With a mix of fiction and documentary works, the films largely present a portrait of contemporary Europe during a period of tremendous flux. The festival films hail from countries that include Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, and Spain.
The 2017 edition of Panorama Europe Film Festival kicked off on 5 May in New York City with the screening of King of the Belgians (Flanders, Belgium, 2016), a delightful faux-documentary, in which the King of Belgium finds himself on a wayward comic road trip through the Balkans.
This year’s festival will also feature Do Re Mi Fa, a film by Maltese director Chris Zarb, that has already won international awards and accolades including the Award of Merit at IndieFest, USA 2015, the Marché du Film - Festival de Cannes, France 2016 and the OFFICIAL SELECTION - Los Angeles CineFest, USA 2016. Set in Malta, Do Re Mi Fa focuses on four characters’ explosive tales of life in contemporary Malta. This all-too-rare example of Maltese cinema tackles a host of hot-button issues - from the refugee crisis to mental illness - with a mix of dark surrealism and unflinching candor.
Other Festival highlights include Safari, a riveting new documentary about European hunters in Africa by the Austrian director Ulrich Seidl; Swagger, a vibrant new French documentary exploring the rich inner lives of eleven teenagers growing up in one of France's most diverse neighborhoods; The Erlprince, a mind-bending Polish science-fiction fairytale about a teenage physics genius and his overbearing mother; and 1945, by director Ferenc Török, a powerful and beautifully made film from Hungary about the arrival of two Orthodox Jews in a remote village just after the end of the war.
The Maltese film Do Re Mi Fa will receive it’s US premiere screening during this Festival, with the first screening on 14 May at the Museum of Moving Image and the second on 16 May at the Bohemian National Hall.
Programmed by David Schwartz, the Museum’s Chief Curator, and Eric Hynes, Associate Curator of Film, in collaboration with partner institutions, Panorama Europe Film Festival 2017 offers New York audiences what may be their only chance to see these acclaimed films on the big screen.
The Chief curator David Schwartz commented that: “The films this year feel edgier and more vibrant than previous editions, perhaps reflecting the anxieties and rapidly changing realities in present-day Europe. While most European countries are steeped in history and tradition, the feeling one gets from the films featured here is that national and personal identity are up for grabs. The Museum is very pleased to present this showcase, which is filled with New York premieres of films by major emerging directors.”