Home FrenchFrench film Europa! Europa 2024: it’s a biggie!

The Europa! Europa Film Festival is growing up fast. Whereas the second edition last year featured 29 films screened in both Sydney and Melbourne, the 2024 festival boasts 47 films from 28 countries in Europe.

The festival runs from Thursday, February 15 to Monday, March 11. The participating cinemas in Melbourne are Classic Cinemas Elsternwick and  Lido Cinemas Hawthorn; in Sydney it’s all happening at Ritz Cinemas Randwick.

Oscar contender

Pick of an impressive bunch is Io Capitano (pictured above), one of the five films vying for the Best International Feature Film award at the 2024 Oscars ceremony. Directed by the Matteo Garrone of Gomorrah and Dogman fame, it tells the story of two Senegalese teenagers on a perilous quest to get from Dakar to Italy.

It’s a story of our times. According to the United Nations refugee agency, 2732 people died or were declared missing at sea on Mediterranean migration routes in 2023. But as the two boys find out, the dangers on land are just as terrifying.

Look out for…

The Europa! Europa 2024 festival will screen four other films that had been submitted for the Best International Feature Film Academy Award. Denmark’s The Promised Land, which made the shortlist but not the final five, will open the festival. The others are:

Two prim Latino women stand side by side looking aghast

Sibling rivalry is scrutinised in Spanish film Good Manners.

My five Romance language films at Europa! Europa 2024

Although Io Capitano is Italy’s submission for the Oscars, it’s told in Wolof and French. Italian features in three films, but French- and Spanish-language films dominate, in nine and seven films respectively. One Spanish hit film I’m looking forward to is Good Manners (Los buenos modales). Two sisters who haven’t spoken to each other for years are unexpectedly brought together at a birthday celebration for their grandchildren. The latter’s nannies (pictured) are then swept up in a plot to bring about peace and reconciliation.

There’s just one in Romanian, Men of Deeds (Oameni de treaba) but it’s a goodie: it won six Gopo Awards (Romanian Academy Awards) for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Editing.

What about Portuguese? You’ll hear a smattering of Brazilian Portuguese in the animated cartoon documentary They Shot The Piano Player, which examines the rise of Bossa Nova music. Narrated by Jeff Goldblum and co-directed by Fernando Trueba, it’s definitely on my list of films to see at Europa! Europa 2024. M5R

See also

Fernando Trueba’s ‘crazy’ idea

Romance language films dominate Europa! Europa 2023

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