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/

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

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

Tension over who’s boss of courts

In a letter, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng questions whether Justice Minister Ronald Lamola has acted constitutionally

SABC sued over ‘bad’ clip of Ramaphosa

A senior employee at the public broadcaster wants compensation for claims of ‘sabotage’

Soundtrack to a pandemic: Africa’s best coronavirus songs

Drawing on lessons from Ebola, African artists are using music to convey public health messaging. And they are doing it in style

In East Africa, the locusts are coming back for more

In February the devastating locust swarms were the biggest seen in East Africa for 70 years. Now they’re even bigger

Press Releases

New energy mix on the cards

REI4P already has and will continue to yield thousands of employment opportunities

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders