The European Union Film Festival begins on November 10th and runs until November 24th in Toronto at the Royal Cinema.
One of the highlights of the entirely free festival, ($10 to reserve a ticket online), is that each country screens a film, and this year’s selection features a number of standouts, among them:
Kasia’s Enchanted Forest: One of the highlights of this year’a Hot Docs Festival, (the film is in fact being co-presented by Hot Docs, the film features filmmaker Katja Gourloff using the film to reconnect with her Skolt Sámi great-grandmother. The film certainly needs to be seen on a screen such as that at the Royal. It is trippy and magical and more than a little bit strange, but explores a rich cultural legacy which is often une plotted entirely. This film is from Finland and screens Thursday, November 17th at 6 p.m.
Stay: Wiebke Von Carolsfeld is a major part of the festival, participating on a panel entitled What Makes a European Film. Her film Stay was a top-notch film at TIFF a couple of years ago because it presented a really interesting dynamic between the older Dermot (Aidan Quinn) and his younger lover Abbey played by none other than Taylor Schilling, whom at the time of its debut had just started working on Orange is the New Black. The film is based on a book by Aislinn Hunter, and involves an unexpected pregnancy, but transcends the page due to strong work from its leads. The film is from Ireland and screens Saturday, November 12th at 8:30 p.m.
Like Crazy: No this isn’t the Anton Yelchin / Felicity Jones movie from 2011. This Like Crazy stars Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, (the sister of Carla Bruni), and though Bruni Tedeschi is transitioning towards directing, she’s an amazing actress. In this Paolo Virzi film, she plays a patient at a mental institution named Beatrice who breaks out of a mental institution, alongside Micaela Ramazzoti (Virzi’s real-life wife), who is Donatella. As the two go on a sort of road trip, the film heats up with a secret that is handled quite well. In a hilarious film, there’s a touch of seriousness. The film debuted at Cannes Director’s Fortnight. Like Crazy is from Italy and screens Sunday, November 20th at 8:30 p.m.
England is still a part of the European Union Film Festival, and the festival is an inclusive one worth attending.