3 DAYS IN QUIBERON by Emily Atef with Marie Bäumer as Romy Schneider

European Women Filmmakers Take Centre Stage at SFF

EUROPE! VOICES OF WOMEN IN FILM spotlights ten outstanding European women directors at the Sydney Film Festival (June 6 – 17, 2018)

For the third time, European Film Promotion's (EFP) flourishing cooperation with the Sydney Film Festival (June 6 – 17, 2018) will be presenting EUROPE! VOICES OF WOMEN IN FILM. The programme highlights the work of ten outstanding European women filmmakers to the Australian audience, film industry and press. 23 EFP member organisations submitted 37 films representing the great diversity of European cinema. The final selection by the festival director Nashen Moodley shows a broad spectrum of various trends: from feature debuts to cinematic works by well-versed directors, and from unique challenging dramas to politically charged documentaries. Eight filmmakers will present their films in person and be welcomed by the programme's ambassador, the acclaimed Australian producer Jan Chapman ("The Piano"). The initiative is made possible with the support of Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union and the respective EFP member organisations.

Five feature-length debuts will celebrate their Australian premiere: Swedish actress and director Fanni Metelius – also playing the main lead – takes love to the extremes in THE HEART. Also talking about love, but in a complicated triangle, is THE MARRIAGE by the award-winning Kosovar director and scriptwriter Blerta Zeqiri. The search of a woman for self-fulfillment lies at the centre of SCARY MOTHER by the Georgian director Ana Urushadze. Reaching into darker territories are the Danish production HOLIDAY, a disturbing study by the Swedish director Isabella Eklöf about a young girl trapped in luxury and violence until the tables are turned, and the Polish feature TOWER. A BRIGHT DAY by Jagoda Szelc who spices up a family drama with mystery elements.

The acclaimed German director Emily Atef directed the multi-award-winning 3 DAYS IN QUIBERON, portraying acting legend Romy Schneider driven by professional ambition and an urge for living. The Dutch director Nanouk Leopold will present her latest feature COBAIN, about a boy trying to help his mother quit her self-destructive lifestyle. Another teen drama comes from Austria. Writer/producer/director Katharina Mückstein screens her second feature film L'ANIMALE about a girl trying to assert herself in an aggressive boy gang. Also dealing with troubled teens is the Irish documentary A MOTHER BRINGS HER SON TO BE SHOT by the award-winning journalist and filmmaker Sinéad O'Shea, who spent the course of five years in examining violence committed by opponents of the peace process in Northern Ireland. Rounding off the wonderfully diverse programme is Virpi Suutari's Finnish documentary ENTREPRENEUR – fresh from its premiere at Hot Docs, Toronto – showing what it takes to succeed in the new economy.

EFP FILM SALES SUPPORT (FSS) will be granted for marketing and promotion campaigns at the Sydney Film Festival for the first time. Films Boutique, who also have L'ANIMALE by Katharina Mückstein in their line-up, receives FSS for ONE DAY, the directing debut of Zsofia Szilagyi, which "...brilliantly reinvents the domestic drama as a taut thriller, detailing a hectic day in the life of a mother."(SFF catalogue).

The supporting EFP members are: AFC - Austrian Films, British Council, Danish Film Institute, EYE International (The Netherlands), Finnish Film Foundation, Georgian National Film Center, German Films, Irish Film Board, Kosova Cinematography Center, Polish Film Institute, Swedish Film Institute.

From Wednesday, 6 June to Sunday, 17 June 2018, the 65th Sydney Film Festival offers Sydneysiders another exciting season of cinema amidst a whirlwind of premieres, red-carpet openings, in-depth discussions, international guests and more.
Sydney Film Festival also presents an Official Competition of 12 films that vie for the Sydney Film Prize, a highly respected honour that awards a $60,000 cash prize based on the decision of a jury of international and Australian filmmakers and industry professionals. Previous Sydney Film Prize winners: On Body and Soul (2017); Aquarius (2016); Arabian Nights (2015); Two Days, One Night (2014); Only God Forgives (2013); Alps (2012); A Separation (2011); Heartbeats (2010); Bronson (2009); and Hunger (2008).
The Festival is a major event on the New South Wales cultural calendar and is one of the world's longest-running film festivals. For more information visit:
The 65th Sydney Film Festival is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW and Destination NSW, the Federal Government through Screen Australia and the City of Sydney. The Festival's Strategic Partner is the NSW Government via its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.

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Film Selection 2018

Beautifully shot in black and white, this elegant portrait of Romy Schneider, the biggest female star in Europe of her time, recreates the seminal, final interview she gave in 1981. Schneider (a superb Marie Bäumer) struggles to overcome typecasting and tabloid attention. To escape the pressures of her life, she retreats to a spa in the small village of Quibéron. A German magazine journalist and photographer are there to capture the actress's inner workings. Over three days and nights, a game of manipulation and tenderness plays out, as Schneider desperately tries to find the strength to move forward with her life.

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3 Days in Quiberon
Emily Atef
Germany, Austria, France

A love triangle featuring the trophy girlfriend of a petty drug lord, caught up in a web of luxury and violence in a modern dark gangster tale set in the beautiful port city of Bodrum on the Turkish Riviera.

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Isabella Eklöf
Denmark, The Netherlands, Sweden, Turkey

Nanouk Leopold (Brownian Movement, SFF 2011; It's All So Quiet, SFF 2013) returns to the Sydney Film Festival with a moving drama about a teenager determined to save his drug-addicted mother from life on the streets. Cobain loves his mother unconditionally, even though she could never take care of him. When she gets pregnant again, Cobain faces a momentous dilemma, trying to care for his volatile mother, despite her rejection of his help. Leopold masterfully captures this complex relationship in a film of great emotional depth.

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Nanouk Leopold
Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands

Fanni Metelius directs and stars in this intimate feature debut about the attitudes of young Swedish adults towards love, sex and modern relationships. Photographer Mika (Metelius) and musician Tesfay (Ahmed Berhan) meet and become each other's first loves. After the heady days of new romance - partying, infatuation and sex - they decide to live together, but this next phase of their relationship is fraught with difficulties. Daringly candid, both in its conception and its fearless performances, The Heart is a refreshing take on the joys and perils of modern love.

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The Heart
Fanni Metelius

In this unconventional coming of age story, a young woman, her family and community deal with sexual tension and a conflict between desire and reason. Bike-rider Mati and her gang of male friends race around their neighbourhood and drunkenly harass the girls of the village. Mati enjoys her status as one of the boys, but things change when her best friend Sebastian falls for her. At the same time, Mati is drawn to Carla, an independent girl who offers Mati a different path.

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Katharina Mückstein

A shocking real-life shooting in Northern Ireland is the starting point for this unsettling story of a loyal mother and her two sons. Although the Troubles officially ended 20 years ago, the Derry community continues to be divided. The government and police hold little sway. When violent Republican powerbrokers accuse Phil of dealing drugs, his mother Majella has no choice but to take her teenage son to be shot in both legs. O'Shea's film documents the repercussions.

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A Mother Brings Her Son to Be Shot
Sinéad O'Shea
Ireland, United Kingdom

An enchanting, often funny portrait of two very different start-ups: one futuristic; the other, traditional. Maija and Reetta dream of changing the eating habits of Finns, perhaps even the Chinese, with their protein alternative. They have a shiny new laboratory and a hardworking team, but are they running before they can walk? Akseli has a different motive for starting a business: he lost his job. Despite his young family's efforts, his travelling meat truck and amusement rides aren't attracting customers. Award-winning director Virpi Suutari draws surprising parallels between these two contrasting entrepreneurships.

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Virpi Suutari

Defying genre and easy description, this extraordinary debut feature brings together family drama and the supernatural in an exhilarating combination. A family prepares for a reunion and a religious celebration. Just before her daughter's first Holy Communion, Mula's long lost sister, Kaja, pays a visit. But it's not a happy reunion - Kaja is feared by her family. Simultaneously, strange metaphysical events are affecting the village and television reports bring disturbing news. Director Jagoda Szelc expertly ramps up the tension, leading to an explosive, unforgettable climax.

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Tower. A Bright Day
Jagoda Szelc

The remarkable run of new Georgian cinema continues with the dark, funny and uncompromising Scary Mother, in which a devoted housewife chooses her repressed passion for writing over her family. As Manana (Nata Murvanidze, who won the Best Actress prize at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards) nears the completion of her novel, the compulsion to create overtakes her maternal instincts. When she reads extracts of her novel to her incredulous family, they are hurt by the unflattering depictions and deem it pornography. But Manana is undeterred, and leaves the home to follow her artistic destiny.

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Scary Mother
Ana Urushadze
Georgia, Estonia

Bekim and Anita are happily getting married, despite the troubles of their families. However, the situation becomes complicated when a man named Nol, Bekim's secret ex-lover, returns. Soon the unusual love triangle will begin to unravel. Selected Awards and Festivals: Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, FIPRESCI Prize and Special Jury Prize; Cleveland International Film Festival; Nashville Film Festival.

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The Marriage
Blerta Zeqiri
Kosovo, Albania, France