Parallels and Encounters: eclectic and illuminating image of Central and East Europe

25 Jubilee European Film Festival Palić presents exceptional film titles in one of the most significant festival programs Parallels and Encounters. This competition program is dedicated to feature and documentary films produced in former geopolitical Easter Europe and also Central Europe, films that deal with political and social transition, ethnic relations, identity questions and necessity of peace and coexistence, tolerance in widest sense. This year’s program, composed of 14 works, was selected by film critic Neil Young and Festival program director Miroslav Mogorović.

“Programme Parallels and Encounters, is dedicated to the best and freshest cinema from Central and Eastern Europe, Parallels & Encounters is well established as an important competitive section of the festival, with the winner decided by a jury of leading journalists from across the continent. This year’s programme is another eclectic and stimulating showcase of what’s going on in this reliably vibrant part of the world. Many of these films touch on political and social topics, in accessible and illuminating ways, sometimes with a streak of humour to offset the serious subject-matters being explored. This year we have included a couple of documentaries alongside the fictional features, plus – for the first time – a handful of complementary shorts presented before some of the competing features. The result is a kaleidoscopic snapshot that celebrates a range of excellent filmmakers from Serbia and its “neighbours,” near and far.”, stated programmer Young.

We recommend Ukrainian film Volcano that arrives to Serbia just a few days after world premiere it had within prestigious competition program East of the West at Karlovy Vary Film Festival. This is the feature film debut for writer and director Roman Bondarchuk who had a big success with his documentary Ukrainian Sheriffs (2015), that won Special Jury Award st one of the most significant documentary festivals in the world, IDFA Amsterdam. Volcano is a beautiful drama – comedy about young translator lost in unknown area where he meats many unusual characters and situations.

Dead Nation is the latest documentary by extraordinary talented and unpredictable Romanian author Radu Jude whose films had great success at previous EFF Palić editions. This year Festival proudly presents his most radical piece so far. It’s an essay film that combine photo archive and diary extracts in simple but brilliant manner. According to programmer Young this is „on of the most significant new European films in last few years.“ Film won the Best Film Award at Trieste Film Festival.

The Line is especially interesting for the Palić and Subotica audiences, because it is about specific quality of life on the line between European Union and rest of the East and Central Europe. This Ukrainian-Slovak co-production is full of energy, funny and sometimes quite violent thriller-comedy-drama about smuggling at these countries border in the moment when Slovakia is preparing to join European Union in 2004. Peter Bebjak did a great job as a director with famous Slovak actor Tomas Mastalir playing gangster whose business activities clashes with his happy family life. Film won numerous awards including the Best Director at 2017 Karlovy Vary, Best Film at Slovak Sun in a Net Festival and the Main Prize at Czech Festival Plzen.

Beside mentioned titles, the program presents the latest film by Slovenian director Jan Cvitkovič The Basics of Killing, Austro-Slovenian film by famous Maritn Šulik The interpreter, Slovak production Heavy Heart – about Roma people and their sad songs, several debut films like Georgian psycho thriller, winner of the Heart of Sarajevo – Scary Mother, Serbian film by young Kosta Ristić Bandits in Search of Mom, magic debut piece from Ukrainian production When the Trees Fall and exciting Hungarian work Blossom Wally about young Bianka who steslas a child and starts to play family life with Laci a boy who takes his role too seriously. There are also several shorts: Grandmother (9′) with Mira Banjac and Nenad Jezdić, thaem Chase (12′) about ice hockey in Czech and Slovak societies, Nothing New Under the Sun (25′) about young boy Michal and his meeting with a girl he got to know on the net, and Ukrainian ironic documentary The Fall of Lenin (11′).

Awards for the Best Film in Parallels and Encounters program, that will be shown at Eurocinema, decides FEDORA critics’ jury composed of: Chiara Isabella Spagnoli Gabardi, Maja Bogojević and Pavlina Jeleva. FEDEORA is Federation of Films Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean.