exciting new talent.

“We are deep into our second year of confronting the threat of Covid-19, both in terms of our lives and our livelihoods. It has been difficult … everyone is affected. This year’s European Film Festival has been inspired by overcoming difficulty and challenge. Its theme, Healing Journeys, seems rather appropriate for our times. I take this opportunity to invite you – irrespective of whether you are a repeat or a first-time viewer –to join us on this year’s exciting cinematic, and healing, journey,” says EU Ambassador Riina Kionka.

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