The European Union Film Festival (EUFF) marks its exhilarating return to selected Golden Screen Cinemas with critically-acclaimed movies from across Europe. Now in its 18th year in Malaysia, this much-anticipated event promises to showcase the dynamism, breadth and innovation of contemporary European cinema, as well as the cultural diversity of Europe.
Since its first edition in 2000, the EUFF has brought together film enthusiasts, students, families and even those who are joining in for their first 'foreign-language' film experience. The festival has always been very welcomed in Malaysia as one of the biggest international film festivals in the country. Spanning animation, drama, romance, comedy, horror, adventure, children's film and documentary the wide ranging program testifies to Europe's continued creativity and diversity.
Cultural diversity has always been at the core of the European project. As well as unity in diversity is the motto of our Union, because Europe has never been just one but many. Through EUFF, we hope this could promote diversity in the core of international cultural relations as it is an important part of the EU's role as a global actor. Diversity must not be feared, but embraced.
This is a crucial message and Malaysia takes a very similar line with its long-standing moderation policy.
With 23 movies the festival is larger than last year. The movies come from 17 European countries including Switzerland. Most of them are award winners. For example the Italian documentary 'Fire at Sea' won the Golden Bear for Best Film at the Berlin International Film Festival and nominated for Oscar. The Swiss animation movie "My Life as a Zucchini" won the European Animated Feature Film award while the Romanian movie "Two Lottery Tickets" won the Monte-Carlo Comedy Film Festival prize as Best Film.
Six movies would be free screening – Happy 140 (Spain), Fire at Sea (Italy), Do you see me? (Italy), Car Park (Hungary), Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur (UK) and In line for Anne Frank (The Netherlands).
The 18th European Union Film Festival is organised by the Delegation of the European Union to Malaysia, in collaboration with the embassies and cultural institutions of 17 European Union Member States and Switzerland.
EUFF is also supported by local partner organisations Golden Screen Cinemas and CinemaOnline with whom we have a long close cooperation. I would also like to extend our appreciation to Brandt and Kingsgate International School for willing to be part of our sponsors.
The European Union Film Festival will take place at selected Golden Screen Cinemas outlets in Klang Valley (19 – 29 October), Georgetown (2-8 November), Kuching (16-22 November) and Kota Kinabalu (30 November – 6 December).
Film is more than a mere commodity. It is a vehicle for the expression of identities, singularities, reflecting the state of a society, a community. Europe has successfully transferred its genetic make-up to its film industry; diversity – cultural, but also linguistic and ethnic – its values – equality and democracy – as well as its social model. European film production is further characterised by the quality of its narratives, its social dimension, maturity and its artistic language despite working on shoe-string budgets.
The European Union Film Festival, now in its 18th year in Malaysia, has brought not only award-winning European movies to Malaysian audiences, but also the chance for locals to experience European culture and gain a broader world-view without having to hop on a plane.
I would like to therefore congratulate the delegation of the European Union to Malaysia for organising the 18th European Union Film Festival this year. My appreciation also goes to the participating European embassies and cultural institutions, as well as Malaysian partner organisations for their collaboration in making this event a success.
look forward to enjoy the best of European cinema this month.