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Europe on Screen returns with 101 movies

Josa Lukman

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Fri, April 5, 2019  /  05:44 pm
Europe on Screen returns with 101 movies

Everything changes: EOS 2019 will close with Austrian comedy 'Womit haben wir das verdient?' (What Have We Done To Deserve This?), a lighthearted romp about an atheist feminist woman who finds that her teenage daughter converted to Islam and that her ex-husband is an expectant father. (Mona Film Produktion GmbH/-)

Danish award-winning thriller Den skyldige (The Guilty) and lighthearted Austrian drama Womit haben wir das verdient? (What Have We Done To Deserve This?) are among 101 titles to be screened at the upcoming Europe on Screen (EOS), which is among the longest running international film festivals in Indonesia.

Running from April 18 to 30, the 19th edition of EOS marks its expansion to Bekasi and Tangerang. Just like last year, the festival will continue to screen contemporary films from 27 European countries in Jakarta, Bandung, Medan, Denpasar, Yogyakarta and Surabaya.

Danish thriller Den skyldige, which won accolades at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, will open EOS. The film centers on a demoted police officer who is drawn into a potential kidnapping case and is tempted to bend, or break, the law to secure the safe return of a woman who called him on the emergency line.


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The festival will also feature special segments based on various topics. For this year’s Retrospective segment, the festival will highlight the centenary founding of Bauhaus, the German school of art and design, with a screening of documentary Bauhaus Spirit. An invitation-only screening will be held on April 19, with public screenings on April 21, 22, and 24.

Also in the spotlight are the works of esteemed Italian film director Bernardo Bertolucci, who passed away in November 2018. Three of Bertolucci’s films – Il Conformista (1970), The Dreamers (2003), and The Last Emperor (1987) – will be screened at the Italian Cultural Institute and Kineforum.

Continuing from last year’s #OurOcean, this year’s environmentally-minded theme will be #OurLand, comprising six feature-length documentaries and four shorts centering on issues such as population, biodiversity and waste management.

Festival co-director Nauval Yazid said the lineup of documentaries was curated carefully to counter the image of being “heavy and serious”. The documentaries vary in subject, ranging from refugees (Eldorado), family (Bezness as Usual) to fashion (We Margiela).

“We’d like to show that documentaries can also be easily accessible, easily watchable and populist as well,” Nauval said.

Foreign movies are not all that there is to EOS, as the festival will also hold discussions with European filmmakers and practitioners. A Belgian graphic designer will visit Binus University to discuss the creation of film posters, while Den skyldige producer Lina Flint and scriptwriter Emil Nygaard Albertsen will talk about their experiences making the movie at Media Nusantara University and Binus University, respectively.

Two Indonesian movies, Ismail Basbeth’s Arini and Hanung Bramantyo’s The Gift, will also be featured in a segment called On Location, with the unifying trait being their filming location of Europe. The filmmakers will be present during the screenings to share their experiences.

More Indonesian content will be available with the screening of Bangkis and Lasagna, two of the three short films that received partial funding from the Short Film Pitching Project held during EOS 2018. The program makes a return this year and nine finalists selected out of a total of 110 submissions will be judged by a panel on April 30 to determine the three winners.

This year, EOS introduces a membership system to provide a seamless cinematic experience.

“With the card system, we are trying to better manage the flow of visitors, as the moviegoers only need to present their card or a picture of it to the committee, of course after waiting in line,” festival co-director Meninaputri Wismurti explained, adding that the system eliminated the need to fill out individual forms for each screening.

Moviegoers can obtain a card for free at Jakarta venues by coming one hour before the screening. The card will also be good for a 10 percent discount at the festival’s partners, Kemala Home Living and vegetarian restaurant Burgreens.

Meninaputri said the membership card system was the festival’s attempt at crowd management, anticipating a large number of moviegoers like during EOS 2018, which drew 24,000 visitors.

In light of the festival’s ever-increasing viewership and lineup, European Union Ambassador to Indonesia Vincent Guérend underlined that organizers had maintained the central principle that every screening be free of charge.

“There have been discussions in the past whether or not we should ask for an entry fee, even symbolic, but we kept the principle of free entrance. I think it’s important to give free access to the viewing,” Guérend said.

EOS 2019 will close with Austrian comedy Womit haben wir das verdient?, a lighthearted romp about an atheist feminist woman who finds that her teenage daughter converted to Islam and that her ex-husband is an expectant father.

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