Presented by the European Delegation to Australia, supported by EU member states and programmed by non-profit company The Festivalists, many of these films are being shown in Australia for the very first time.
Johannes Holzhausen’s acclaimed documentary THE GREAT MUSEUM, which goes behind the scenes of Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum, will open the festival in Canberra on 24 November. This witty and humorous observational documentary follows curators and conservators, administrators and marketers as they do their upmost to engage today’s modern audiences while preserving, displaying and contextualizing the past. Shot during the recent renovation and reinstallation of the museum’s Kunstkammer galleries, it offers more than a stunning armchair-tourist experience: this is an elegant love letter to great art and those who work tirelessly to provide access to it.
The opening night will be hosted by H.E. Mr Sem Fabrizi, Ambassador of the European Union to Australia. “Windows on Europe gives us a fascinating glimpse into the complex realities of European societies today,” the Ambassador said.
“The program’s central theme this year is youth and many films address the experience of growing up in Europe today, with characters asserting their identity in the face of tradition, change and modernity.
Highlights of the festival include award-winning Romanian comedy Domestic and gay drama Land of Storms from Hungary, In The Courtyard starring French screen legend Catherine Deneuve, Spanish relationship drama 10,000 Km, Berlin Film Festival winners Violet and Stations Of The Cross, and gritty Scandinavian coming-of-age dramas from Denmark (Northwest), Sweden (Sanctuary) and Finland (Concrete Night).
The documentary program includes Cathedrals Of Culture, a series of 3D documentary portraits of iconic buildings by filmmakers such as Wim Wenders, Robert Redford, Michael Madsen and Michael Glawogger, Hubert Canaval’s snapshot of the global energy crisis Energized and Alex Fegan’s endearing portrait of traditional publicans, The Irish Pub.
Mathieu Ravier, the festival’s French-Australian programmer, invites audiences to experience something special. “This is a fabulous festival from which to sample the rich culture of modern Europe. I welcome you enjoy the vibrancy and quality of European cinema, with stories that will move you and keep thinking long after the credits have rolled.”