Festival History: 2021

Finally back at the Festival! - Crossing Europe draws a positive balance in a challenging year

„You go to the movies to keep the world out. Focused movie-watching, free of distraction, that’s what we missed. But what does the screen show? The world, or in the case of Crossing Europe, European worlds. Those we missed too. So off to the cinema: Watching Europe.“ Anna Katharina Laggner / fm4.orf.at (AT)

Crossing Europe draws a positive balance! After one year of a forced break due to the pandemic, the CROSSING EUROPE Film Festival in Linz was able to realize its goal of presenting ambitious European film and offering the possibility to enter into a direct exchange with the attending film guests. CROSSING EUROPE 2021 was one of the first festivals in Europe that was able to take place as an in-person film event in June.
We were very happy to see that the festival audiences were not deterred by the necessary access rules due to Corona (the check of the mandatory security measures, wearing an FFP2 mask in the cinema, and maintaining a distance of at least two meters from other people). In spite of the summer weather particularly young cinephiles engaged with the festival both online and in-person. A total of 90 film guests from both in and outside the country were in attendance and were available for Q&As with the audiences – with a mask and keeping their distance. For a great number of the directors this was the very first opportunity they had to present their new works to a live audience. Around five hundred accredited industry guests (industry, press, and film students) were able to experience an exciting festival week in the Upper Austrian capital.
The program during the festival week encompassed a total of 123 feature films and documentaries from 40 different countries – this included 95 premieres (24 world premieres, and 71 Austrian premieres). In keeping with a well-balanced gender programming, 50% of the films shown in the competition section and 41% of all films shown were (co-)directed by women.
Because of the legal regulations due to the pandemic, the number of films and screenings had to be slightly reduced, as the late night screenings had to be canceled due to the legal closing time being 10 PM. Additionally,  part of the established supporting program could not take place this year (e.g. the Nightline), or took place online (talk events such as the “Tribute Talk: Ivan Ostrochovský” and the “YAAAS! Close-Up”), and the popular YAAAS! School Screenings were only offered to closed school class groups.
For all film-fans who couldn’t attend for different reasons, the Crossing Europe-VOD-premieres offered a virtual glimpse into the festival. A selection of ten movies from ten different countries was available on the Austrian streaming service from 6 June until 6 July.
CROSSING EUROPE 2021 was also the last festival edition under the longtime direction of Christine Dollhofer. After 18 years of successful work she will pass on the leadership role to Sabine Gebetsroither and Katharina Riedler.
Conclusion: Of course audience numbers in 2021 have to be viewed in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact. The adjustments described above naturally lead to a reduction of attendees in comparison to the 2019 edition, which was attended by over 24 000 visitors. We were very happy to see that the festival audiences accepted our invitation to join us on a journey all across Europe on the silver screen, despite the prevailing exceptional state of the world. Around 10 000 festival visitors were proof, that the longing for European cinema stays unbroken during times of crisis.


Audience number: 10.000 (due to Corona-related restrictions, only 67% of the seat capacity could be used compared to 2019)
Films: 123
World premieres: 24
Countries of origin:  40
Film guests: 90
Award winners 2021: HERE
Jury 2021: HERE
Film archive 2021: HERE
Tribute 2021: HERE