Crossing Europe Film Festival / Linz 2018

The European Grandma Project

25.04. – 30.04.2018; Linz.
Unstoppable grannies. Linz‐based Crossing Europe film festival teaches us to respect the age(d).

Grandmothers have shared their stories with their granddaughters for an European-wide film project. These women have witnessed historical events themselves and can tell us first-hand what it means to learn from the past.

This year’s Crossing Europe film festival starts off with the “European Grandma Project‘s“ world premiere. Filmmakers from nine European countries have participated in this project.

Filmmaker Alenka Maly from Linz was the one who initiated this project, taking her own intense “conversational relationship“ with her grandmother as an incentive for this trans-European oral history film project. In the year 2015 she started a search and found eight like-minded European filmmakers who simultaneously made portraits of their grandmothers in Israel, Greece, Italy, Iceland, Bulgaria, Russia, England, Turkey and Austria. Born in the 20s and early 30s of the past century, these women tell their filming granddaughters about war, political changes, love and daily life in Europe of their time. Almost all of the grandmothers are over 90 years of age. They recall anecdotes, love stories and terrible tragedies while going about their daily business, sitting at the hairdresser’s or relaxing. Their stories are told with a captivating frankness and brim with profound humour.

Alenka Maly and her companions have achieved two milestones in their work of art: On the one hand, they have managed to create a coherent panorama of European contemporary history. On the other hand, they have erected a visual monument to this group of strong women; a monument which will make it possible for future generations to get an insight into some darker chapters of the 20th century in Europe.

“Learning from the past” could be seen as the thematic arc of this year’s Crossing Europe film festival, for which Christine Dollhofer and her team have compiled 170 films from all of Europe.

The festival’s last film also teaches us historic lessons. German director Christian Petzold has created a film based on the novel “Transit”, which was written by Anna Seghers during her time in exile. The film of the same name will premiere at the Crossing Europe Festival in Austria. It’s a story about expulsion, escape and migration, which takes place in the Marseille of the early 40s.

At Crossing Europe festival, Hungarian director Kornél Mundruczó will showcase a film, which he has also submitted for the film festival in Cannes: “Jupiter‘s Moon“ tells us of Hungarian isolationism featuring a young Syrian refugee’s point of view. Due to the merciless state authorities this young man slowly floats away into a dream world.

Crossing Europe stands for unconventional, contemporary and socio-political author cinema. Christine Dollhofer, festival director, selects the films with the aim of showing the diversity of European cinemas and, as a result, that of the continent of Europe itself.

Crossing Europe Filmfestival
25.04. – 30.04.2018
Various locations