The European Union Film Festival (EUFF), Singapore’s longest running foreign film festival, announces its partnership with National Gallery Singapore. The festival returns for its 27th edition from May 11 to May 21, 2017.
All films will be screened at the iconic National Gallery Singapore for the first time!
This also marks the first time that the EUFF is partnering with a major arts institution in Singapore. This partnership sets a new direction for the festival and presents EUFF as a landmark cultural event in Singapore fostering even deeper inter-cultural engagement between Europe and Singapore.
“The EUFF is delighted to partner with National Gallery Singapore for our forthcoming edition. As an iconic visual arts institution, the Gallery provides the important cultural context for the EUFF to grow as the European Union’s flagship cultural event in Singapore,” says Dr Michael Pulch, European Union Ambassador to Singapore.
Ambassador Pulch adds: “This is especially significant as we mark the 60th anniversary of the European Union this year. With the 27th edition of the EUFF, we celebrate the diversity and pluralism of Europe and continue to reinforce the cultural cooperation and collaboration between Europe and Singapore.” Europe’s contemporary creativity, its diversity of cultural expressions and multifaceted artistic vision are reflected in the EUFF’s selection of 27 feature films, ranging from dramas to thrillers, comedies to animation. With films hailing from across Europe, the upcoming edition will also offer audiences in Singapore an opportunity to access a variety of films that rarely receive commercial screenings outside Europe thus becoming a cultural bridge between Europe and Singapore.
“The interplay between art and film is something that has fascinated us, and films have been a staple of the Gallery’s programming. We are therefore delighted to be the venue partner for the EUFF. To enhance the experience, attendees will be given free admission to our galleries. We hope the Gallery’s Southeast Asian artworks, many of which are infused with European influence, will provide an inspiring location for enjoying this diverse selection of European films,” says Ms Chong Siak Ching, CEO, National Gallery Singapore.
EUFF 2017 OPENING FILM – Germany is the featured country of EUFF 2017. The festival opens with the coming-of-age German comedy drama Goodbye Berlin (Tschick) (2016). Directed by acclaimed award winning filmmaker Fatih Akin, Goodbye Berlin (Tschick) is a film adaptation of the cult novel ‘Why We Took The Car’ by the late German writer Wolfgang Herrndorf (1965-2013). The film stars Munich-born Anand Batbileg who is of Mongolian descent. He plays the title role of Andrej ‘Tschick’ Tschichatschow, a teenager from a German-speaking minority in Russia. Goodbye Berlin (Tschick) tells the classic story of three youths trying to survive on their own and encountering plenty of misadventures and self-discovery in their wild road-trip across East Germany. The festival’s opening is supported by the Goethe-Institut Singapore and the German Embassy in Singapore.
BOOKS TO FILM – Herrndorf’s book has sold over two million copies to date and books also provide inspiration for other films featured in EUFF 2017. Problemski Hotel (2015), Belgium’s entry, for instance, draws on Belgian novelist Dimitri Verhulst internationally acclaimed book of the same name. The film tracks the lives of two migrants, Bipul and Lidia. The Dutch film Beyond Sleep (2016) is based on the best-selling novel ‘Nooit Meer Slapen’ (1966) by Willem Frederik Hermans. In it, a young ambitious geologist Alfred Issendorf goes in search of meteorites in the swampy north of Norway, picking up from where his father left off when he died during a similar research trip on his own.
PERSONALITIES IN FOCUS – The lives of some of Europe’s personalities are the central focus of some other festival films. Finland’s The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki (2016) by Juho Kuosmanen, winner of the Un Certain Regard award at the Cannes Film Festival 2016, tells the story of the famous Finnish boxer, who had a shot at the 1962 World Featherweight title. Immensely talented and equally modest, Olli’s small town life is transformed when he is swept into national stardom to become the symbol of his country. All the while Olli himself is more pre-occupied falling in love.
Denmark’s Marie Krøyer (2012) by internationally acclaimed director Billie August is a film about Marie Krøyer, an artist who was married to one of Denmark’s greatest painters, P.S Krøyer. The film traces the highs and lows of Marie Krøyer’s life as she lived with her husband’s mental illness and her struggles between her roles as wife, mother and artist.
ART AND FILM – Art features prominently in the film from Switzerland, The Chinese Lives of Uli Sigg (2016) directed by German writer and filmmaker Michael Schindhelm. This critically acclaimed documentary about the prominent Swiss art collector Uli Sigg is set against the backdrop of the socio political context of China’s transformation since the 1970s. It offers a rare insight into the career of one man who has made a major impact on the contemporary art world. The former diplomat arrived in Beijing in the late 1970s as an employee of the Swiss company Schindler Elevators and met over 2,000 artists in the time he spent there. He collected over 2,300 artworks representing the largest as well as the most comprehensive collection of Chinese contemporary art in the world. In 2012, he donated over 1,400 of these artworks to the M+ Museum in Hong Kong.
Both Uli Sigg and director Schindhelm will be present for the film’s screening scheduled for May 16th. There will be a post-show conversation at 7.45pm.
ROMANCE IN CINEMA – Audiences can also look forward to some romantic feature films. Italy presents Correspondence (2016), an English language Italian romantic drama about a complex and intense relationship between a married astrophysicist and a grad student that continues after his sudden disappearance. This stars popular British actor Jeremy Irons and Russian actress and model Olga Kurylenko. Correspondence is directed by Giuseppe Tornatore, best known for his 1988 film Cinema Paradiso, with music by Ennio Morricone. Malta presents their romantic comedy 20,000 Reasons (2016) by director Jameson Cucciardi, about two Maltese families who do not quite see eye to eye and an heiress in a race against time to get married.
FAMILY FRIENDLY FILMS – For families with young children there is the animated feature film presented by Ukraine, The Dragon’s Spell (2016) directed by Manuk Depoyan. Shown in English, it tells a story about a small boy who must embark on a fantastic quest to save both the world of humans and the world of magic from a witch possessed by a dragon’s ghost. Austria’s family drama, Brothers of the Wind (2015) is a powerful tale of hope and discovery, of an unlikely friendship between a young boy, Lukas and an eagle.
PARTNERSHIP WITH NGEE ANN POLYTECHNIC – This year’s festival continues EUFF’s long tradition of collaborating with a Singaporean film school. Partnering for the third time with Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s School of Film and Media Studies, the EUFF will present short films by students and alumni of the school alongside the official film selection.
TITLE SPONSOR – The German European School Singapore is backing the 27th edition as Title Sponsor. On being the Title Sponsor of the 27th edition of EUFF, Mr Christoph Zänglein, Principal German European School Singapore says: “I am very proud that GESS will be a part of this ten-day festival that showcases European culture and enhances the intercultural dialogue between Singapore and Europe. Students from all over the world, especially Europe, study at GESS, therefore it is important to us that we master our everyday life in an international environment. We teach and celebrate European values and culture and encourage you to look closer into this topic during the following days by visiting the movies screened at this wonderful festival.” The German European School Singapore (GESS) has strong European foundations and believes in developing confident, forward-looking students through a celebration of respect, openness and inclusiveness. GESS offers a choice between two curricula: the German Abitur curriculum or the English-speaking International Baccalaureate (IB) programme. As an international school, GESS respects, learns from and celebrates the diverse cultures and backgrounds of its community. GESS caters to children of all ages, starting from 18 months to graduation at 18 years, and will have a new school campus that will open in August, 2018.
FESTIVAL DATES 11 to 21 May 2017
TICKET PRICING: Tickets priced at $12 will be available for sale through SISTIC from April 11 onwards. fb.com/euffsg