On its 20th year, Cine Europa boasts a lineup of 24 films, a combination of classics from the '80s to contemporary selections from 16 EU countries until September 26 at the Shang Cineplex.
It will also present an educational component that will feature screenings of Filipino projects in Europe, including director Brillante Mendoza's made-for-TV movie starring Derek Ramsay, a documentary about a Filipino-Italian football player, and Lav Diaz's epic Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon.
Among the highlights of this year's crop is Babettes gæstebud (Babette's Feast) from Denmark, based on Isak Dinesen's story about a Parisian fugitive who changes the lives of villagers who take her in. The movie won the Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards in 1988.
Sult (Hunger), the second Danish film based on the novel by Knut Hamsun, features a young, penniless poet as he scrambles to survive in Oslo in 1890.
From Spain, there's also El ángel exterminador (The Exterminating Angel) a work of satire about guests at a dinner party and how they discover that they’re unable to leave the room. This film from 1962 was also hailed as one of the best 1,000 films by The New York Times.
Another award-winning Spanish film, Truman, tells the story of a terminally ill actor who is surprised by an unexpected visit from his childhood friend.
German thriller Lola rennt (Run Lola Run) is about two-bit Berlin criminal who makes a mistake when he delivers smuggled loot for his boss and must come up with 100,000 Deutschmarks in 20 minutes.
The second film from Germany, Terror - Ihr Urteil (The Verdict), meanwhile, is an interactive film which asks the audience to either convict or acquit a German air force pilot who is charged with the murder of the passengers of a hijacked plane headed for a football arena where there are 70,000 people.
Swedish film Flickan Mamman och Demonerna (The Girl, The Mother and the Demons), is the harrowing tale of Ti, whose mother claims that demons have taken over the apartment where they live.
Italian drama 20 Sigarette (20 Cigarettes) follows a young filmmaker who gets caught in a terrorist attack while shooting on location in Iraq. He is seriously wounded and brought back to Italy, where the press has been fed a different narrative from the actual events. Years later, he decides to set the story straight through a novel.
Inspired by a legend from the 12th century, Norwegian film Veiviseren (Pathfinder) tells the story of a young boy who sees his family slaughtered by a feared tribe of Tsujudes, taken prisoner by the party, and must act as their pathfinder.
Also from Norway is Bølgen (The Wave), which takes place shortly before the real-life disaster of a tsunami caused by the collapse of a mountain 80 years ago. The film focuses on an experienced geologist and his family as they scramble to stay alive.
Austrian film Deine Schönheit ist nichts wert (Your Beauty is Worth Nothing) follows 12-year-old Veysel as he flees with his family to from Turkey to Vienna.
Academy Award-nominated actress Isabelle Huppert stars in French film Souvenir as a forgotten European singer who fades into obscurity as she works in a pâté factory. However, the arrival of a young aspiring boxer causes her to start dreaming again and planning her comeback.
An atypical romance takes to the screen in Jules et Jim (Jules and Jim), a French tale of two close friends who become entangled in an offbeat love triangle.
From Bulgaria, there's coming-of-age film Monkey, where two adolescent half-sisters get a taste of the real world as they make decisions that could dramatically change their lives.
From the United Kingdom comes A Moving Image, a film about Nina, a young stifled artist who returns to her community after a long absence.
Drawing inspiration from paperback crime novels, Wilsonov (Wilson City) follows an unlikely pair of detectives as they search for a mysterious murderer in a German town that would eventually be known as Bratislava. Based on the territorial disputes that followed the end of World War I, this Slovakian film will capture the attention of history buffs and adventure seekers alike.
Some family issues prove to be too difficult for even death to resolve, as seen in Utóélet (Afterlife), a comedy from Hungary. Romanian film Aniversarea (The Anniversary) zooms in on family drama as well when relatives and friends of Radu Maligan comes together to celebrate his 94th birthday.
Another film from Romania is Doua lozuri (Two Lottery Tickets), where the tables keep turning on Dinel as he catches a break from his unhappy life by winning the lottery.
Belgium's Les Barons (The Barons) also provides lighthearted fun as it tells the story of Hassan, a baron who wants to do more than just lounge about.
Crime meets comedy in '50s Italian masterpiece I Soliti Ignoti (Big Deal on Madonna Street), where a group of small-time thieves attempt to burgle a state-run pawnshop in Rome. Known for its incredible cast and breezy jazz score, this film is considered one of the best of its era.
Lovers of fantasy are in for a treat with And?l Pán? 2 (An Angel of the Lord), a comedy from the Czech Republic that follows Angel Petronel’s quest to retrieve fruit of the Tree of Knowledge that has fallen down to earth.
Perinbaba (The Feather Fairy) is a charming Slovakian adaptation of a short story by the Brothers Grimm. The Feather Fairy rescues and raises a little boy named Jakob. Though his life is perfect, Jakob begins to yearn for a life outside of his perfect fairytale—especially when he falls in love with a peasant girl.
Sports enthusiasts will also love De He van ’63 (The Hell of ’63), which is based on the true story of the fateful day in 1963 when thousands of skaters were injured as they competed in the infamous 200-km ice-skating race in the Netherlands.
Aside from these films from Europe, the festival will also feature works by Filipino directors Brillante Mendoza and Lav Diaz.
Brillante's made-for-TV movies, AMO and Kadaungan, are part of this year's lineup.
On September 23, Saturday, at 1 PM, the cinema will also screen to 2Cool To Be Forgotten, which won the audience choice award at the Torino Film Festival. This will be followed by an open discussion with director Petersen Vargas and film critic Gay Ace Domingo.
At 3:30 PM, Journeyman Finds a Home (The Life Story of Simone Rota), a documentary about a Fil-Italian football player who was abandoned as a child and raised in Italy. A discussion with Simone Rota, as well as filmmakers Doy Del Mundo, Albert Almendralejo, and Maricel Cariaga will follow.
On September 24, Sunday, Lav Diaz's Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon will be screened from 1 PM to 6:30 PM. The film won the grand prize at the Locarno Film Festival in 2014, as well as the Best Foreign Language Film at the Sao Paolo Festival.
After its run at Shangri-La Plaza, the entries of Cine Europa 2017 will also be shown in Baguio, Cebu, Iloilo, Tacloban, Baybay, Puerto Princesa, and Naga, before returning to Manila.