"No other medium can offer such deep insight into other people’s circumstances and transform feelings of unfamiliarity into curiosity, empathy and compassion – even for those we have been told are our enemies."
 Excerpt from the open letter signed by filmmakers nominated for Oscar Best Foreign Film 2017.

All along history, artists have had a major role in shaping the public opinion, many times spurring the way towards social and political progress.

The European Film Festival, having already reached its 21th edition, has undertaken the mission to promote European films to Romanian audiences. When coming of age, it’s its responsibility to embrace new roles, new missions. Today, the film is more than a mere intellectual pleasure dedicated to elites or pure entertainment for the masses, it is an actual reflection of the society, both present and past.

Alex Trăilă, director artistic FFE (foto credit Maria Cîrstea)

Alex Trăilă, Director artistic
Festivalul Filmului European
(foto credit Maria Cîrstea)
I've chosen to consider for this year's film selection mainly European filmmakers that use their work to provide a mirror for the contemporary European society to see itself. And the fascination isn’t driven by the diversity of expression forms, but by the similarities and striking resemblances between countries and societies. I am convinced that our European unity can easily find deep roots in assuming a mutual cultural identity. The differences polarise and yet, at our core, we are closer to each other because of the blemishes and shortcomings of the society to which
we belong. Inevitably, we should accept them in order to be able to adjust them. They influence our daily routines and they are just slightly different, regardless of the borders.

Starting with this year's edition, the festival will follow three directions: to uphold its tradition in unveiling the European cultural diversity via the selection; the Agora section, with films that will initiate public debates on relevant topics; facilitating a structured dialogue between players in the audiovisual area in preparation for Romania's EU Council presidency in 2019, and to strengthen the country's position in the region.

The European Film Festival endeavours to prove that cinema can proactively and deliberately generate a genuine advance in society. 


"For me, the cinema is a universal language and I’m reluctant to split it geographically, ethnically or nationally. I equally appreciate European, American, Iranian or Japanese films. However, the European film has a special meaning for me, as I relate with its values. In European cinema, the author's vision is above the financial investors’ interests, and when the author has full creative freedom, authentic, unconventional and daring films can arise. Moreover, in times that seem to get more and more divisive, the cinema upholds as a social hard core able to bring us together, and the European film makes no exception."
Paul Negoescu, Honorary Ambassador of the XXI edition of the European Film Festival


The European Film Festival is organized by the Romanian Cultural Institute, under the aegis of EUNIC Romania, in partnership with the European Commission Representation in Romania, with the support of embassies and cultural centres of European countries, the Romanian National Art Museum, the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant, the French Institute - Cinema Elvire Popesco, the Filmmakers Union in Romania and the European Parliament Information Office in Romania.
The European Film Festival is a project initiated in 1996, by the Delegation of the European Commission in Romania, to celebrate Europe’s Day, on 9th of May. Starting with 2007, after Romania's accession to the European Union, the Festival is organised by the Romanian Cultural Institute.

Reaching its XXI edition, the Festival is holding onto its established format and philosophy: films of all kinds, provided by the cultural centres and embassies of the European states, aiming to celebrate Europe’s multiculturalism, best illustrated via its diverse cinematography. However, after more than two decades, EFF has several new features: a distinct new editorial direction - debates based on topical issues featured in the films, an art director - Alex Trăilă, and a brand new city on its map - Gura Humorului.

During these troubled times, the Festival challenges its public to embrace the film as a fine tuned instrument to understand today's complex society, rather than a mere intellectual pleasure.
Alex Trăilă is a film adviser with an impressive experience in organizing festivals (Sarajevo FF, Transylvania IFF, When East Meets West - Trieste), and a founding member of the #FEEDback think-tank (Film Eastern European Dialogue), dedicated to cultural policy of the cinema in Eastern Europe. He was advisor to the Minister of Culture, and since January 2016, is member of the Board of Management of the Romanian Film Centre. 

Besides its traditional local editions, IaÈ™i, TimiÈ™oara È™i Tîrgu MureÈ™, the Festival was also present in previous years in other cities, such as Craiova, BraÈ™ov, Cluj-Napoca, Baia Mare and Hunedoara. In 2017, it travels to Gura Humorului during 19 - 21 May.  

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