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Opening 2018: The European Grandma Project

In keeping with tradition, CROSSING EUROPE also opens this year with a total of five works representing the artistic and thematic diversity of the festival program and kicking off this anniversary edition with an invitation to a fascinating filmic survey of Europe. Today we are happy to announce the first of this year’s opening night premieres.

Directors: Alenka Maly, Hadas Neuman, Fleur Nieddu, Anna Ólafsdóttir, Giorgia Polizzi, Berke Soyuer, Desislava Tsoneva, Maria Tzika, Ekaterina Volkova
Program Section: Local Artists; length: 80 min.; www.european-grandma-project.eu/

Alenka Maly, film director and actress from Linz, took her own intensive “conversation relationship” with her grandmother as the starting point for the realization of the European Oral History film project THE EUROPEAN GRANDMA PROJECT. With the motto “Grandmothers telling their versions of European history”, in 2015 she launched a European-wide call and found eight like-minded filmmakers, who created portraits of their grandmothers in parallel to one another in Israel, Greece, Italy, Iceland, Bulgaria, Russia, England, Turkey and Austria. These women, born in the 20s and early 30s of the last century, tell their filmmaking granddaughters about war, political upheavals, love, and everyday life in their time in Europe. Almost all the grandmothers are over ninety years old; they recall anecdotes, love stories, and terrible tragedies as they go about their everyday activities, have their hair done, or simply rest – and all of that with captivating openness and subtle humor.

Alenka Maly and her colleagues have succeeded in capturing an authentic panorama of European history on film and creating a small cinematic memorial for a group of strong women, which offers an insight into the dark chapters of European history of the 20th century for the generations born later.

// The film will be presented during the festival opening on 25 April with the nine filmmakers Alenka Maly (AT), Hadas Neuman (IL), Fleur Nieddu (GB), Anna Ólafsdóttir (IS), Giorgia Polizzi (IT), Berke Soyuer (TR), Desislava Tsoneva (GB), Maria Tzika (GR), Ekaterina Volkova (RU) present. //