European Film Days in Prague
by Fabien Lemercier
04/02/2005 - The 12th edition of the European Film Days , which started on the 27th of January and will end next Sunday presents nearly 40 feature films from everywhere in the Union, as well as over 2O short films screened at the Svetozor and the Aero. After that, the festival will be taken to Brno from the 7th to the 15th of February. Some of the selected films will then be shown in Olomouc, Ceske Budejovice, and Uherské Hradisté.
The event started with the best Hungarian film in 2004, Kontroll [trailer] by Nimrod Antal. Under the direction of Eva Kacerova, it aims at showing the widest possible range of recent European movies, and thus greatly contributes to the circulation of European cinema, and this despite —underlines the festival's director— the difficulties met by the programers. "Everything depends on the producers. Some of them ask for extravagant sums we cannot afford." This is however no hindrance in terms of quality. The films selected are excellent: amongst them we find the Italian full feature Dopo mezzanotte [film focus] (After Midnight) by Davide Ferrario, the great Spanish success Take My Eyes [trailer] by Icíar Bollaín, the German film Schultze gets the blues [trailer] by Michael Schorr, and the Swedish production Evil by Mikael Hafström. France was not neglected either; both Travail d’arabe by Christian Philibert and Filles uniques by Pierre Jolivet are on the program. The festival also includes the Slovene film Beneath Her Window by Metod Pevec, the Irish Country by Kevin Liddy, and two Portuguese productions, one of which is Black and White by José Carlos de Oliveira.
In short, The European Film Days in Prague are a cinematic trip through Europe which allows to enjoy its diversity: it goes from Greece, with Konstantinos Giannaris' (One Day in August [trailer]), to Denmark, with Morten Arnfred's (Move), and stops everywhere on the way, in Bulgaria with Ivanka Graboeva's (One Calorie of Tenderness), in Finland with Jarmo Lampela's (The River), in Rumania with Sinisa Dragin's (Pharaoh), and in Austria with Clemens Schönborn's (Miss Phyllis). Not a single country is missing. As far as Great Britain is concerned, it is present with no less than four productions, like The Football Factory by Nick Love). Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Estonia (Set point by Ilmar Taska), Poland (Warsaw by Dariusz Gajewsk), Lituania, and of course the Czech Republic with Champions by Marek Najbrt, are all meeting in Prague.
Besides, a special seminar was organised to discuss the unreasonable growth of multiplex cinemas in the Czech Republic, since they are a real threat to the existence of small independant theatres which do not get from public policies the support they deserve. The debate was attended by a representative of the French Centre National de la Cinématographie (CNC), Olivier Watling.
(Translated from French)