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Australia's New European Film Festival Europa! Europa Has Unveiled Its 43-Movie Lineup

Heading to Sydney and Melbourne in February, it'll open with Tilda Swinton's latest — and screen Cannes-premiering gems, Oscar submissions and the new film from 'Climax' director Gaspar Noé.
By Sarah Ward
January 17, 2022
By Sarah Ward
January 17, 2022

When word arrived in 2021 that Australia was getting a new European-focused film festival, it couldn't have been better news for movie lovers. Europa! Europa is all about showcasing flicks from across the whole continent, so you can see the latest and greatest titles from France, Spain, Italy, Romania and more all at the one event — and, ahead of its February debut in Sydney and Melbourne, the fest has just revealed its full inaugural 2022 program.

In total, 43 features from 42 countries will grace the festival's screens during its runs in both capitals, which'll kick off on Friday, February 4 and play through until Sunday, February 27 — at Sydney's Ritz Cinemas in Randwick, and Melbourne's Classic Cinemas in Elsternwick and Lido Cinemas in Hawthorn. If you can't wait till the nation's country-specific fests arrive later in the year, such as the standalone French and Italian events, or until Sydney Film Festival and the Melbourne International Film Festival roll around for 2022, there's plenty to tempt you into a darkened theatre this summer.

Opening the lineup is The Souvenir Part II, sequel to 2019's exceptional The Souvenir — which means that Europa! Europa is launching with the new team-up between rising star Honor Swinton Byrne and her mother Tilda Swinton. The follow-up picks up where the first movie left off, with Swinton Byrne's aspiring filmmaker attempting to cope with the tragic events of the last flick, all while she shoots her next project. Once again directed by British helmer Joanna Hogg, it'll start the festival in sublime form. (And if you're keen to see the original, it's on the bill as well.)

Also bookending the fest: closing night's France from inimitable writer/director Bruno Dumont (Joan of Arc, P'tit Quinquin). A satire of the media industry, it stars No Time to Die and The French Dispatch's Léa Seydoux as a journalist forced to navigate the aftermath of injuring a pedestrian in a traffic accident.

Other standouts include 13 films that were submitted as their country's entries for this year's Best International Feature Film Oscar, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina's social-realist fairytale The White Fortress and North Macedonia's Sisterhood, which is about toxic friendships — and a number of titles that wowed last year's Cannes Film Festivals, like Norwegian supernatural thriller The Innocents and the Before Sunrise-esque train-set love story Compartment No 6.

Or, there's also Andrea Arnold's (American Honey) Cow, aka the most gripping and moving documentary portrait of a dairy cow's life that you're ever likely to see; Earwig, the English-language debut of acclaimed French director Lucile Hadžihalilovic (Innocence, Evolution); Vortex, which sees Climax filmmaker Gaspar Noé swap his usual wild fare for an Amour-style look at ageing; and No Fucks Given, starring Blue Is the Warmest Colour's Adèle Exarchopoulos as a flight attendant for a low-cost airline.

And yes, if you've spotted more than a few high-profile European directors mentioned above, that's because highlighting the best filmmakers the continent has is also one of Europa! Europa's big aims.

Europa! Europa will screen in Sydney and Melbourne between Friday, February 4–Sunday, February 27. For more information or to buy tickets, head to the festival's website.

Published on January 17, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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