European film lovers get ready! The 28th edition of the AFI European Union Film Showcase begins this coming Tuesday, Dec. 1, featuring more than 50 of the best films from the 28 EU member states. The films once again will be screened at the historic AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring through Dec. 20.
The showcase is supported by the Delegation of the European Union to the United States through the EU’s Getting to Know Europe grant. This season’s movies include international film festival award winners, regional box office hits, debut works by promising new talents and many countries’ official submissions for the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award®.
This year’s showcase opens with Fernando León de Aranoa’s “A Perfect Day” (Spain), a darkly comedic portrait of aid workers attempting to provide clean water during the aftermath of the Balkan War, starring Oscar® winners Benicio Del Toro (Traffic, Sicario) and Tim Robbins (Mystic River, The Shawshank Redemption) alongside Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace, Oblivion) and Mélanie Thierry (The Zero Theorem). The film will be followed by a Q&A session with filmmaker Fernando León de Aranoa and a reception, with support for the evening provided in part by the Embassy of Spain and SPAIN arts & culture.
The closing night film, “The Treasure” (Romania), directed by Corneliu Porumboiu (Police, Adjective; 12:08 East of Bucharest), is a deadpan comedy of manners that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Prix Un Certain Talent.
The showcase’s “special presentations” section includes Paolo Sorrentino’s “Youth” (Italy) starring Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Jane Fonda, Paul Dano and Rachel Weisz; “The Lady in the Van” (United Kingdom) starring Maggie Smith; Jacques Audiard’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner “Dheepan” (France); “Body” (Poland) directed by Malgorzata Szumowska, winner of the Best Director prize at the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival; “45 Years” (United Kingdom) starring Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay, winners of Best Actress and Actor at Berlin; Cannes Grand Prix Winner “Son of Saul” (Hungary); Berlin Silver Bear prize winner “Aferim!” (Romania); festival favorite “My Golden Days” (France) directed by Arnaud Desplechin; Venice Film Festival premiere “A War” (Denmark) directed by Tobias Lindholm (A Hijacking); and “A Royal Night Out” (United Kingdom) starring Sarah Gadon, Bel Powley, Emily Watson and Rupert Everett.
Other highlights include the U.S. premiere of “Ma Ma” (Spain) starring Penélope Cruz; “Disorder” (France) starring Matthias Schoenaerts and Diane Kruger; “The Wait” (Italy) starring Juliette Binoche; “Second Coming” (United Kingdom) starring Idris Elba; Matteo Garrone’s “Tale of Tales” (Italy) starring Salma Hayek, John C. Reilly and Vincent Cassel; “Kill Your Friends” (United Kingdom) starring Nicholas Hoult, James Corden and Rosanna Arquette; and Nanni Moretti’s “Mia Madre” starring John Turturro.
Among the films featured are a number of 2015 Oscar® submissions for Best Foreign Language Film, including “The High Sun” (Croatia); “A War” (Denmark); “1944” (Estonia); “The Fencer” (Finland); “Son of Saul” (Hungary); “The Summer of Sangaile” (Lithuania); “Baby(a)lone” (Luxembourg); “Aferim!” (Romania); and “The Tree” (Slovenia). 2014 Oscar® submissions include “Simshar” (Malta).
Complete list of U.S. premieres:
- “Ma Ma” (Spain)
- “Eva Nová” (Slovakia)
- “The Snake Brothers” (Czech Republic)
- “The Magic Mountain” (France)
- “Baby(a)lone” (Luxembourg)
- “Impressions of a Drowned Man” (Cyprus)
Complete list of East Coast premieres:
- “A War” (Denmark)
- “The Wait” (Italy)
- “You’re Ugly Too” (Ireland)
- “(Be)longing” (Portugal)
- “The Tree” (Slovenia)
- “Simshar” (Malta)
For a complete schedule of films, please see the AFI website.