European female filmmakers showcased in annual Chicago festival 

The 23rd Chicago European Union Film Festival (CEUFF) will run March 6 – April 2 at the Gene Siskel Film Center. More than 40 films from 28 EU nations will screen over the four-week festival, which remains the largest showcase in North America for EU cinema. Of 47 features, 15 are directed by women – about 32 percent of the lineup.

“At a time when the greater inclusion of female artists is a burning question in the cultural realm, close to one-third of this year’s films are directed or co-directed by women,” Gene Siskel Film Center Director of Programming Barbara Scharres said. “These include Living the Light: Robby Muller by Dutch filmmaker Claire Pijman, a diary-like profile of the great cinematographer; and two Irish films: Animals by Sophie Hyde, and The Last Right by Aoife Crehan, bringing a female gaze to the human comedy.” 

On March 29, French director Nadège Trebal will discuss her film Twelve Thousand, “a confident debut charting the relationship of a passionate but cash-strapped couple.” Other highlights include Denmark’s submission for the Best International Film Oscar, Queen of Hearts from director May El-Touky. FF2 Media critic Julia Lasker calls it “striking,” “a chilling drama about a powerful and successful lawyer and mother whose life runs the risk of crumbling when she becomes involved with her stepson.” 

Austrian entry The Ground Beneath My Feet will also screen at CEUFF, called by FF2 critic Brigid Presecky “A blend of personal drama and psychological thriller; a twisty take on a woman figuring out her work/life balance” from director Marie Kreutzer.

FF2 Media is co-sponsoring a March 12 screening of Claire Burger’s Real Love with Cinema Femme Magazine in recognition of International SWAN Day. Supporting women artists is a mission of both organizations and Women’s History Month provides the perfect framework for recognizing their work on an international scale.

A full list of CEUFF films directed by women is below in alphabetical order by nation. Visit siskelfilmcenter.org for synopses, tickets and an updated list of in-person filmmaker events.

The Ground Beneath My Feet (2019), Marie Kreutzer, Austria

The Barefoot Emperor (2019), Jessica Woodworth, Belgium

Chinatown: The Three Shelters (2018), Aliki Danezi-Knutsen, Cyprus

Queen of Hearts (2019), director May El-Touky, Denmark

Fire Lily (2018), Maria Avdjushko, Estonia

Real Love (2018), Claire Burger, France

Sibyl (2019), Justine Triet, France

Twelve Thousand (2019), Nadege Trebal, France

All About Me (2018), Caroline Link, Germany

System Crasher (2019), Nora Fingscheidt, Germany 

Animals (2019), Sophie Hyde, Ireland/UK

The Last Right (2019), Aoife Crehan, Ireland

Bille (2018), Inara Kolmane, Latvia

Living the Light (2018), Claire Pijman, Netherlands/Germany

Take Me Somewhere Nice (2019), Ena Sendijarevic, Netherlands/Germany

I Remember (2019), Kamila Jozefowicz, Poland

© Georgiana E. Presecky (3/5/20) FF2 Media

Photos: Sophie Hyde’s Animals; Claire Burger’s Real Love; Caroline Link’s All About Me. 

Photos Courtesy of Gene Siskel Film Center

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