Opening Films 2019

10.04.2019 //

As is tradition, CROSSING EUROPE will open with multiple films this year that stand for the great variety of contemporary European cinema, and also offer a cross section of this year’s program.

The openings on April 25 are spearheaded by the Berlinale award winner (SYSTEMSPRENGER), will show a radicalized Denmark shaken by dystopia and political unrest (DANMARKS SØNNER), will be dedicated to the Upper Austrian photographer Elfie Semotan (ELFIE SEMOTAN, PHOTOGRAPHER – Preview), and will show two women fighting for their right to their own story and personal good fortune (PETRA and BOTA). A number of guests have already announced their attendance – see film list below.

SYSTEMSPRENGER / SYSTEM CRASHER (DE 2019) – Austrian premiere
Director: Nora Fingscheidt
Program section: European Panorama Fiction; Length: 119 min. | Feature Film
Distributor in Austria: Filmladen; Cinema release in Austria: September 2019
Guest: Nora Fingscheidt

At an age of nine Benni has already experienced a lot. Her hyper-activity paired with a not so negligible propensity for violence hopelessly overburdens her mother, while constantly changing foster parents, child psychologists, and anti-aggression training does the rest. Despite eager social workers there is still the danger that Benni falls through the net of youth welfare. – Nora Fingscheidt’s film debut is an intense drama about a girl who does not seem to fit into the system, yet only yearns – as would be expected at that age – for safety and love.

DANMARKS SØNNER / SONS OF DENMARK (DK 2019) – Austrian Premiere | Night Sight-Opener
Director: Ulaa Salim
Program section: Night Sight; Length: 119 min. | Feature Film
The future of Denmark that is presented in this film is shaped by racism and nationalist politics. In a charged and toxic climate, the slowly radicalized nineteen year old Zakaria is recruited for a terror mission. - An intelligent, dystopian political Thriller.

Director: Joerg Burger
Program section: Local Artists; Length: 80 min. | Documentary
Production: Navigator Film
Guests: Joerg Burger, Elfie Semotan and film producers

One of this year’s opening films is dedicated to the renowned Austrian photographer Elfie Semotan. The director Joerg Burger created a multi-layered cinematic homage that has its preview on the opening evening of CROSSING EUROPE on April 25. Additionally, the exhibition STANDING, WAITING (2007/2019) with works by the artist will be opened in the OK in the Upper Austrian Culture Quarter.


PETRA (ES/FR/DK 2018) – Austrian Premiere | Tribute-Opener
Director: Jaime Rosales
Program section: Tribute; Length: 107 min. | Feature Film
Guest: Jaime Rosales

The title-giving protagonist decides to go on a search for her biological father after the death of her mother, who she then finds out to be the self-centered artist Jaume. Subsequently she then also meets his wife, and their son – like in a Greek tragedy – she unveils family secrets, satisfies needs, and the web of relationships that underscores the film draws together in a deadly manner to make the newest production by this year’s Tribute guest Jaime Rosales become a spirited Melodrama.

BOTA (AL/IT/KO 2014) – Spotlight-Opener
Directors: Iris Elezi, Thomas Logoreci
Program section: Spotlight; Length: 100 min. | Feature Film
Guests: Iris Elezi, Thomas Logoreci

BOTA is the first feature film by this year’s Spotlight guest Iris Elezi. The visually striking production celebrated its Austrian premiere at the CROSSING EUROPE 2015. - The terror of the communist regime in Albania continues to have an effect to date, people yearn for economic and political stability. As do the two sisters in the film, who take their fate into their own hands on a lonesome tract of land.