The story of a man who runs away from his girlfriend and bumps into a bride who has run away from her wedding, may sound like a typical Bollywood potboiler, but isn’t.
The romantic comedy titled Committed from Cyprus is among a repertoire of 21 latest and award winning European films from as many countries, set for screening at the 20th edition of European Union Film Festival (EUFF), inaugurated on April 8 and is set to go on till April 20.
The Instituto Cervantes, the India Habitat Centre and at the Hungarian Information and Cultural Centre are among the venues for the EUFF organised by the delegation of European Union and embassies of EU member states with support of the Federation of Film Societies of India.
“We have a wonderful collection of films and we decided this year that we wouldn’t have films on one particular topic, like in previous years. We decided just to bring to India the new films, the recent film that was the only criteria,” Joao Cravinho, Ambassador, European Union to India said.
The films deal with subjects ranging from love, resilience, heroism, frustration and triumph. Stories of individuals and their families choosing their destinies while looming behind them is a turbulence, backdrop of history, politics also find place.
“In this edition, among others we have the story of a man who runs away from his girlfriend but then bumps into a bride who has run away from her wedding! We have the story of a female bullfighter from Spain who takes the country by storm, in an adaptation to Snowhite.
“We have the Dutch film which brings us the character of Sophie, a happy woman with a perfect marriage who finds love or something else with a choreographer who loves her cooking.
So a wide range of very exciting movies,” Cravinho said.
Films provide glimpses into the life and times of people they portray and help break barriers of languages to bring people together across the world.
“It is heartening to see that the EU film festival through its 20 years of journey in India has provided an ideal bridge between two vibrant cultural scenes with rich film traditions and has developed into a significant annual event in the calendar of film aficionados,” he said.
Watching a movie in theatres also brings people of diverse thoughts and cultures together under one roof and makes them go through similar emotions and thus helps bring individuals together.
“In Europe, just like India, we have a massive film industry. More or less the same size in terms of films produced each year. We discovered in Europe this cultural industry employs 6.7 million people and accounts for 3.5 per cent of GDP, that is not just of course the cinema but whole cultural industry. At an age when we tend to look more at economics, it is good to remember that culture is also a very much part of our economics,” Cravinho said.
The festival was inaugurated by Cravinho and Aivars Groza, Ambassador of Latvia to India. Latvia currently holds the EU Presidency. The EU comprises 28 countries.
Many of the films have won awards. A selection of the films set to be screened include Blancanieves (Snowhite) is a Spanish film based on the fairy tale Snow White by the Brothers Grimm and is centered on a female bullfighter.
A Woman’s Revenge is a Portuguese film that captures the life of Roberto who is one of those men to whom the simulation has become the greatest art. The Last Sentence (Sweden) is based on the life of journalist Torgny Segerstedt.
Shanghai Gypsy (Slovenia) is a story about four generations of a gypsy family.
The Candidate (Slovak) is a cynical black humoured thriller situated in Slovakia during a presidential campaign.