The European Film Festival highlights how people respond to the disruptive changes

 

 

The 6th edition of the European Film Festival, running until December 8, is currently having screenings at Cinema Nouveau theatres in the three cities of Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town. In this interview film festival director Peter Rorvik sheds light on his curatorial vision and some of the themes emerging from the festival. 

What was your curatorial vision for the festival this year and what informed it?

First and foremost, it was to find strong, meaningful films from the participating member states; recent 2019 or 2018 productions that spoke to filmmaking strengths in the given country and then to see what thematic threads might emerge. What came out were issue-based, character-driven stories about disruption and change. A significant percentage of the films feature powerful performances by women, holding their lives together under forces of change, struggling against change, or struggling for change. But it’s not a tickbox thing, it’s because these are powerful stories.

From the films I have seen it would seem displacement and disorientation are major themes in this year’s festival? Migration was covered, to an extent, in the last festival. What would say of the range of themes in this selection of films and does a coherent, contemporary story of Europe begin to emerge?

We live in a very disrupted world. Systems are changing at an exponential rate in Europe and elsewhere. Displacement and disorientation are symptoms of disruption, they are also contributing causes of disruption. Against these background contexts, the films are about how people respond to the disruptive changes they are experiencing, it’s about a search for self and meaning, that’s a core thread running through the films of this year’s festival. Importantly, these stories are not exclusively applicable to the complexities of Europe, they raise questions and make statements that go beyond national borders, and this was an intentional way of building touchpoints to local contexts in Africa.

What are the most exciting selections for you and why?

While it is gratifying to have secured films that have been selected by their countries for the Academy Awards in 2020, it is hard to choose personal favourites, each of them has something going for it. Lots of important reflections for South Africa in the whistleblowing story of Official Secrets, and in Les Miserables where we see what can happen when communities are not treated with requisite respect, youth in particular. System Crasher is intense but riveting, while Polish filmmaker Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War is a superbly crafted masterpiece of auteur cinema.

For information on screenings and schedules, please visit https://www.eurofilmfest.co.za/

Keep the powerful accountable

Subscribe for R30/mth for the first three months. Cancel anytime.

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Kwanele Sosibo
Kwanele Sosibo
Kwanele Sosibo is the editor of Friday, the arts and culture section of the Mail and Guardian.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Gauteng’s top matriculants excited about the future

All top learners from Gauteng received bursaries for their university education

Whistleblowers: Your testimony makes South Africa proud

Those brave people who speak truth to power elevate the Constitution to more than just a text.

Environmental education is in the syllabus but teaching it is...

Institutions and nonprofits have stepped in to provide training, manuals and other support.

Sub-Saharan Africa children show higher Covid-19 death rate than elsewhere

Infants younger than one year in Africa have nearly five times the risk of death than those aged 15 to 19 years after contracting the virus
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×