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Watching Europe on film

Europe on Screen 2012 film festival starts in Jakarta this weekend. Provided to The Jakarta Post

Publication Date : 23-11-2012

 

Europe On Screen (EOS) is back. And this time it will bring many more films than it did last year.

EOS is a film festival initiated by the European Union, screening films from European countries and hitting Jakarta screens this weekend.

The festival, the first in 1990 and the second in 1999, became an annual event in 2003.

For the upcoming 12th festival, EOS is offering 50 films from 31 European countries and 10 competing short films from Indonesia.

Festival director Orlow Seunke said at a press conference that European films may have a bad image.

"People have an image of European films that they are heavy, that there is too much talking, that there is an open ending, or no ending at all. So what I would like to show in this festival — whatever film you go to — it will be entertaining," Seunke said.

Those 50 films are classified in three sections: Xtra, Discovery and Docu.

Xtra has 16 films including "Rust and Bone", "The Heineken Kidnapping", "Looking for Eric" and "This Must Be the Place". The films were all box office hits or received awards at noted festivals. "Rust and Bone" will run as the opening film on Sunday, November 25.

Discovery is the section for films from lesser-known directors or featuring lesser-known actors. The 18 films include "72 Days", "Me Too", "Summer Games", "Local Vampire" and "Punk's Not Dead".

"Me Too" from Spain tells of a 34-year-old man with Down's syndrome who falls for a woman who has never been loved, according to the EOS guide. Despite the couple's incompatibility, they strike up a friendship that sets them on the road to happiness.

The Docu category features 16 documentaries, including "Afghan Star" from England on dramatic stories of four young finalists of an American Idol-style TV series in Afghanistan. They risk everything to become the nation's favourite performers.

Other films in the category are "El Bulli", "Matchmaking Mayor" and "The Sunshine Boy".

EOS will also be showing short local films, all finalists in a short film competition held for the second time by EOS. There are 10 short films being shown selected from 157 entries. The two winners will be announced on EOS' closing night on Saturday, December 1.

The festival, like other noted film festivals, has no theme. Seunke said a theme would limit the films the audience could choose from.

"I said the same thing [about] JiFFest [the Jakarta International Film Festival]. I skipped the themes because themes limit yourself to new choices. I don't want the audience to be bored with the film. I just want audiences to come and see good movies. In three years, JiFFest grew to 63,000 people, just because I showed good films. So the next year people come back, hopefully," he said.

EOS 2012 will be held from November 25 to December 1. Screenings will take place at six venues in Jakarta. Films in the Xtra section will be screened at the three biggest venues, Erasmus Huis, GoetheHaus and Blitz Megaplex Grand Indonesia, as well as some films from the Discovery and Docu sections. The other venues are Instituto Italiano Di Cultura, Institut Francais Indonesia and Kineforum.

Each film but the opening film "Rust and Bone" and closing film "The Heineken Kidnapping" will be screened twice. The schedule and synopsis can be found at europeonscreen.org.

Beside film screenings, EOS is also offering fringe events like a digital filmmaking workshop, a discussion of film distribution by Rudy Tjio and an analysis of "Even The Rain" by Ari Syarif and Mark A Kneer.

EOS is open to the public. Except for the films at Blitz Megaplex, all of the screenings are free.

 

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