Featured, Film & TV

Free tickets and an African flavour at European Film Festival

A scene from a film showing at the EU Film Festival Zimbabwe "I am a witch"

The second edition of the European Union Film Festival opens at Theatre in the Park in Harare tonight with a movie about madness, friendship and seizing the day, and among the highlights on this year’s line up are two movies with Africa at their core.

The first is “Leaving Africa” from Finland which documents the friendship of an unlikely pair of development aid workers providing sexual health and equality education in a rural Uganda. “I am not a Witch”, the United Kingdom’s contribution to the Festival, is an award-winning feature drama by Zambian-born Rungano Nyoni.

Tonight’s opening film, “Like Crazy” (La pazza gioia), is an award winning Italian comedy-drama which is both witty and moving. It tells the story of the unusual friendship that develops between two women whilst they are locked away in a mental health institution.

The festival will screen acclaimed arthouse movies from eleven EU Member States during its run, May 15-19. Everybody is on the guest list: admission to all movie screenings is entirely free.

Whilst all the films are internationally acclaimed and awarded, the focus this year moves away from mainstream narratives to a more diverse and unique visual storytelling approach, which includes two documentaries and a feature film. Our European journey through these movies is characterised by the diverse cultures and facets of the continent, a wide scope of stories that engage and pay tribute to the common traits of human nature – they touch on friendship, love, hopes, dreams, anger, regrets, misunderstandings and fears that are not only European, but universal.

The diversity in narrative will take you from a secret luxury hideout on the Canary Islands to a mental health institution in Italy, from a messy, supernatural family get-together in Portugal into a car with warring politicians in Northern Ireland in the 1980s. You will meet illustrious and loveable (or less loveable) characters, such as superficial Sebastian in Sweden, Tom in Germany, who floats randomly through the streets of Berlin, or American novelist and social critic James Baldwin, who documented the assassinations of three Afro-American activists, including Martin Luther King Jr.

Ambassador Philippe Van Damme, Head of the European Union Delegation to Zimbabwe, said: “We are thrilled to bring this Festival back to Harare after the wonderful inaugural edition last year. I believe the selection of movies this year is an even more befitting illustration of European cinema and its artistic variety. This year, we celebrate the European Year of Cultural Heritage, of which cinema forms an integral part as a channel to share our memories, our myths and our narratives. Cultural heritage binds us together in all our diversity through our common history and values, as well as the richness and variety of our cultural traditions – and it helps us to design our future.”

Throughout the five days of the Festival, a minimum of two films will be screened every evening. Follow updates on the festival’s Facebook page for more.

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The Zimbo Jam Network brings together young people who are passionate about lifestyle, arts & culture to document, celebrate and challenge these important aspects of our lives.

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