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Press release: Tickets go on sale for the 27th European Union Film Festival

25.04.2017  07:13
Online sales of the 27th European Union Film Festival (EUFF) are now on SISTIC.

EUFF is the first film festival to be presented at the iconic National Gallery Singapore. All film screenings will be at The Ngee Ann Kongsi Auditorium from May 11 to May 21, 2017. The festival’s move to this space has been possible thanks to EUFF Title Sponsor – German European School Singapore.

The 27th edition of Singapore’s longest running foreign film festival will showcase 27 films from 27 countries across Europe. Each year, this festival brings Singaporean and European communities together and opens up a space for cross-cultural dialogue. This year that connection is deepened through the setting.

Says Dr Michael Pulch, European Union Ambassador to Singapore: “As the leading visual arts institution, National Gallery Singapore provides us the important cultural context for the EUFF to grow as one of the major cultural events in Singapore.”

2017 marks 60 years of the European Union. “This is indeed a fitting moment to reflect on the past and to work towards deepening our long-established cultural connections,” says Dr Pulch.

The festival opens with German film Goodbye Berlin (Tschick) (2016). Based on the cult novel Why We Took The Car by Wolfgang Herrndorf, this film is directed by Fatih Akin, one of contemporary Germany’s most successful filmmakers.

Europe’s contemporary creativity, its diversity of cultural expressions and multi-faceted artistic visions will be reflected in films that range from dramas to thrillers; from comedies to animation.

The festival features some of the most enduring stories based on true events. Legal thriller, The Prosecutor the Defender the Father and His Son (2015), Bulgaria’s festival film highlights the trial of Milorad Krstic, a commander in the Bosnian war at The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Ireland’s hilarious, dark and irreverent comedy, The Young Offenders (2016), draws on real life too. It is inspired by the true story of the country’s biggest cocaine seizure in 2007, where €440million worth of cocaine washed up on the coast of West Cork. Two Irish teenagers go in search of it to escape their troubled home lives.

Given the new setting of the festival, art features prominently in some of the films in the EUFF. 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 a wife, mother and artist.

The Chinese Lives of Uli Sigg (2016) directed by German writer and filmmaker Michael Schindhelm offers a rare insight into the world of prominent Swiss art collector Uli Sigg. This film presented by Switzerland is set against the backdrop of the socio-political context of China's transformation since the 1970s. Both Uli Sigg and director Michael Schindhelm will be in town for this screening and there will be a post-show dialogue with them on May 16th.

Books provide inspiration for several films featured in EUFF 2017. Belgium’s feature film, Problemski Hotel (2015) is inspired by Belgian novelist Dimitri Verhulst's internationally acclaimed book of the same name. The film tells the love story of two migrants, Bipul and Lidia.

The Dutch drama, Beyond Sleep (2016) is based on the iconic, best-selling Dutch novel 'Nooit Meer Slapen' 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.

Audiences can look forward to two films centered on complicated familial relationships. Croatia’s Life is A Trumpet (2015) is a story about Boro Bura, a young jazz musician trying to reconcile his quarrelling family members. Czech Republic’s Tiger Theory (2016) is an adventure comedy about Jan, a veterinarian who is at his wits end with his family.

There are action comedies too such as Hungary’s Kills On Wheels (2016), a story about 20-year-old wheelchair user Zoli, his physically disabled friend, Barba Papa and wheelchair-bound hit man, Rupaszov, who offer their assassin services to the mafia.

Romania’s Two Lottery Tickets (2016) revolves around three protagonists, Sile, Pompiliu and Dinel, who discovered the highs and lows in their journey to become rich. Directed by Paul Negoescu, the film is a captivatingly charming indie comedy with a cast of superb Romanian New Wave actors.

For families with young children there is the animated Ukranian feature film, The Dragon's Spell (2016) directed by Manuk Depoyan. It tells the story of 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.

For the undying romantics, there is Correspondence (2016) from Italy. This is an English language Italian drama about a complex and intense relationship between a married astrophysicist and a grad student that continues after his sudden disappearance. Correspondence stars popular British actor Jeremy Irons and Russian actress and model Olga Kurylenko.

The choice between love and passion is always a tough one as portrayed in Estonia’s dark romance drama The Polar Boy (2016). It tells the story of a young gifted photographer, Mattias, who dreams of joining the Berlin Arts Academy as a photography student. But his dream is put to test when Mattias falls in love with the beautiful free-spirited Hanna.

The Festival also presents other notable dramas that explore the complex worlds, lives and desires of the different characters.

Portugal’s award-winning film, The Murmuring Coast (2004), is a tension-laden drama set at the end of the 1960s, in the Portuguese colony of Mozambique. The story is seen through the eyes of Evita, a young officer’s bride who struggles to understand her husband’s complex life. Slovakia’s Soul At Peace (2009) is a compelling tragedy about crime, its consequences and the desire to start afresh. Turkey presents an intriguing psychological thriller, Ivy (2015), about six men stranded on a large cargo vessel off the Egyptian coast. They spend weeks suffering from boredom, deprivation and eventually getting into internal conflicts.

The EUFF is very privileged to support the Accessibility programme presented by British Council that allows the UK to lend special touches to their feature film, Electricity (2016). Electricity is an extraordinary hallucinatory journey seen through the eyes of a young woman with epilepsy, starring Agyness Deyn.

For more information on the line-up of European films please refer to the European Union Film Festival Booklet. Click on the link to download the booklet.

Partnering for the third time with Ngee Ann Polytechnic's School of Film and Media Studies (FMS), the EUFF will present seven award-winning short films by the alumni from FMS such as Boo Junfeng and Kirsten Tan. These short films will precede some of the official film selection.

11 to 21 May 2017

Tickets priced at $12 is available for sale through SISTIC at http://www.sistic.com.sg/events/ceuff0517

Facebook: fb.com/euffsg
Twitter: @EUinSingapore

For more information, please contact:
Phish Communications
Siti Annazia (Ms)
+65 6344 2953

Sumedhaa Hariram (Ms)
+65 6344 2932

TITLE SPONSOR: German European School Singapore
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 Englishspeaking
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.

About European Union Film Festival
The European Union Film Festival is an annual event that showcases a selection of European films, giving local audiences a taste of Europe’s diversity and creativity. Films screened are recent and have encountered success in their country of origin. The films showcased in this festival may belong to a specific country, but they are all representative of Europe’s common cultural heritage. This film festival, now in its 27th year, is a window into the intriguing world of European cinema but also offers a platform to showcase films by young Singapore film-makers.

About European Union Delegation to Singapore
Set up in December 2002, the EU Delegation to Singapore formally opened on June 30, 2004. Since then, the EU's diplomatic representation has worked to promote closer ties between the EU and Singapore. The wide-ranging relationship has strengthened over the years. In close coordination with the diplomatic missions of the EU Member States, the Delegation ensures consistency and effectiveness of the EU's external action in Singapore. With 28 countries, nearly 500 million people and the largest GDP in the world, the EU is of increasing importance to Singapore as well as ASEAN. The Delegation runs a range of programmes that cover a range of issues such as trade, climate change, aviation as well as education programmes such as the popular annual Study In Europe fair and the annual European Union Film Festival.

About National Gallery Singapore
National Gallery Singapore is a visual arts institution which oversees the largest public collection of modern art of Singapore and Southeast Asia. The Gallery is dedicated to collaborative research, education and exhibitions, highlighting the importance of modern art in Southeast Asia in a global context. The Gallery also provides a unique visitor experience through its art presentations and innovative programming, positioning Singapore as a regional and international hub for the visual arts. Situated in the heart of the Civic District, the National Gallery Singapore has been beautifully restored and transformed from the former Supreme Court and City Hall buildings – two important heritage buildings of Singapore’s nationhood – into an exciting new visual arts venue. Opened in November 2015, the Gallery will be a leading civic and cultural destination established for the enrichment, enjoyment and engagement of Singapore residents and visitors from all over the world.

About Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s School of Film & Media Studies
Established in 1989, Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s School of Film & Media Studies (FMS) is a pioneering tertiary institution that offers education and training locally in the applied media arts. The School believes in giving students an enriching learning experience that enables them to excel both in the dynamic film and media industry, and in further education. It does this through time-tested programmes that prepare students to meet professional standards while stimulating their creativity, sharpening their analytical and communication skills, and fuelling their passion. FMS has nurtured many outstanding graduates and award-winning Singapore filmmakers such as Boo Junfeng and Kirsten Tan.