Should films inspire and educate or simply entertain? Can they unite nationalities? These questions could be answered if the lofty ambitions of the New Europe Film Festival, returning to Edinburgh’s Filmhouse cinema from Friday 4 to Sunday 13 April, are realised.
As noted on the Festival website, New Europe is a term used for the twelve new members of the European Union that joined the Community in May 2004 and January 2007. New Europe Film Festival brings the films from the new EU member states to the UK, following the massive immigration wave that came to Great Britain after 2004.
The organisers hope that this annual event will be an opportunity for the local Edinburgh audience and the immigrants from Eastern Europe to establish a dialogue about their life in the enlarged Europe.
To offer a bit of a taster, I’ve added details and trailers for just four of the films:
California Dreaming (Romania) – Bittersweet romantic comedy from C. Nemescu, who died tragically in a car crash before completing the film. When a NATO transport is detained at a rural Romanian train station the locals indulge in a pro-western craze.
Paper Will Be Blue (Romania) – On the night of the Romanian revolution, when Bucharest is ruled by chaos and scarce information reached few, a young militia officer deserts his post to join the revolutionaries.
Teah (Slovenia/Poland) – Family adventure and a fairytale of friendship and the human fight for preserving innocence, hopes and dreams. Teah, the young refugee meets Martin, who until now lived in the peaceful home of his eccentric but loving family, and under the protection of the magic forest, is suddenly confronted with a cruel true story of refugees, war and the deep wounds it inflicts.
Reserve (Rezerwat) (Poland) – Young photographer Marcin moves into a run-down and notoriously dangerous of Warsaw and tries to fit in with the locals. As he takes pictures of the neighbourhood and explores this pathological environment, he discovers the charm of this historical part of town and the beauty hidden deep inside its inhabitants.
For more information on the Festival, and the rest of the films, take a trip over to the official website for full details and screening times.