30th Days of European Film Festival Returns To Brno In Late April

The festival will take place from 20-25 April in Prague, Brno and Ostrava, and from 26-30 April in other cities in the Czech Republic. Credit: Silvie Marková.

Prague, Apr 3 (BD) – The 30th Days of European Film festival will take place from 20-25 April in Prague, Brno and Ostrava and from 26-30 April in other cities around the Czech Republic. The program features over 40 feature films and documentaries from almost three dozen countries, from directorial debuts to works by famous directors. The festival will open with the Italian-French film Immensity (L’immensità), set in Rome in the mid-1970s and starring Penelope Cruz.

“We will offer high-quality feature films and documentaries from almost three dozen countries, a cross-section of the work of the famous German director Fatih Akin, titles that have won prizes from leading festivals and those that are proud of being nominated for an Oscar, for example the Belgian film “Close”, the Irish drama “The Silent Girl” and the sensitive film “Aftersun”,” said festival dramaturg Šimon Šafránek.

The host cinemas for the festival will be Lucerna, Světozor and Přítomnost in Prague, Scala and Kino Art in Brno and Etáž and Minikino in Ostrava. The giant domes of the Brno Observatory and the Planetarium in Ostrava will also host screenings. All foreign films will be shown with Czech and most with English subtitles. 

The book by Lizzy Goodman is adapted to showcase the life of the duo Will Lovelace and Dylan Southern at the beginning of the 2000s in New York. Credit: Silvie Marková.

“The universal theme of the Days of European Film is youth, whether it’s coming of age, relationships with parents or the search for one’s own identity. As if the filmmakers see the only hope in the upcoming generation,” explained Šafránek. The festival will showcase films starring previously unknown child and young actors. The favourites to win are the Portuguese film “Alma Viva” and the Latvian drama “Ségry” (Sisters). 

The music industry will also feature heavily in the festival, with films such as “Zlato Rýna” (Rhinegold) by Berlinale Golden Bear winner Fatih Akin, about the tragic life of rapper Xatar, and an adaptation of the book “Meet Me In The Bathroom”, narrating the history of the duo Will Lovelace and Dylan Southern showing the New York rock scene at the beginning of the 2000’s. The selection includes the renowned sci-fi drama “The Gravity” by Cédric Ida, which narrates the story of social gangsters from Paris with the atmosphere of von Trier’s Melancholia and music of siblings Yevgenija and Saša Galperinová.

The vast majority of films in the Days of European Film will be appearing in their Czech premiere, including some that were received positively at major world festivals. The festival will also screen Oscar-nominated films such as the drama “The Quiet Girl”, “Close” by Belgian director Lukas Dhont, and “Aftersun”.

“Close” is one of the films in the Queer Europe category, narrating the inseparable friendship of Léo and Rémi as it begins to change. Credit: Silvie Marková.

Several films reflect on the issues of coming to terms with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the fight for freedom, and the need to face disinformation of all kinds. The Estonian film “Kalev”, directed by Ove Mustang, tells the story of Estonian basketball participation in the Soviet tournament in 1990, and the drama “Leden” by Viesturs Kairišs is set in the early 1990s, when Latvia embarks on the path to independence.

The festival also gives space to films that deal with issues of nature, including the natural history film “Whale Nation”, in which Jean-Albert Lièvre introduces the audience to the rare humpback whales, and the documentary essay “Who We Were” by the renowned German filmmaker Marc Bauder.

Whale Nation follows the rescue of a humpback whale after it washes up on an uninhabited island, while learning through its habits and complex social life. Credit: Silvie Marková.

“We emphasise Benelux as a centre of co-productions, and proof that even small countries can play the first violin in the film industry,” said Šafránek, introducing a new theme of this year’s festival. Within this theme, the program will be enriched by the explosive drama “Rebel” by Belgian filmmakers with Moroccan roots, Adil el Arbi and Bilal Fallah. There will also be a screening of “Zillion”, a film based on real events about the creation of an eccentric discotheque in the heart of Antwerp. Robin Pront’s film became a hit in Belgium and will convince Czech viewers that the “wild 90s” were not experienced only in their country.

The festival’s program traditionally includes seminars for KINO 2023 cinematographers and events to support animals and nature. For Earth Day, Brno Observatory will offer films about the fascinating world under the surface of the ocean, and the history of our approach to the planet, accompanied by a debate with invited guests. It will also focus on current phenomena resonating in Europe, such as social changes, LGBT issues, and the increasingly topical problem of misinformation. 

Screenings of films for children will be complemented by creative animation workshops. There will be the usual discounted afternoon screenings for seniors and school performances supplemented by thematic educational discussions.

For more information about the programme, see the festival website.

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