28 Times Cinema

 

28 Times Cinema 2015

 

The Project

 

28 young film-lovers, each representing one European country, meet every year since 2010 to attend the Venice International Film Festival under the 28 Times Cinema Initiative. This project is set up by the LUX Prize of the European Parliament, in partnership with Europa Cinemas, the Venice Days / Giornate degli Autori and Cineuropa.

The 28 participants are chosen out of hundreds of candidates on the basis of their originality, commitment and passion for film. In Venice, they have the opportunity to watch all films in the Venice Days selection and be film critics by contributing to a blog (created by Cineuropa on this occasion) and to Europa Cinemas’ social networks. They also participate in round-table discussions and debates with film industry professionals, critics and filmmakers. In parallel, the 28 are devoted to the exploration of the LUX Prize, viewing and discussing the 3 finalists with their directors and the members of the European Parliament present in Venice. They will also be the LUX Prize ambassadors in their own country.

Since 2014, the 28 young participants - together with the help of the Jury moderator, Karel Och (artistic director of the Karlovy Vary IFF) and the Jury president (a different director every year) - will judge all the films from Venice Days’ lineup and award the Venice Days Prize to one of the competing films. The jury's final session to assign the Award, is open to the public as well as the press, and is broadcasted in streaming.                             

To know more about the 28, you can read their portraits below.

Presentation of the Project

Johanna Wachter - Kino in Kesselhaus – Krems (Austria)

 

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I am very connected to the capital of Austria, Vienna. I was born here, returned here for my studies and still live and work here. At the moment I am working part-time in an advertising and promotion agency and studying social and cultural anthropology at the University of Vienna. 

Cinema since

I was always interested in the moving pictures, whether it was TV, ads, movies or series because I was fascinated by how stories (either long or short) were transmitted. We often went to the local cinemas with our school class for educational purposes. With my friends I used to go there for good entertainment, later also for more demanding film content. Living in a bigger city now, I enjoy all kind of cinematic experiences e.g. the Vienna International Film Festival – Viennale, or the various open air cinemas during summer. 

Which cinema

I can´t define which genre of cinema I prefer as it is totally depending on my mood.

My 3 favourite films

Trainspotting by Danny Boyle

Being John Malkovic by Spike Jonze

Atonement by Joe Wright 

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Writing about films online

I don´t participate in public online forums as I prefer to talk to my friends face to face. During my studies I was hosting and moderating a radio show in our local station called “Cinelounge”, which was a great way to stay informed, discuss and exchange ideas and opinions about movies more publicly.

European cinema

European cinema represents for me a counterpart to the ever-present Hollywood and American film industry. Not only in the content produced, but also in the way feelings and stories of the culturally most diverse persons are expressed. I am fascinated by films which are co-produced by people coming from different nations and cultures. I like to imagine the process to overcome boundaries in an artistic and peaceful way. French and UK films are probably the European films which I enjoy the most.

Feeling European

I lived 12 months in Norway and other 6 months in Brussels – the heart of the EU and a great way to experience its institutions so close. As I have also travelled within most of this continent, I feel European all the way and I love to explore the cultural variety and to meet different citizens of Europe.

My film theatre

I represent the Kesselhaus Kino in Krems, in the county of Lower Austria. The town hosts the wonderful performance and music “Donaufestival”, during which the cinema is a venue for performances, screenings of special movies and workshops. The “Cinezone” evenings combine a great film offer followed by concerts. These experiences makes me always feel welcome in this cinema theatre. 

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Julie Vermandele – La Vénerie – Brussels (Belgium)

 

2015_28_Portrait_BE Julie Vermandele

I am 23 years old and was born in Tournai, a small city with a very rich historical and cultural background. I moved to Brussels five years ago to study History of Art at the university. After I got my Master’s degree last year, I studied Cultural Management and did several internships, one of them in the cultural Centre of La Vénerie in cinema programming.

Why cinema

My love for cinema was passed on to me by my parents who first took me to the movies when I was very young. For as long as I can remember, watching a film has always been one of my favourite things to do. During our teens, my sister and I used to spend most of our evenings watching a movie and when we really liked it, we could watch it for seven days in a row. For me, cinema is a wonderful way to discover other worlds and realities. When I’m watching a film, I am completely out of touch with everything around me. Each film is a total experience that transports us to other places and times.

 

Which cinema

I like films that plunges you into a specific mood, with an atmosphere created by the sets, the music and the costumes. From the moment when this ambiance carries me away, I can like all sorts of films, from the latest blockbuster to the oldest art-house movie, even though I must admit the last category touches me more often.

My 3 favourite films

The choice is very hard to make, but these three films are meaningful to me for various reasons:

Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Velvet Goldmine by Todd Haynes and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind by Michel Gondry.

 

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Writing about films online

I don’t share my passion for cinema online but directly with my family, my friends and people I meet. I enjoy discovering new films with them, showing them movies that I like and then having their feedback. It is always interesting to see how everyone interprets and lives a story. During my internship in my local cultural centre, I also had the opportunity to communicate my enthusiasm for cinema with the public.

Do you make films yourself

I don’t make films; I am more of a watcher than a maker. I enjoy taking pictures very much, but I rarely post them online. I would rather print them and show them to my friends and family.

European cinema

European cinema well reflects the European culture, which is very diverse but shares a common background. It is a fascinating cinema, from the German Expressionism to the contemporary cinema, passing by the French Nouvelle Vague. There is always a genre, a director or a film to discover, from every country, and that is what I enjoy the most about European cinema.

Feeling European

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As a European, I feel part of something important, even if it can be complicated sometimes. I love travelling through Europe, getting in touch with cultures that are very close to mine yet also very different.

My film theatre

I represent La Vénerie, the cinema of my local cultural centre. It is a great place to go: films are always well selected and there is one for everyone’s tastes, they also organise very interesting lectures on the cinema and a film festival which focuses on Brussels’ cultural diversity.

Martin Dangov – Euro Cinema – Sofia (Bulgaria)

 

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My name is Martin and I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria. I grew up with series like “Tom and Jerry” and “Friends”. Now, more than ten years later, I’m studying Cinema directing.

Cinema since

I like to call it a happy accident. I was trying to study law but something went very, very wrong. I do enjoy it, because I like working with people that are creative on the laudable goal that is art.

Which cinema

I tend to prefer films that are socially oriented. My favourite genre is the drama.

 

My 3 favourite films

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Milos Forman

Intouchables by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano

El laberinto del fauno by Guillermo del Toro

 

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Making my own films and taking pictures

My biggest projects yet are a short documentary and a short feature film. Sadly neither has subtitles, but you can watch the documentary here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFozhcsB25o

I’ve also made trailers, adverts and even some trailer music-epic-videos just to learn how to use the Vegas camera.

European cinema

For me European cinema has laid the right foundations of the modern cinema, and I mean cinema like art, not only an industry. My favourite European movies are Intouchables, Stalker, Belle Epoque and others.

Feeling European

Being European means having responsibilities, keeping the right balance between an open mind and a legacy of traditions, learning to accept the difference, while preserving your moral, serving as an example for the rest of the world. I’ve been in a dozen of European countries and I’m already planning my next trip to France. However, I’m not looking forward to moving to another country, since my friends are everything that I have and they are staying in Bulgaria for good.

My film theatre

I’m representing Euro Cinema, which has been part of Europa Cinema’s Network since 2008. I prefer this cinema because of its diverse programme, focusing on Bulgarian and European movies. Recently I’ve been busy with my own projects so I couldn’t attend most of the premieres, but I’m sure that this will change very soon.

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Elena Adamou – Rialto Theatre – Lemesos (Cyprus)

 

2015_28_portrait_CY Elena Adamou

I’m 24 years old and I’m from Nicosia. I studied visual arts in the Academy of fine arts of Brera in Milan where I continued with a Master’s degree in theatre costume design.

Why cinema

Cinema has always been an integral part of my everyday life, especially for the last two years as I’ve developed a particular interest in European cinema during the directing courses in the University. Cinema inspires me, I wouldn’t live without it.

Which cinema

I don’t have a specific genre of film that I like better than another. What I look for is an intriguing way of conceiving an idea, a thought, a scent. Films that give space to observe and react, that require the participation of an active audience.

 

My three favorite films

Mia aioniotita kai mia mera (Eternity and a Day), Theo Angelopoulos

Fa yeung nin wa (In the Mood for Love), Wong Kar-wai

Offret (The Sacrifice), Andrei Tarkovsky

 

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Making my own films

I wouldn’t consider myself a professional filmmaker, but I have produced and filmed some audiovisual material for video art and video installations in the framework of my studies.  

European cinema

For me European cinema means dealing with reality. It’s a way of getting to know the lifestyle, preoccupations and way of thinking of artists that are active in the greater European community we are part of. Three of the films I found interesting watching lately are Le conseguenze dell'amore, by Paolo Sorrentino, Three Windows and a Hanging, by Isa Qosja and Deux jours, une nuit by the Dardenne brothers.

Feeling European

Being a European citizen gives me the opportunity to exchange and connect instantly beyond the physical frontiers. I regularly travel in Europe.

My film theatre

The Rialto Theatre (www.rialto.com.cy ) is a non-profit organization with a policy of presenting high caliber artistic performances in Limassol, Cyprus, where it is located.

The original Rialto was built as a cinema in 1933 on Heroes Square, the main square of the old town of Limassol. It was renovated in the mid-90’s and started operating in May 1999. It has now become the focus of the town where many open-air cultural events take place during the summer and of course inside the 568-seat theatre throughout the year.

Rialto Theatre is the main organizer of the two official film festivals of Cyprus, since 2000: Cyprus Film Days IFF (fiction feature film competition) and The International Short Film Festival of Cyprus, co-organized with the Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus. Within its programme, the Rialto Theatre has been screening a large number of European films every year, which are mainly Cyprus premieres.

The Rialto is perhaps considered as the most significant cultural venue on the island of Cyprus.

I find that Rialtos’ multidisciplinary activities are fundamental to spread the European culture in Cyprus. The organization of a large variety of events help the expansion of the artistic horizon and many people draw inspiration from their work, as I do. Therefore I have become a constant supporter and active spectator for all Rialtos’ events.

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Veronika Krejzová– Minikino – Ostrava (Czech Republic)

 

2015_28_Portrait_CZ Veronika Krejzová

My name is Veronika, but my closest friends call me “nika”. I was born in Ostrava in 1996 and I’ve lived there my whole life. Ostrava was originally an industrial city in a Czech region similar to Bavaria in Germany or Nord-Pas de Calais in France. I have studied here and since I’m 16 I also work in a secondhand/antiquarian bookstore called Fiducia.

Cinema since

I´ve always loved cinema. My first experience with cinema was when I was six years old; the film was Finding Nemo by Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich.

Which cinema

There´s no film genre that I prefer, I´m always curious about every film. Even when somebody tells me that a film was really horrible, I feel like I want to watch it much more to understand why someone would find it so bad.

I don´t mind going to watch a movie in the company of friends, but I really love to go there just on my own. Then it’s just the film and me.

I develop my passion for cinema also through my participation in film festivals like Ostrava Kamera Oko and in the human rights film festival One World. Sometimes I do my own screenings in the film club Studio Karel (named after Karel Reisz) in Stará arena in Ostrava.

My 3 favourite films

There must have already been many people who said it: choosing just three films is almost impossible, so I´m going to tell you only three films from the plenty of movies that I really like. First, Du levande(You, The Living), the third part of a trilogy about what it's like to be a human being, by Roy Andersson. As I love French Nouvelle Vague I have to mention Les 400 Coups by Truffaut. The third one is a musical comedy from Czechoslovakia, The Smoke, by Tomás Vorel.

 

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European cinema

European cinematography represents the majority of films I watch. I can´t say that I don’t enjoy American or Asian films, but as I mentioned before, the French Nouvelle Vague is one of my favorite movement. It also makes me want to watch contemporary French films and sometimes I find titles in the same vein, La fille du 14 juillet by Antonin Peretjatko for example. Also Czech New Wave is important to mention: we have amazing filmmakers like Miloš Forman or Věra Chytilová (I would recommend Sedmikrásky/Daisies by this latter film director). As for contemporary film, I like the German productions, for example Lollipop Monster by Ziska RiemannScandinavian films are also very interesting. Luckily even in Ostrava we have festivals of Scandinavian films, or festivals like La Película or the French Film Festival.

My film theatre

I represent the cinema Miniko. It is a special venue that had a major impact on my relationship with cinema. It’s a small cinema with a cozy café which I’ve visited regularly since I’m 14, and where I´ve seen an arthouse film for the very first time and met loads of interesting people. I can say that this place together with Fiducia somehow raised me.

 

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Sven Angene – Yorck Kino – Berlin (Germany)

 

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I am a 23-year-old student in Cultural History and Theory. I grew up in a rather small town, but I have been living in Berlin for 4 years now.

Why cinema

I've always liked films – but that's something everybody will tell you if you ask them. However, my passion for movies and for going to the cinema really took off when I moved to Berlin. I can't – or don't want to – remember what it was like watching only dubbed Hollywood-Movies in a Cineplex, but I'm glad I got to learn what I had been missing.

Films reach me on a profound level; when I watch a movie, my mind kind of fades away and only returns when the credits start rolling, the screening takes my undivided attention – it is rather difficult to grasp the feeling of being shaken to the ground when the lights come on again.

To at least give one simple reason for why I love cinema, a movie can tell stories or create realms of experience in a way that is different from every other medium. Sometimes one cut is enough to explain the most complex relationship or visualize the most abstract and inconceivable concept.

Which cinema

There is no film genre that I can get nothing out of – except maybe film musicals, including Bollywood films. In general, I prefer psychological horror to monster flicks. Action movies often are a bit flat these days, as well as most comedies. I like movies that are consistent, so for me a Happy Ending is not always the way to go. Furthermore I'm a fan of dark humor, experimental aesthetics, slow-paced yet therefore detailed cinematography and well-dosed violence.

My favourite film

I can't decide on my favorite films. Those are just too many and too diverse, so every minute I would give a different answer. What never changes though is my favorite movie: Eraserhead by David Lynch. When I first saw it, I was incredibly disturbed and sure I would never watch it again, although I loved it. One month later, I had already seen it three more times. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, jump out of bed and watch Eraserhead once more.

 

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Writing about films online

Three friends and I attend the Berlin Film Festival every year and blog about it online: http://4kinderund1feldbett.de/ . It's all in German though, but check it out if you want to know why Mot naturen by Ole Giæver and Marte Vold is amazing and Nadie quiere la noche by Isabel Coixet is not.

European cinema

European cinema is too diverse to put it in a nutshell, and that's what I love about it. A lot of my favourite European films are from Scandinavia, so that's a bit of an affinity I have.

My film theatre

I'm representing the Yorck Kinogruppe from Berlin and its 12 theatres. They screen a wide variety of films, have special events and two different locations for weekly Sneak Previews, and that is pretty amazing. The Yorck Cinemas breathe the feeling of cinema as a limitless room of creativity. I visit one of their cinemas at least once or twice a week, usually one Sneak, and one other screening.

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Monica Svane – Vester Vov Vov – Copenhagen (Denmark)

 

2015_28_portrait_DK Monica Svane

I live, study and work in Copenhagen, one of my favorite cities in the world. My passion for cinema guided my choice of study as I have been a student at Film and Media studies at the University of Copenhagen for the past five years. It’s hard to find non-volunteer work in Copenhagen in this field but I did internships at the Danish Broadcast Company and at our local film festival, CPH PIX.

Cinema since

I was officially introduced to cinema at the university but I remember being interested in cinematographic since my youngest age. My first memories of enjoying cinema are related to dozens and dozens of Disney Classics that I watched as a child but it was another film that drastically raised my interest. I clearly remember that my mother had recorded the film on a tape and I started watching it over and over again without knowing its title. Later I discovered it was Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro. The magic of the images marked the beginning of my love affair with cinema.

Which cinema

I don’t like to categorize my preferences when it comes to genre and specific films. I always tell people who ask me what my favorite film is that it’s the worst question you can ask a film geek. In short, I love every film that can make my heart skip a beat or make a tear roll down my cheek in pure awe. Recently it was Fúsi by Dagur Kári, Leviathan by Andrey Zvyagintsev  and Whiplash by Damien Chazelle.

 

My 3 favourite films

Fight Club by David Fincher.

The Lord of the Rings by Peter Jackson.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari by Robert Wiene.

They have all been able to open my eyes to storytelling at different points in my life. LOTR was the first grown up blockbuster I can remember watching and Caligari was the first film screened at University, which made it clear to me that I was where I belonged. Fight Club has and will always be my go-to response when asked about my favorite film and likewise with David Fincher as for my favourite director. I’ve watched it a trillion times and analyzed every way possible and I still get surprised when I watch it today.

 

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Writing about films online

I’ve been writing film reviews for more than three years at a Danish website called cinemaonline.dk . I like debating at film forums but above all I prefer sharing my opinion talking to relatives, friends or family rather than online.

European cinema

To me the films of the Danish director Lars von Trier represent the modern European cinema by showing his audience Europe’s cultural diversity as well as relatable characters and a captivating narrative. I’ve recently fallen in love with Icelandic films such as Fúsi and Life in a Fishbowl as they’ve been able to absorb me into the Icelandic culture. This is exactly what I believe European cinema’s strongest feature is.

Feeling European

It’s not something I actively think about. I’ve almost only traveled within Europe and even though I’ve met very different cultures I feel that there’s this common sense of coherence. 

My film theatre

I represent the small Danish cinema Vester Vov Vov located in central Copenhagen. You don’t have to be a film geek to realize that the assortment of films shown there is thoroughly selected and well selected indeed! It is safe to say that Vester Vov Vov is one of the most intriguing and daring cinemas in Copenhagen today.

 

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Maarja Hindoalla – Kino Artis – Tallinn (Estonia)

 

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I was born and raised in a beautiful seaside village in Estonia, but moved to Tallinn to take film courses in high school. I've studied journalism in University of Tartu and I'm currently studying Art History for my Master and working as a freelance film critic and programmer at the children and youth film festival Just Film, a subfestival of Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival.

Cinema since

The first film I have ever seen is Free Willy by Simon Wincer when I was about 4 years old. I cried heartbroken during the film and I seriously tried to convince my mother that we could take a killer whale as a pet. I was amazed by how something fictional could so deeply affect my emotions and thoughts and after that I realized that cinema was what I loved the most in my life and what I wanted to be involved in.

Which cinema

I do have a soft spot for good horror films, but in my work I mostly focus on dramas. I tend to be an emotional viewer, but other than that I expect a great film to give an insight to an interesting subject or to articulate something yet unarticulated.

My 3 favourite films

Blind by Eskil Vogt

Gone Girl by David Fincher

Chemo by Bartosz Prokopowicz

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Making my own films

I started out with making short films in high school, but as I realized that my interest in cinema laid somewhere else, these first works were buried beneath the dust of time. I occasionally help out on film sets as part of the production team, but mostly stand on the theoretical side by studying and writing about films.

European cinema

I find it hard to characterize European cinema as unified, as every country has its own film tradition and distinctive style. As I mostly focus on European films in my work, there have been a myriad of films which have influenced me and shaped my taste in films. I especially enjoy Northern dark (and twisted) dramas such as The Hour of the Lynx by Søren Kragh-Jacobsen, or Amnesia by Nini Bull Robsahm. I used to focus more on visually fascinating abstemious dramas from Belgium and Netherlands like I'm the Same, I'm an Other by Caroline Strubbe or Shocking Blue by Mark de Cloe, but recently I've been more caught up in Polish cinema with such films as Body by Małgorzata Szumowska, The Red Spider by Marcin Koszałka, Floating Skyscrapers by Tomasz Wasilewski and Nude Area by Urszula Antoniak.

Feeling European

I like travelling a lot but I've never lived in another country and that's what it means for me to be European – I don't have to move away from home to be able to get engaged in different cross-national activities and organisations. The borders are open and I am free to travel as much as I like – to see new places, meet new people, get new experiences and still be able to live at home close to my family.

My film theatre

I represent Artis cinema in Tallinn. It is the film theatre which helped me taking my first steps in the field of cinema. In 2010 Artis hosted a cine-commune for young cinephiles where we could organise a film week all by ourselves. That is also where I met the director of Just Film thanks to whom I'm now working in this festival. For this reason Artis means a lot to me and I still try to schedule as much screenings as possible in this nice cinema with such a great atmosphere.

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Carles Bover Martínez – CineCiutat – Palma de Mallorca (Spain)

 

2015_28_portrait_ES Carles Bover Martínez

My name is Carles and I’m 23 years old. I’m from Palma de Mallorca, which is situated on Mediterranean Islands, East of Spain. I have studied a degree in Audiovisual Communication and a Master’s Degree in Documentary. Currently I´m working as Head of Audiovisual Area in Amadip Esment Foundation, an organization which works with people with disabilities. I’m also studying a Postgraduate in Audiovisual Distribution of Video on Demand and New Business Models.

Why since

There wasn´t a particular moment in my life when I discovered my passion for movies and there wasn´t an environment that introduced me directly into cinema either. I just like people and stories and little by little, I have learned to love cinema while studying the degree and its power to tell stories about people and through people.

I like cinema because for me it is a perfect way to transmit emotions through images and sounds with the ability to take you to another place and another time. 

Which cinema

Many films that I enjoy can’t be defined within only one genre. But if I had to choose one of them I would prefer the Documentary because this is what I love to work on.

My 3 favourite films

The Thin Red Line by Terrence Malick

Perfect Blue by Satoshi Kon 

Nuit et brouillard by Alain Resnais

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Making my own films

I’ve made a short documentary about my cerebral palsied cousin and now I’m working on a documentary film about Palestine. Concretely it talks about the Israeli attack to Gaza last summer.

You can check the trailers in the next links:

Listen to my eyes - https://vimeo.com/user5205768/trailer-escucha-mi-mirada

Gas the Arabs - https://vimeo.com/user5205768/gasthearabs

European cinema

The European cinema talks about different stories with different narratives from those of the Hollywood’s industry. Not only the cinema based on European stories, but I’m also proud of the ability of European producers to take advantage of our cinema industry to make films away from Europe as the film The Act of Killing by Joshua Oppenheimer. 

Feeling European

I don’t really feel the European identity but I love to travel to several countries in Europe and to know its towns, villages, cultures and people. Two years ago I did an InterRail trip in the center of Europe with two friends and now we are going to do that again.

My film theatre

I’m representing CineCiutat’s theatre in Palma de Mallorca. This cinema exists thanks to the citizens’ initiative to save a recently closed cinema, which only offered films in original version.

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CineCiutat isn’t just an ordinary cinema. The decision-making is based on democracy because all its members can participate. CineCiutat offers also classical films, events for kids, directors’ meetings and other activities

related to culture and art.

I usually go to watch a film once a week but also participate in other activities.

For me, it means more than a cinema theatre, it is a place where you meet people, share the common passion for cinema and reinvent the way we use cinema theatres.

Via Valin – Kino Engel – Helsinki (Finland)

 

2015_28_portrait _FI Via Valin Selfie

I was born and raised in Helsinki, but I've also spent a lot of time in Stockholm. Recently I've been working as a multimedia trainee at the Finnish Institute in Madrid and as a production trainee in the Finnish production company Sons of Lumière. This summer I’ve helped to film interviews to some actors for Castbook TV.

Cinema since

My dad is a huge moviefan and he has always showed me a lot of films. Watching films has always been part of my daily routine. I was literally watching films before I could speak. I think cinema is a combination of all art forms. With cinema you can make people aware of important things or create totally new worlds.

 

Which cinema

I am very curious when it comes to films so I don't avoid any genre. I think it's a lot harder to find a good comedy than a good drama though.

My 3 favourite films

I would say Persona by Ingmar Bergman, Elephant Man by David Lynch and Control by Anton Corbijn.

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Writing about films online

Honestly I don't spend that much time on the Internet. I prefer to discuss films with other people since I'm part of a movie club and I try to attend film festivals when I can.

Making my own films

I have made a couple of short films during my work periods and when I have applied for film studies.

European cinema

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It's hard to define what European cinema represents because there are so many kinds of European films. I like to think that we have a lot of good, uncommercial films in Europe. I love Ingmar Bergman's films. His film Fanny & Alexander is one of my favourite films of all times. One European film which has made a big impression on me is the Italian film Una giornata particolare by Ettore Scola. Other good examples are the French films Le feu follet by Louis Malle and L'année dernière à Marienbad by Alain Resnais. Recently I was really impressed by the documentary Whore's glory by Michael Glawogger and the short movie Listen by Hamy Ramezan. 

Feeling European

As a European it's easy to travel in Europe which is great, and I try to do that as much as I can. I like that Europe is so multicultural. I've lived in

Helsinki, Madrid and Stockholm.

My film theatre

Small indie theatre situated on the very heart of Helsinki. Famous for quality programme.

Angelo Pichon – Cinema Quai Dupleix – Quimper (France)

 

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I am seventeen and I live in Elliant, a little village in Brittany next to Quimper. I recently took the Baccalaureate in Literature and in October I will start studying cinema and theater at the University.

Cinema since

I always loved watching movies. As a child, I spent my time watching Disney cartoons and Modern Times by Charlie Chaplin. I don't know why, but this movie had a huge impact on me when I was young. Then, when I was fourteen years old I began cinema lessons on Wednesday’s afternoons at school; theoretical and practical lessons were like a revelation to me and strengthened my attraction to movies.

Which cinema

Dramas and melodramas are the films that attract me the most. I also love films that talk about everyday life, with daily characters treated as heroes. This is why Jacques Tati is one of my favourite directors. I also love films that talk about samurais and some science-fiction films.

My 3 favourite films

It is not easy to choose three films, so I will mention the three films that struck me the most and that still have an influence on me: The Virgin Suicides by Sofia Coppola, Laurence Anyways by Xavier Dolan, and The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds by Paul Newman.

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Making my own films

I made with a friend a short film entitled You go. You can watch it on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WLB17Tw3d0

European cinema

European cinema represents for me diversity and cultural wealth, with different branches such as German expressionism, the Nouvelle Vague in France or the Movida in Spain. The European films that impress me the most are Pedro Almodovar ones.

Feeling European

 I really feel European and I often take part to youth camps that allow me to travel in other European countries. I had many exchanges experiences in Germany, in Poland and in Spain. I took also the

a

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dditional European course in my secondary school. What I really love is to have cultural exchanges with foreigners and to practice other languages.

My film theatre

I represent Quai Dupleix in Quimper, a cinema theatre who owns the tree labels “art”. It is where we used to go to watch movies within the cinema class. It is also a place where I go often. The staff is very passionate and close to the public. It is situated on the quays, so it is a very pleasant place.

Simon Ramshaw – Tyneside Cinema – Newcastle (Great Britain)

 

2015_28_ portrait_GB Simon Ramshaw

My name is Simon Ramshaw, born and raised in Newcastle in Northern England, and currently studying English Literature with Creative Writing at the university there too.

Cinema since

Enthusiastic about cinema from an early age, my fascination with the first batch of X-Men films spurred my father on to buy me a copy of Empire Magazine, adorned with Wolverine on its cover. Thus began my sordid but heartfelt love affair with the movies.

 

 

Which cinema

I am open to any films that are good, regardless of genre, but I must confess to having a very specific soft spot for epics from 1979.

My 3 favourite films

My two favourite films in all of existence are probably Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker and Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, both sublime and intimate in their inspections of the aspirations and distortions of the human soul. I’m also a massive fan of Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive, for completely different reasons (because it’s AWESOME).

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Writing about films online

I’ll be the co-editor of the Film section of Newcastle University’s student paper The Courier next year. I also log and blog my film-watching on social network Letterboxd , as well as writing for the online publication, Cuckoo Review

Making my own films

I was the cinematographer on Northern Stars’ multi-award-winning short documentary, I Am Sam, and also collaborate with others at the Tyneside Cinema’s Pop-Up Film School to develop our own projects, including a short parody of Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman. I have participated in three courses in association with Northern Stars and the British Film Institute, and have also had the honour of a BAFTA mentorship with local producer, Ed Barratt. 

European cinema

I am representing Newcastle’s own Europa Cinemas, the Tyneside Cinema, to which I am a frequent visitor. It has certainly helped open my eyes to a vast array of the European cinema; from Vera Chytilová’s Sedmikrásky (Daisies)

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and O necem jinem (Something Different), to their extensive European season, What Have the Europeans Ever Done For Us? Having sat through each of Sátántangó’s seven gruelling hours, I find myself drawn to European cinema.

I normally find that the most passionate and grounded cinema comes from modern Europe, and often draws out the rawest visceral feelings in the audience. I watched Yorgos Lanthimos’ disturbing black comedy Kynodontas (Dogtooth), and yet again, it was one of the many occasions where European cinema has laid bare the darkest, most fascinating and most unexpected aspects of humanity.

Feeling European

I must confess to having only been on mainland Europe for five days on a school trip to northern France when I was 14 years old, so it excites me massively to be going to another area of Europe that isn’t the Spanish islands or Cyprus. Having been a resident of Newcastle all my life, I am proud to be part of a continent that has such a large variety of culture and landscape.

Aristea Tomopoulou – Danaos – Athens (Greece)

 

2015_28_portrait_GR Aristea Tomopoulou

My name is Aristea and I was born and raised in Athens, Greece. When I was 18, I moved to Scotland to study Psychology. Four years later, I graduated from a small Scottish town called Stirling and moved to Edinburgh to study film.

Cinema since

When I was younger I was getting random films from the video rental shop all the time. I loved watching different films from different countries. I guess I always liked the idea of an alternative reality.

 

 

Which cinema

I like slow Cassavetes-like films where nothing really happens. But I also enjoy the noir genre and any good comedy.

My 3 favourite films

Nights of Cambiria, Federico Fellini

Late Spring, Yasujirô Ozu

The Green Ray, Eric Rohmer

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Writing about films online

I usually talk with friends and acquaintances about cinema and all the recent films I've seen but I don't have a blog or a forum yet.

European cinema

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European cinema feels very intimate to me. When I was younger I loved the French New Wave but as I was growing older, I started appreciating the Spanish surrealism of Buñuel and Saura as well as the British realism of Loach and Leigh. My favourite European cinema however is the Italian cinema. Fellini and Antonioni have shaped me a lot as a person and I have a special affection for their films. 

Feeling European

I try to travel as much as possible in Europe. I have lived in Greece and Scotland, two very different places with very similar people. I hope someday I will have the chance to live in Spain as well. 

My cinema

I represent Danaos cinema, the most acclaimed arthouse cinema in Athens. Danaos has always had the best films and I remember queuing with my friends every Friday after school to see films such as The White Ribbon by Michael Haneke and Waltz with Bashir by Ari Folman. I've seen some of my favourite films there. Now that I live in Scotland I rarely visit it but I have some really good memories from there.

Nikolina Hrga – Art-Kino Croatia – Rijeka (Croatia)

 

2015_28_portrait_HR Nikolina Hrga

I am 25 years old and I live, study and work in Rijeka. I graduated in Cultural studies of South-East Europe at Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences in Rijeka. After that, in October 2013 I enrolled my second MA, Media arts and practices at Academy of Applied Arts in Rijeka. Last few years, I attended many film workshops and master classes (mostly for screenwriting). I’m interested in film, literature and theatre. Finally, if I should describe myself in one word, I would say I am a storyteller.

Cinema since

Long time ago, in the age of VHS, my parents, my older sister and I were fanatic film consumers. That was a family thing, up to my high school age. I don’t remember my first cinema experience, but I know it was with my older sister. She introduced me to my biggest passions, film and literature. Even though I grew up in a working class family, with no artistic background, I believe those years of consuming and watching films as a part of everyday routine, led me to present state, being a film student, passionate movie lover, and hopefully, future filmmaker. So today, going to cinema (alone or with friends) is a necessity to me.

Which cinema

Above all the genres and categories, I like films with subversive potential, on intimate or social level. I like films that provoke all our senses and keep awake our imagination. I like aesthetics, style and stories of Woody Allen, Paul Thomas Anderson, Ingmar Bergman, David Lynch, Akira Kurosawa, Charlie Kaufman, Billy Wilder and Wim Wenders.

My 3 favourite films

There are many films that were important to me at certain phase of my life (and still are), but I will mention three quite different films that had an impact on me as a human and as a (future) filmmaker, on many different ways: Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Ikiru by Akira Kurosawa and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Miloš Forman.

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Making my own films

Two years ago I developed my first script for feature documentary with the support of Croatian Audiovisual Centre. Currently I am developing the same project with Croatian production company Fade In, again, with the support of Croatian Audiovisual Centre. Besides this feature documentary project, currently, I am working on my master thesis, my first short fiction movie I rest my case, which is now in its postproduction phase.

European cinema

I really like European artistic approach to film and watching European films can really give you an experience of travelling from one European country to another. I like European films, especially French, Spanish and Swedish.

Feeling European 

I can’t say I have any strong nationalistic feelings but I do like to say I live in a really nice part of the world, nice part of Europe, and finally, nice part of Croatia. I didn’t travel enough so I hope that my European journeys are yet to come. 

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My film theatre

I am representing Art-kino Croatia, a beautiful old cinema with new (antiplex) soul in Rijeka. They have constantly a great programme, cinephile staff and unique and intimate atmosphere.

Sámuel Barna – Cirko Gejzir Filmszinhaz – Budapest (Hungary)

 

2015_28_portrait_HU Samuel Barna

My name is Sámu, born and bred in Budapest. I am a second-year student of film studies at Eötvös Lóránd University. I work in a hostel as a receptionist and I often make short films in my free time.

Cinema since

When I was 7 or 8 years old, I helped my cousin shoot a horror movie during the Christmas break. I was the monster under the bed who grabbed the ankle of the heroine when she stepped out of bed.  It was really fun. The same evening we watched Beetlejuice by Tim Burton. I consider this day to be my first encounter with real cinema.

 

 

Which cinema

I like films which have something special to them regardless of the genre. It can be a unique plot, the way it is photographed, the acting, or any combination of these features.

My 3 favourite films

It is extremely difficult to choose my 3 favorite films, so I decided not to choose my favorites, but one Hungarian film, one by my favorite director Jim Jarmusch and one I have recently watched and liked a lot: Szindbád by Zoltán Huszárik, Night on Earth by Jim Jarmusch and Turist by Ruben Östlund

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Making my own films

I often make shorts, since my main goal in life is to become a film director.

My latest work is a trailer for a book by Ádám Nádasdy, a successful poet, translator and linguist. In this book, he decided to share his personal stories about living as a gay person in Hungary and elsewhere.

You can find the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=898iSYfv-Tc

My other recent short is about five women travelling around Budapest: https://vimeo.com/123413862

My first attempt to make a film is a short that won the second price at the National Secondary school Film Festival in 2013 (OKF2013). I am particularly proud of it, because the leading jury member of the festival was Miklós Jancsó: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQmJAIhz7Nw

European cinema

I believe that European cinema has always represented a unique way of filmmaking. I think we can call a film European when it has a message to the audience besides entertainment. Also, European cinema is really diverse. Films differ from country to country and from period to period, but a good European film always has a meaning to transfer.

Feeling European 

Although common European values and a European way of thinking have always existed to a certain extent, European identity as such, is quite a new idea that is taking shape these days. I like this idea and I am proud that I can be part of it.

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My film theatre

I represent the smallest cinema in Budapest. Though Cirko-Gejzír is not a multiplex, it offers a huge and unique variety of films to watch. They even screen films that other cinemas do not. I particularly like this cinema because I have at least one good film-watching memory in it, with almost all the people who are important to me.

Ross McDonnell – Irish Film Institut – Dublin (Ireland)

 

2015_28_portrait_IE Ross McDonnell

I was raised in County Clare before moving to Dublin to study. After finishing university earlier this year, I moved to London to work.

Why Cinema

I have poor ability to recall my childhood or keep track of time, and so I have few old memories related to cinema. Some newer memories feel old: the first film I saw alone in a theatre, Frances Ha by Noah Baumbach, was also the first film I saw in an empty theatre.

In the years since, I have become more emphatically infatuated with film as I began to distinguish what is specific to film, what is filmic, as opposed to what might make a literary text literary.

This approach to aesthetics interests me. Different modes of representation are fulfilling to different people in different ways. In a sense, a film like Frances Ha epitomises why I find films so compelling: thematically, it explores the relationship between people and art, while almost symmetrically, it experiments formally with the relationship between a story and how a story is framed.

Which cinema

It’s a trite, garbage answer, but I like to watch films of all sorts. My ideal film, though, might be, melancholy in tone but knowing enough to incorporate exuberance (however slight), and would approach implicitly subjects and universals, like time and loss.

My 3 favourite films

My current go-to film, Baisers volés (Stolen Kisses) revisits Truffaut’s imaginative/improvisational alter-ego Antoine Doinel, and rather playfully (if not boldly) repurposes the figure into a transfixing, charming screwball comedy. Like life, pain and pathos is carried over, but is met here with some resistance by Jean-Pierre Léaud’s very specific slapstick and newly cultivated clowning. Not as edgy as Léaud’s collaborations with Godard, Eustache and Pasolini, Baisers volés is instead an entirely tender, sensitive portrait of a hapless and lonely young adult. To temper the buoyant with the bleak, Persona is another too-obvious and too-safe pick, and though I might prefer the Scener ur ett äktenskap (Scenes from a Marriage) series, the remarkable intensity, and brevity of Ingmar Bergman’s stressful, confrontational Persona is undeniable. Visceral and nauseating, a-romantic and alienating, the film maniacally plots the unsettlingly steady deterioration of its central, split egos, and awfully successfully induces its own theatrical anxiety and trauma into the viewer. Finally, Kieślowski’s Red is a rare film that truly earns its optimism. At the same time intimate and ambitious, its novelistic balance of objective and subjective in the film (and its two compatriots, Blue, and White) accumulates several stories and generously suggests the dependence of each one on the other.

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European cinema

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I suppose I am optimistic about European cinema becoming more unified as international co-productions become more regular. I see it as twinned: a vast, recognised Western European canon (still reliably added to) and as well, innovative and forward-thinking filmmaking coming out of Central & Eastern Europe. My two favourite films this year are both European films: Mia Hansen-Løve’s Eden and Plemya (The Tribe) by Miroslav Slaboshpitsky.

My cinema

I am representing the Irish Film Institute, an arthouse cinema and national body I regularly visited when at university, fitting in a film between shifts at the library. 

Francesco Pierucci – Modernissimo – Naples (Italy)

 

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I was born in Naples 25 years ago.  I moved to Milan to study cinema. I graduated in History of Film with two dissertations about the violence of the silence in Kim Ki-duk’s movies and the guilt trip in Clint Eastwood’s films. I am a screenwriter and also a film critic. Last year I have also worked as an author for an advertising company.

Why cinema

Cinema is my life: I live for movies and movies live inside me. I grew up in a family of cinema exhibitors and I spent the most beautiful and important moments of my entire life in a movie theatre. I even celebrated my birthdays there. I really can’t imagine my existence without cinema.

 

Which cinema

I don’t have a favourite movie genre. I like almost everything: action, drama, comedy, noir, thriller. In wider terms I love movies that make me feel intense emotions.

My 3 favourite films

3-Iron was my first Kim Ki-duk’s movie. I love it because with its poetic silence is able to communicate better than words.

I’m very attached to Collateral by Michael Mann because in addition to being a wonderful thriller, it is also the last movie I saw with my uncle Alfredo before his death.

The third one is Mommy by Xavier Dolan, the most extraordinary movie of the last five years. It gives me a sense of freedom that makes me extremely happy and sad at the same time. I really fell in love with all the characters and I want to meet them again and again.

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Writing about films online

I have my own blog, Il Disoccupato Illustre (https://ildisoccupatoillustre.wordpress.com/ ), where I always post film reviews and special charts. I founded it myself and after few months some friends asked me to join. I am very happy about our work.

European cinema

European cinema is the cradle of life, it is the Tradition itself. It is a wonderful body that has a solid skeleton supported by great movie directors like Fellini, Bergman, Murnau, Lang, Lubitsch, Wylder, Hitchcock, Truffaut, and many others. I was really impressed by Bergman’s Persona and Fellini’s 8 ½ for the same “simple” reason: these masterpieces have changed my way of thinking.

Feeling European

Being European for me means having the duty to pass on and bequeath the history of ancient civilizations. In my free time I like to travel a lot across Europe. I have visited almost every European capital: Rome, Paris, London, Berlin, Lisbon, Madrid, Copenhagen, Athens, Warsaw, and Bucharest. I love them all.  I haven’t lived in another European city yet, but I am sure I will do it in the future.

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My cinema

I am representing the film theatre Modernissimo, located in the heart of Naples (Via Cisterna dell’Olio).  It was the first multiplex to open in the southern part of Italy in 1994. I go there at least once a week. I love that place because it represents the perfect idea of cinema: Modernissimo combines the tradition and the quality of old movies with the technological innovation of the latest movie theatres.  It is a perfect mix of old and new

Roxanne Peguet – Utopolis – Luxembourg (Luxembourg)

 

2015_28_portrait_LU Roxanne Peguet

My name is Roxanne Peguet, I am a 23-year-old film lover from Luxembourg. I am currently studying Cinema in Luxembourg City. I wrote my first long feature film in 2014, which is currently being shot, and some other short movies. Besides my studies, I work as a 1st Assistant Director on short films. I also act on stage and in front of the camera.

Why cinema

I’ve been introduced to cinema by my parents, who took me almost every weekend to the theatre. I think the moment I started to understand that cinema can be more than just entertainment, was when I saw The Departed when I was about 13 years old. Today, I’m convinced that this might have been the moment I fell in love with cinema and most especially with Martin Scorsese.

I love cinema because it is a combination of all the arts I loved as a kid and a teenager: literature, photography, music, acting, painting, etc.

Which cinema

I really enjoy mafia movies and thrillers. When I was younger I really loved Woody Allen’s older movies. I am also a big fan of the French Nouvelle Vague and the New Hollywood. I think there’s a magical atmosphere in these movies. Jim Jarmusch is also on my top list of directors, I absolutely love his style and how he portrays his characters.

My 3 favourite films

The first one might be The Departed by Martin Scorsese. As I already said, this was one of the first films that made me feel something, besides The Lion King. One of my favourite films from the last few years is Black Swan by Darren Aronofsky. Lastly, I am a big fan of Guillaume Canet’s work, so I decide to choose Little Withe Lies(Les petits mouchoirs) which I always love re-watching. Even if I know what is going to happen, I can’t help but cry every time. The actors did such an amazing work and the music is perfectly chosen.

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Making my own films

I co-wrote a short film two years ago with two other friends. The movie just came out in the theatres in spring 2015: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3530192/

I also wrote another movie on my own which is currently being shot.

European cinema

I am huge fan of European cinema, old and new. I’m mostly interested in French, Belgian, Spanish and of course, Luxemburgish cinema. I am really happy to see that our cinema has been developing quite well these last few years. The new generation of directors and cinematographers is really talented and I am already looking forward to working with them.

Feeling European

My mother is Portuguese and my father is French. Even if I’ve mostly lived in Luxembourg, I consider myself as a real European. I travel a lot through Europe. My favorite cities are London and Berlin. I really want to go to Ireland and the Scandinavian countries.

I also lived in Strasbourg and in France for two years, where I studied French literature and theatre.

My cinema

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I am representing the Utopia Group in Luxembourg. I really enjoy their multicultural programming and I am always surprised by the large choice of films they offer. The Utopia Group really supports local productions as well as European cinema.

I try to visit it as often as I can, which can be quite difficult sometimes due to the lack of time. They have also organised the Lux Film Festival for a few years; which is always a great opportunity to meet professionals and watch many interesting films in competition.

 

Zane Timonina – Ksuns – Riga (Latvia)

 

2015_28_portrait_LV Zane Timonina

I was born in Riga and I have never left my hometown for long periods (except for travelling). Currently I am studying Theory of Audiovisual and Performing Arts at Latvian Academy of Culture and trying to work on several projects at the same time.

Cinema since

I have been watching films with my ten years older brother since I can remember. My taste in films has changed ever since (although I still enjoy ‘80s/’90s action movies with Schwarzenegger and Stallone), but my love towards cinema has only grown. I do believe that cinema is art unlike others and that it owns some miraculous power, showing us the world through someone else’s eyes and letting us experience something outside the routine of our lives.

Which cinema

I like of all film genres. I enjoy a good thriller as much as a good fantasy film or comedy. Genre doesn’t matter. Production year doesn’t matter. A good film is that one that owns some kind of metaphysical value which is transmitted to the viewer and stays within us long after the end credits.

 

My 3 favourite films

Beauty and the Beast, by Jean Cocteau

Once Upon a Time in the West, by Sergio Leone

Ravenous, by Antonia Bird

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Writing about films online

I do not have my own blog, but I like to exchange opinions so I attend film screenings with following discussions and spend time in the company of fellow film lovers.

European cinema

European cinema is that indispensable counterweight against Hollywood production (although I don’t have anything against it). Even being a minority it manages to keep the intellectual cinema alive. Naturally, there are countless great European filmmakers from Vittorio de Sica to Ingmar Bergmann. If we speak about films, I love Godard’s Contempt (Le Mepris), I admire Herzog’s Aguirre, the Wrath of God (Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes) and most recently I was amazed by Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt (Jagten).

Feeling European

As I see it, living in Europe is a privilege. Cultural heritage, opportunities, intellectual society, - it is all here for us. Travelling really broadens our minds and encourages tolerance. I love to get acquainted with people from different countries so I try to travel as much as possible.

My cinema

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I am representing film theatre “K.Suns”. It is quite small and cozy film theatre in the heart of the capital that hides you from the daily rush. It is so peaceful here. If you truly love cinema, you should get the feeling. No awfully loud popcorn eaters, no intrusive ads, just people like you, the right atmosphere and the screen.

 

Giulia Privitelli – St James Cavalier – Valletta (Malta)

 

2015_28_portrait_MTGiulia Privitelli

I’ve been told I was born in Malta, twenty-three years ago and to my knowledge have been living on the island up to this very day. The greater part of these years was invested in getting good grades, without truly knowing what for. I still don’t, and yet here I am all buckled up for the final lap of this intellectually challenging road to getting a post-graduate degree in History of Art. Thankfully, bringing me out of those dim, musty corridors lined with volumes of ageing manuscripts is the Centre for Creativity at St James Cavalier.

Cinema since

By far the most memorable experience was that one time my parents treated my brother and myself to an unforgettable ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Audience!’ by Randal Kleiser (1994) in Disneyland Paris. I was seven years old then, but I can still recall the dog’s gross saliva splattered all over our faces, and the mice scuttling beneath our feet. At that point I knew the cinematic experience was a pretty amazing thing.

It’s just that – cinema has this way of creating a brief, temporary world which requires little to no effort for the audience to feel part of - we relate to the characters, feel for them, love them or hate them as if we’ve known them our entire life.  And what’s more? Everything is possible, anything can happen, and for once we can forget about being in control.

Which cinema

I love thinking. So any film which is thought-provoking is my kind of film. But I particularly look for films with a profound moral underpinning to them.

 My 3 favourite films

This is a tough question. Singling out three films, at the cost of definitely leaving out some films which in some way or another changed the way I look at life, is certainly not the kind of cookie I’d like to chew. But if I had to, I guess I could short-list three films which currently keep popping at the back of my mind:

Peter Weir’s, Dead Poets Society (1989) – because there can never be enough moments to remind us all how important it is to truly ‘seize the day.’

Hayao Miyazaki’s Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away) (2001) – A masterclass in imagination and creativity.

Adam Elliot’s Mary and Max (2009) – Nothing like a good claymation to portray the bitterness of solitude, the power of words, and the sweetness of friendship, no matter how odd or unlikely it is. 

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Taking pictures

I’m no photographer, but I do enjoy taking photographs and practicing simple digital manipulation techniques. Two years ago I challenged myself to take a photo a day throughout the entire year with any camera device, and at the end of each day shared the photo online on Facebook – just to train myself in looking for the unique in routine.  

European cinema

European films have an international feel which makes them immediately identifiable, where language, culture, history and setting all come together in what, at once, comes across as familiar, but at the same time, as innately distinct. Sadly however, they are terribly underrated, and under-represented in comparison to the non-European high-budget productions which make it to the majority of European cinemas, in their place.

Having watched films like Roman Polanski’s shockingly raw, The Pianist (2002), or Gilles Paquet-Brenner’s equally impressive, Sarah’s Key (2010), when it comes to European cinema I somehow find myself gravitating towards films with a shared theme or context - of a period in European history that has eternally stained all of mankind. 

But I also have a soft-spot for animations and a director who really stands out in terms of artistry, creativity, but mostly for the very grim, yet politically accurate representation of reality, is for me Sylvain Chomet – especially with films like Les Triplettes de Belleville and L’Illusionniste.

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Feeling European

Personally, I’m not sure whether I feel European or not, but it certainly does mean a lot. Being European, to me, means being connected. And that’s saying a lot for an island-dweller. Although I’m not quite sure what it means to live in another European country, I have crossed a fair share of European borders, and intend to keep doing so. It is truly quite addictive – and the people encountered and befriended along the way, makes it all the more so.

My film theatre

I am representing the Centre for Creativity at St James Cavalier, in Valletta – which houses a small, intimate cinema auditorium known for screening live broadcasts of operatic and theatrical productions, art-house films, documentaries, music and exhibition screenings, and is considered  as one of the favourite venues for film festivals, short film and competition screenings – both local and international. Essentially, it was the Centre for Creativity that generated my enthusiasm for films which don’t quite fall into the mainstream trend – and what better place to enjoy such contemporary screenings in a four-hundred-year-old-something-building with a rich historical legacy behind it? 

Aušra Umbrasaitė - Kino centras "Skalvija" – Vilnius (Lithuania)

 

2015_28_portrait_LT Aušra Umbrasaite

My name is Aušra. I was born and still live in Vilnius, the Capital city of Lithuania. This summer I graduated from high school and am about to study Animation in the Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts.

Cinema since

My father is a huge fan of classical films. Thanks to him I was introduced to directors like Tarkovsky and Antonioni in my early teenage years. Stalker and Blow up were replayed many times at home and I was simply caught by the mystery of cinema. I started attending the largest international film festival  in Lithuania “Kino Pavasaris” and sometimes even skipped some lessons in school (P.E., don't panic!) just to see as many films as I could during those two weeks. I also decided to witness the inner work of the film industry, so I became a student of the “Skalvija Film Academy” which was one of the best decisions I have made in my life so far. My teachers showed me the side of the filmmaking process that is invisible to most people and this is what led cinema to be one of my biggest passions. Cinema asks questions that I try to answer, sometimes it's vice versa but, no matter what, I am always left surprised and amazed.

Which cinema

I'm certainly not a fan of horror movies. Besides that, I try to watch as diverse types of films as possible, in order to have a bigger picture of cinema history and development. 

My 3 favourite films

Ida by Pawel Pawlikowski, Holy Motors by Leos Carax, Stalker by Andrei Tarkovsky.

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Writing about films online
Once in a while I write reviews for a local youth magazine.

European cinema

Europe is the place where cinema once began, developed and went through a lot of different phases to become what it is now:  free, with novel ideas and bold decisions that provide the viewers an exclusive pleasure. The European films that impressed me the most are: Ida by Pawel Pawlikowski, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Julian Schnabel and Amour by Michael Haneke.

Feeling European
Being a European means that I have a vast homeland, not limited to the tiny Baltic speck of land I reside in. I can freely travel through other countries and explore their cultures which, knowing my country's history, makes me an incredibly lucky person in an incredibly lucky generation.

My film theatre

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I represent « Skalvija » Cinema Center. I believe it's one of the most charming and magical places that brings together all the cinema lovers of Vilnius.  This film theatre provides different opportunities to see old classics and new non-commercial European and international films on a big screen. The « Skalvija Film Academy » students see this small place (it has only 1 screen and 88 seats!) as a second home. When the timing to watch a film is not compatible with my schedule, I often drop in just to grab a cup of coffee at its cosy cafeteria or say hello to friends and other cinephiles.

Jaëla Arian – Rialto – Amsterdam (Netherlands)

 

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I am Jaëla Arian, I am 20 years old and I was born in Amsterdam, where I spent my very first years of life. Then, from the age of 3 until the age of 13, I lived in the capitals of Papua New Guinea, Belgium and Ghana. Living in the Netherlands again, I will start in September my second year of Bachelor in Biology at the Wageningen University.

Why cinema

Living in various places gave me a great awareness of the diversity of cultures, people and nature. Films are the perfect way to learn more about this diversity. Moreover, every film gives us a new and unique perspective on life. That’s what I find wonderful with films: they can immerge you into another world.

My 3 favourite films

Although I am not so good in making “tops”, I can think of three films that left a strong impression on my mind: La meglio gioventù by Marco Tullio Giordana, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Milos Forman and Paris, Texas by Wim Wenders

They are classical movies and you probably have watched them already. But if not, I strongly urge you to do so!

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European cinema

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Over the past years I have travelled a lot within Europe with great pleasure. I always find it fascinating to see differences as well as similarities between the different member states. What I appreciate in European cinema is that it makes you discover our neighbors and their culture.

My film theatre

Two years ago, I collaborated with the Rialto movie theatre to create LA RIOT, a youth project that aims at making arthouse films more accessible to young people. LA RIOT is an independent group of students who have a blog where we write critics about the newest arthouse films. We also organize several movie nights during the year such as premiere screenings. Thanks to the Rialto and to this project, I can fully live my passion and satisfy my curiosity for arthouse cinema. 

Łukasz Raszewski – Kino Muza – Poznań (Poland)

 

2015_28_portrait_PL Łukasz Raszewski

My name is Łukasz and I'm a 25-years-old film lover from Poznań, Poland. A month ago I graduated in medicine and soon I will make my first steps as medical doctor. But to keep it real, aside from my love to medicine, I am truly passionate about cinema – the world of multiple realities, extreme characters and mastery of sound and image. Cinema is where I found my freedom and going to Venice is like fulfilling a dream that I've never dared to imagine.

Cinema since

I was raised in a small town called Bełchatów. The only cinema there was struggling to survive and was screening mediocre film adaptations of set books or US blockbusters. Until the age of 16 I didn't really care about films.

After moving out to Poznań I had the chance to widen my film horizons, since here are a couple of cinemas screening art-house films, with diversified repertoire and holding a bunch of film events and festivals. I always state that cinema is a wide open window on the world and that's what I appreciate the most – films give me a chance to travel in time and across the world whenever I want.

Which cinema

I try not to enclose in genres. I enjoy watching films that are able to show both the mechanisms of society and the introspective view on characters: their personal desires or intentions. Films need to reflect the concerns of human beings –as individual or as group. I prefer films that multiply questions and trigger discussions. I take every chance to watch films – no matter if they are black and white or colour movies; from 50's or 00's; polish or Chinese, comedy or drama.

My 3 favourite films

Bom yeoreum gaeul gyeoul geurigo bom(Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring) by Ki-duk Kim

Tystnaden(The Silence) by Ingmar Bergman

Monsieur Lazhar by Philippe Falardeau 

 

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Writing about films online

I usually use filmweb.pl which enables me to rate films and discuss about them. It is the second largest film database on the Internet, so it provides all important news from the film world

European cinema

European cinema is diversified but the basis of its diversity is freedom. Our cinema is independent, not afraid of experiments and causing controversy, aiming at artistic success rather than the financial one. I've recently watched Plemya (The Tribe) by Miroslav Slaboshpitsky - perfectly filmed from technical side, made in sign language, filled with strong emotions and posing tough questions. But what I found amazing about this film was that the cinema was full of viewers using sign language. This is the true definition of European cinema: uniting despite barriers.

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Feeling European

 I try to travel as often as possible. I worked in volunteering camps in Spain and Portugal where I met amazing people from the whole world and had the opportunity to help local communities in achieving their goals. I've tried hitchhiking several times and realised that on every spot of Europe you can meet open-minded and cheerful people with unbelievable stories in their hearts.

My film theatre

I represent Kino Muza in Poznań - home for all real cinemagoers in town. Muza is a place where everything can happen – they show art-house films, screen retrospectives, hold film festivals like Animator, Afrykamera or Transatlantyk or screenings with live music. Muza will always soothe you with coffee and cake or keep you in shape with Kino Dynamo event. So how could I not love Muza?!

Jacopo Wassermann – Cinema City Alvalade– Lisbon (Portugal)

 

2015_28_portrait_PT Jacopo Wassermann Selfie

My name is Jacopo Wassermann, and I’m 25 years old. I was born in San Vito al Tagliamento in December 1989, and grew up in Pordenone. I am currently studying in Lisbon, at Universidade Lusófona, for my Master’s degree in Film Studies.

Why cinema

I remember being genuinely interested in cinema as a kid, and reading film criticism on a regular basis ever since I turned 10. I am attracted to cinema as I believe it is, at the same time, a private and a popular kind of art. Cinema makes it possible for the two dimensions to coincide.

Which cinema

I used to be quite smitten with the horror genre, especially with monster movies and crime films. I still like them, but eventually my scope widened and included other kinds of pictures. Nowadays, I am more into character-driven dramas, but I still like genre cinema a lot, especially thriller and noir.

My three favourite films

Three among my favorite films are: Heat by Michael Mann; Barry Lyndon by Stanley Kubrick; Bis ans Ende der Welt (Until the End of the World) by Wim Wenders.

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Writing about films online

I used to participate in a film forum dedicated to horror films, called Horror Magazine , and also had a blog where I was occasionally writing about movies. Nowadays, I prefer to engage in discussions with my fellow cinema-going friends and colleagues at the university.

The only social media I use regularly is Facebook, but I also have an account on Stage 32 .

Do you make films yourself

I have made some amateur films and either directed or participated in a few university projects. Some of them are online, though most are not. Here is the link to a short I made: https://vimeo.com/50420707 .

European cinema

To me, European cinema is like a fractal universe attempting to impose a shared thread on itself. Still, beyond its contradictions, it’s a fertile, highly productive environment, offering work possibilities that are not based on financial gain.

As a brief, personal selection of European films that deeply affected me, I would name: Faust by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, Once Upon a Time in the Revolution (Giù la testa), by Sergio Leone, Dogville by Lars von Trier.

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Feeling European

To be European is to be a part of a diverse community, who is, nonetheless, united by common principles and dreams. Other than in my home country, I have previously lived in Denmark and France, and I’m currently residing in Portugal.

My cinema

I am representing Cinema City Alvalade, situated near the university quarter in Lisbon. Since I live close by, it has been a constant reference for me, especially to follow limited releases of contemporary Portuguese cinema. I remember quite fondly, for example, A Mãe e o Mar (The Mother and the Sea) by Gonçalo Tocha and Pára-me de repente o pensamento(Suddenly My Thoughts Halt), by Jorge Pelicano, according to me among the best movies released in their respective years.

Oana Ghera – Cinema Elvire Popescu – Bucharest (Romania)

 

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I’m Oana, an aspiring film critic from Romania. I studied Film Studies and Screenwriting at the UNATC in Bucharest. I write for Film Menu, a Romanian based film magazine and I work for NexT Film Festival, an international festival dedicated to short films. I’m a professional cinephile, as I Iike to call myself.

Cinema since

I fell in love with cinema when I was about five and my parents first took me to the local cinema, in Zimnicea, the town where I was born and raised. I don’t remember much about the film, but I keep a vivid memory of that old movie theatre, the dusty smell, the darkness, the flash of light, the magic. That cinema closed long ago and now I live in Bucharest, yet the feeling I have whenever I walk into a cinema remains the same. It’s pure amazement. Then again, I find cinema to be the most powerful artistic medium in contemporary society. It’s the power of touching hundreds of people at a time, the power of mirroring both the outside world and our inner imaginary one and that of purporting ideologies, for better or for worse.

Which cinema

I’d rather not classify films in categories, yet my personal preferences include from science fiction to documentaries, passing through film noir or rom-coms.  But to restrain a bit, I’m interested in films that play with convention, pushing the boundaries of the cinematographic medium further and further away. The way Pedro Costa, Miguel Gomes or Corneliu Porumboiu do it, to mention just a few names in today’s cinema, is what constantly surprises me. And I’m even more interested in the history of cinema, in recuperations from the past. 

My 3 favourite films

À bout de souffle by Jean Luc Godard, L’eclisse by Michelangelo Antonioni, Out 1, noli me tangere by Jacques Rivette.

 

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Writing about films online

I use Mubi, a platform that allows you to see films online and rate them and I’ve moderated for quite a while discussions about certain films at the Film Menu Cineclub (the good old fashioned way).

European cinema

I don’t necessarily make a distinction between European cinema and the cinema of the rest of the world. There’s a difference between the two big industrial models, you cannot compare Hollywood and national cinema of European countries in terms of production. Otherwise, it’s just cinema for me.  Yet it’s interesting that the films that had the greatest influence in my becoming as a film critic and cinephile are the European ones. As already said, the films of Godard, Antonioni, Rivette. And the list can easily continue.

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Feeling European

Well, I first travelled outside the country thanks to the Comenius project, just a while after Romania became part of the European Union. Nonetheless, I didn’t necessarily feel that I was automatically part of a bigger community. I didn’t feel “more European” other than from a geographical point of view. I rather felt like I was transported to a very different world than my own and that was a great experience. Now travelling is part of my normal life. Going here and there, I don’t pay much attention to the differences in lifestyle and culture anymore. Maybe I would live in another country for a longer period, even I haven’t done that yet.

My film theatre

Cinema Elvire Popesco is one of the few art-house cinemas in Bucharest and one of my personal favourite thanks to its location in the center of the city and the varied programming. It’s also a screening location for most of the film festivals in Bucharest and that makes me spend quite often a whole day there. Otherwise, all year round I go to Elvire Popesco twice a month, I guess.

Katja Skärlund – Angereds Bio – Gothenburg (Sweden)

 

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I am a twenty-one-year-old girl raised in the quite small town of Eskilstuna, in the middle of Sweden. Last autumn I moved to Gothenburg to study. I am currently studying for my Bachelor's degree in Culture Studies with a film profile. In addition, I work as a volunteer at a small cinema in the suburb. Other than cinema, I like fashion and food.

Cinema since

I come from a family with a very distinguished interest for art. Cinema was especially very important to my mother, and the love for the visual arts was something that was brought on to me and my brother from an early age. Watching a film has never been only entertainment and going to the cinema always meant a discussion and a long conversation afterwards. She always pointed out that you should watch a movie with the same concentration, respect and critical gaze that you might use to look at an art exhibition. To this day that is what cinema is to me, not only a way to be entertained, but an opportunity to discover something.

Which cinema

The films that really get to me, and stay with me, are the slow dramas. Especially the visual ones, as I can watch a film for the photography alone. I prefer films that take time and show the ugliness of reality in a beautiful way.

My 3 favourite films

We need to talk about Kevin by Lynne Ramsay

Laurence Anyways by Xavier Dolan
 The Royal Tenenbaums by Wes Anderson

 

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Writing about films online

I have just started a blog (lgh1517.blogspot.com ), where I hopefully will write a lot about films. 

European cinema

European cinema is a wide spectrum, but I think that Europe has a high value of culture and appreciate the power of cinema. I would like to believe that the European film scene has a natural place for smaller and different kind of movies and therefore encourages filmmakers to try new things and tell new stories.

I believe that the line between mainstream cinema and the more artistic quality films is not clearly definite, but the two blur into each other. Unfortunately, it is easy to underestimate European cinema in comparison to the giant American industry, and it is easy to miss the genius works of Nordic filmmakers.

Feeling European

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I am very privileged to have been born and raised in Europe, and especially thankful for the many, many travels I have been able to take part in. Since I was a child my parents have taken me around Europe, and of course, that has contributed to the fact that I have consumed a great part of European art, cinema and culture. This is something that I have and will continue with.

My film theatre

I am representing the small cinema Angereds Bio, it is a sister-cinema to the larger Haga Bion in Gothenburg. But my cinema is a very small one with only a handful of employees and volunteers, it is located in the suburb and we work together to make it work. It only shows a couple of films per week, and tries to host discussions and other events around it. 

Maja Šetinc – Art Cinema Odeon – Izola (Slovenia)

 

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I was born and raised in a town called Krško which is situated in the south-eastern part of Slovenia along the banks of the river Sava. Six years ago I left home to study Communication, Media and Slovene language at the Faculty of Humanities in Koper. During my studies I attended different lectures related to cinema and I worked on the public broadcasting service RTV Slovenia (writing articles, making interviews, presenting news, editing films). I also have some experience in filmmaking. I am currently working for the Slovenian production company Luksuz Produkcija. Besides that I work on a project of the Collected Works of Primož Trubar. Finally, for my master’s degree I am filming a documentary about gramophone records in today’s “digitalised society”.

Cinema since

Ever since I can remember I have loved watching films. I have often borrowed videotapes and later DVDs from video rental shops and libraries. Nonetheless my great passion is going to the cinema and recently also to film festivals in Slovenia. Luckily there was a cinema near the primary and secondary schools so I was often watching films with my schoolmates, friends and also with my family. I will never forget how my family and I were rushing from holidays to see Titanic at the cinema.

Sadly in these days the film theatre is not the first place where to watch films for most people. Some local cinemas were even closed for several years but have recently reopened. For me, watching a film at a cinema gives a better experience than watching it at home because it is like an event. You have to dress properly, go to a specific destination, buy the tickets, meet people and be punctual. It is comparable to listening to music on a vinyl rather than listening to it on a computer. You cannot do it every day and everywhere, you need to take time for it, prepare yourself and enjoy it without any interruption. But at the end it is worth it.

Which cinema

For me it is important that a film has an interesting and logical story, good dialogues, precisely defined characters and a quality comical input. Therefore I prefer watching dramas and comedies. I am not a fan of action and science-fiction films because most of them use computer-generated images over quality story and characters. Since childhood my passion has also been horror films. It is a shame that this genre is now not as powerful and influential as it used to be.

My 3 favourite films

It is almost impossible to shortlist my favourite films to only three. However I have decided to list some of the films that I have watched more than five times. They are interesting because every time I watch them they touch me emotionally and they open topics for further discussion.

-          La leggenda del pianista sull'oceano by Giuseppe Tornatore (1998)

-          Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles by Neil Jordan (1994)

-          Kekec by Joze Gale (1951)

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Writing about films online

I do not participate in film forums or blogs. However I love to read about cinema in Slovene film magazines and learn about films from books and web pages. I often have debates with my friends about the films we have watched and the upcoming ones on the cinema screens.

Making my own films and taking pictures

I contributed to shoot some short films in collaboration with the Slovenian film production company Luksuz Produkcija. You can find one of them here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gxgF9bgdPU .

I am currently making a documentary for my master’s degree, the working title is “Viniliada: Life of gramophone records”. It includes interviews with people who are related to the vinyl culture in different ways, for example interviews with the owner of a vinyl records shop, a DJ using vinyl records, a musician who decided to release his album on a vinyl record, vinyl collectors etc.

European cinema

European cinema represents films from different cultures, nations and perspectives. I find it important because it promotes diversity. Some of the films which impressed me the most are La vie d'Adèle by Abdellatif Kechiche (2013), En duva satt på en gren och funderade på tillvaron by Roy Andersson (2014) and Tatjana in Motherland by Miha Čelar (2014).

Feeling European

Being European means having the freedom to study, live, work, travel, shop, create, express yourself and many more things without being limited to one city or country. I have been to most of the European countries but I have never lived abroad.

My film theatre

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I am very thankful to Ms. Petra Božič and professor Ernest Ženko for giving me the opportunity to represent Art kino Odeon. It is in Izola which is close to Koper, where I was studying. Every year Art kino Odeon organises the international film festival Kino Otok – Isola Cinema which I visited a few times. Due to an inefficient public transportation I could not go to Odeon cinema as much as I would have loved to. Nonetheless I manage to go to cinema at least once a month.

 

Gregor Valentovič – Mladosť – Bratislava (Slovakia)

 

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My name is Gregor Valentovic and I am from Slovakia. I am a student of the Film Faculty of the University of Performing Arts in Bratislava, directing course. This is my second bachelor degree, having finished my film production bachelor course last year. So obviously, I am into cinema a lot. I also work as a part time English teacher.

Cinema since

I’ve always loved cinema but never really considered it as my possible future job field. I only decided to study it in my final year of high school. To be honest Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings both played a crucial part for me to start watching movies and reading books when I was a kid. Now this passion has become a whole lot bigger than that and I am quite sure movies are something I want to do for the rest of my life. I love how cinema is able to connect all the possible forms of art.

 Which cinema

I do not have a specific favourite genre; I try to see every movie for what it is, being a science-fiction movie or a subtle drama revolving around two people in one room. What I am looking for is authenticity. I adore the magical feeling and the inexplicable moment while watching a movie when you realize that this is perfect, this is life. It is cathartic, it can make you walk around for the following two weeks or months like a sleep-walker. And you know that it has changed you. I know it sounds silly, but it’s true.

My 3 favourite films

Vertigo by Alfred Hitchcock

Three Colors: Red by Krzysztof Kieslowski

Before Sunrise by Richard Linklater

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Making my own films

I made a short film named Rieka (River), you can watch it online here: https://vimeo.com/122860313  

European cinema

European cinema is the most inspiring of all to me. I do enjoy watching movies made around the world but this is something that is close to me, I understand it the best and it is much easier for me to identify with. The majority of my favorite filmmakers and movies come from here too.

Feeling European

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To be honest, I do not think about being European or even being Slovak on a daily basis. I believe that feelings of patriotism have often led to feelings of strong nationalism which I do not embrace. What I can say is that I think that Europe is a beautiful, multi-cultural place with rich history and I am extremely lucky to have been born in this part of the world.

I do travel around Europe but I am not a travel enthusiast. I am especially fond of Scandinavian countries, particularly Denmark. I have also studied in the UK and Czech Republic.  

My film theatre

I am representing a beautiful little art-house theatre called Mladost’ which could be translated as “Youth”. It is located in the city centre of Slovakia´s capital, Bratislava. I try to visit it as much as possible because the selection of movies is the top quality of art-house productions over the world, both classics and first releases.

 

27 Times Cinema Archive

News

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