The Other Film Festival

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The end of summer in Toronto traditionally heralds the excitement of the Toronto International Film Festival, or TIFF. The next excellent event for local film buffs is in November – the European Union Film Festival. This year EUFF presents a unique lineup of 27 outstanding films from 27 countries, offering an unparalleled cinematic experience. The 2023 edition will take viewers on a cinematic journey across Europe, featuring a carefully curated selection of films from the most prestigious European competitions. Organizers invite the public to experience heartwarming tales of friendship and powerful stories of women, intriguing historical narratives, captivating drama and delightful comedies, all sharing the exceptional quality and authenticity of storytelling.

To add a special touch to the celebration of great storytelling, special guests will join in for Q&A sessions, such as talented directors Maria Douza (“Listen”, Greece), Martin Bonnici (“A Viper’s Pit”, Malta), and Lajos Koltai (“Semmelweis”, Hungary).

Spain and Sweden take the spotlight this year, each introducing vibrant heroines. Opening on November 16, a black and white Madrid pays homage to the French New Wave with “Ramona” (Spain), Andrea Bagney’s sparkling and romantic debut feature. The film follows the journey of a young actress, and it’s a hint of what’s to come for the Closing with Sasha in “Comedy Queen” (Sweden), a young girl with aspiration of becoming a stand-up comedian.

A special 28th film, “Luxembourg, Luxembourg”, will be presented as a fundraiser in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

The festival is pleased to present films that have graced the biggest stages of Europe. Discover the traditions of Portugal’s countryside in the drama “Remains of The Wind” (Portugal), a special screening during the Cannes Film Festival. Follow the young Sasha on her emotional journey to bring laughter back to her father in “Comedy Queen” presented at Berlinale. Shift your perspectives with the Winner of Best Screenplay in Venice’s 2021 Horizons program, “107 Mothers” (Slovakia) offering a glimpse into the challenging lives of imprisoned new mothers in southern Ukraine. Be the first to discover 13 Canadian Premiere including hidden gems like “Rap and Reindeer” (Finland), following the ambitious 18-year-old Sámi rapper prodigy Mihkku Laiti and prepare to challenge your senses with cinematic curiosities such as “Listen”, or the genre movie “Double Blind” (Ireland).

“Runner”, the entry from Lithuania, directed by Andrius Blaževičius will be shown on  November 20 at 6 pm. The film is about Marija, who spends 24 hours hurtling back and forth across Vilnius, desperate to find her troubled boyfriend Vytas, a brilliant PhD candidate who has previously been hospitalized for bipolar disorder. Described as “a kinetic portrayal of an extraordinary young woman paradoxically trapped at a psychological impasse … For all its adrenalized, blood-rush rhythms, Runner [is] remarkably humane”, it won the Best Baltic Film Award at the Black Nights Film Festival in Tallinn and Best Film at the Riga International Film Festival.

For the first time at EUFF, the audience will have the opportunity to enjoy delightful food and beverages at special festival prices in a cozy haven catered by one of Toronto’s best patisseries – Nadege. The specially crafted EUFF Cafe will be open every night from 7 pm at the Alliance Francaise, exclusively for the festival.

The European Union Film Festival (EUFF) is a not-for-profit organization, striving to reflect the excellence, innovation, and diversity of European cinema in Toronto, the world’s most multicultural city. The EUFF is a unique festival and the only one in the world to bring together disparate EU Consulates and local cultural institutes for collaboration. Represented countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.