EFP to present Changing Face of Europe programme at Hot Docs

EFP to present Changing Face of Europe programme at Hot Docs


Lessons of Love by Polish filmmakers Malgorzata Goliszewska and Kasia Mateja


European Film Promotion (EFP) unveiled April 14 2020 its Changing Face of Europe programme which it runs in collaboration with Hot Docs International Documentary Festival. 


The programme will run online April 30 to May 31 despite the festival’s postponement due to coronavirus. The festival’s public screenings have been postponed and will be rescheduled at a later date.


The 10-documentary Changing Face of Europe presentation is part of the Hot Docs Industry All-Access Online programme. The films, which “give a unique and unconventional insight into the reality of contemporary European life,” will be presented to buyers, distributors and programmers through the films’ participation in the Doc Shop, Hot Docs’ online market that offers access to curated playlists of documentary titles on-demand and the hub for this year’s industry content. 


The makers of the 10 selected docs are invited to participate in the new digital industry programme which includes case studies and gatherings at the Distribution Rendezvous. 


In addition, directors and producers of films in The Changing Face of Europe programme will be brought together with key distributors, buyers and festival programmers via virtual one-to-one meetings arranged by EFP.


The documentaries in the programme were selected by the festival, based on recommendations by EFP member organizations. Seven of the 10 films are by female directors or female director teams.


“For the third year, Hot Docs is honoured to partner with EFP to present a selection of documentaries, offering unique perspectives and engaging stories that give us a glimpse of a Europe in transition,” said Shane Smith, Hot Docs Director of Programming. “The program also introduces us to the talent behind the camera, skilled filmmakers destined to make their mark on the documentary world.”


Added EFP Managing Director Sonja Heinen: “We are very happy and thankful to the festival that, despite this difficult situation, we have the opportunity to bring European stories to the world and to connect filmmakers digitally with important decision-makers. Nothing has changed in our mission, namely to promote the diversity of outstanding European documentaries throughout the world.”


In Always Amber Lia Hietala and Hannah Reinikainen follow their protagonist over a period of three years capturing Amber’s search for sexual identity, friendship and love. The Swedish production premiered at this year’s Berlinale. 


Ana Aleksovska’s debut Consuming Contemporary introduces us to several socially excluded seniors who are longing for togetherness and community and, to compensate for the lack of this, attend cultural events in Skopje – uninvited – which attracts the disapproval of the social elite. 


Dead Souls Vacation by Georgian director Ekaterine Chelidze is a portrait of the formerly successful Georgian musician Levan Svanidze, who tries to regain success while living in a tiny apartment with his 84 year old mother Lamara. 


Ksenia Okhapkina’s Estonian production Immortal focuses on the rigid structure of life in a small industrial city in Russia and portrays the people who continue to live as before, although the old system has broken down. For her feature-length documentary debut the Russian director was awarded the Grand Prix for Best Documentary Film at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival. 


The Icelandic director Yrsa Roca Fannberg made The Last Autumn as a long farewell to the rural life of a shepherd living within a small community in the northwest of Iceland. For the last time, Ulfar and his wife will be herding their sheep from the hills down to the farm. 


“This part of life belongs to me”, proclaims the protagonist Jola in Lessons of Love. The Polish filmmakers Malgorzata Goliszewska and Kasia Mateja lovingly and poetically portray a woman going her own way after separating from her abusive husband of 45 years.


A Pleasure, Comrades! by Portuguese filmmaker José Filipe Costa was premiered out of competition at Locarno Film Festival. The film recounts life and life concepts in the rural co-operatives established throughout the country after the 1975 Carnation Revolution, through re-enactments with original members of these communes. 


Reunited by Danish director Mira Jargil tells of the dramatic separation of a family that has to leave their country because of the Syrian civil war. While the parents have fled to Denmark and Canada, their two little sons are stuck in Turkey. 


Res Creata by Italian director Alessandro Cattaneo is about the ancient, conflicting and manifold relationship between the human being and the animal. 


Two Roads, directed by filmmaker and producer Radovan Síbrt (Czech Producer on the Move 2018) is about the members of the band The Tap Tap, all of whom are disabled (or as they cynically call themselves, crippled). The Tap Tap orchestra and the film illustrate how some of life’s most difficult obstacles can be overcome.


The following EFP members support the Changing Face of Europe programme: Czech Film Centre, Danish Film Institute, Estonian Film Institute, Georgian National Film Centre, Icelandic Film Centre, Instituto do Cinema e do Audiovisual I.P./ICA (Portugal), Istituto Luce Cinecittà, North Macedonia Film Agency, Polish Film Institute, Swedish Film Institute.