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Need to Know: Panorama Europe Film Festival Returns

Need to Know: Panorama Europe Film Festival Returns to Queens, NY

Need to Know: Panorama Europe Film Festival Returns to Queens, NY

The seventh edition of the festival of new European cinema returns to the Museum of the Moving Image in NYC with 16 new films from May 29 through June 14.

Pictured: Greece's Xenia | Photo courtesy of Strand Releasing

The film festival continues its mission of showcasing the best in European filmmaking by introducing a wide-ranging selection of contemporary cinema in varying genres that cover many current social and cultural themes. Panorama Europe offers audiences what may be their only chance to see these acclaimed films on the big screen.

"This year's Panorama Europe lineup is exceptional,” David Schwartz, the chief curator who programmed the festival, says. “Many of the films are fascinated with questions of identity and history, on both personal and national levels. And this year, many films use humor, often dark, to explore their subjects.”

Please see below for full schedule and locations. To view the schedule online and to order tickets, visit

The lineup of Panorama Europe 2015 below:

With Lukasz Palkowski in person, followed by reception
FRIDAY, MAY 29, 7:00 P.M.
Poland. Dir. Lukasz Palkowski. 2014, 120 mins. With Tomasz Kot, Piotr Glowacki, Szymon Piotr Warszawski. This enormously entertaining biopic chronicles the groundbreaking work of Zbigniew Religa, the pioneering Polish surgeon who defied the Communist bureaucracy of the 1980s to perform the country’s first heart transplant. Told with wit, verve, and a fastidious attention to period detail, Gods is an engrossing portrait of a larger-than-life personality.

SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2:00 P.M.
Also showing: Thursday, June 4, 7:00 p.m. at Bohemian National Hall
Hungary. Dir. Virág Zomborácz. 2014, 93 mins. With Márton Kristóf, László Gálffi, Eszter Csákányi. A pastor and son with a strained relationship get a shot at reconciliation—after the older man’s unexpected death. Part tender coming-of-age tale, part darkly comic ghost story, Afterlife is a surprising, poignant fable from one of the most distinctive new voices in Hungarian cinema.

The Tree
SATURDAY, MAY 30, 4:00 P.M.
Slovenia. Dir. Sonja Prosenc. 2014, 90 mins. With Katarina Stegnar, Jernej Kogovsek, Lukas Matija. A mother and her two sons live as prisoners in their own home. But what is it about the outside world they fear? Told from three points of view, a riveting family tragedy gradually reveals itself in this acclaimed Slovenian chamber drama, which masterfully maintains an air of steadily mounting tension.

I Can Quit Whenever I Want
SUNDAY, MAY 31, 2:00 P.M.
Italy. Dir. Sydney Sibilia. 2014, 100 mins. With Edoardo Leo, Valeria Solarino, Valerio Aprea. A group of underemployed academics hope to earn quick cash by entering the drug racket. But when their new designer drug turns out to be all the rage, can they handle the success? One of the funniest Italian comedies in years, this ultra-entertaining box office smash plays like Breaking Bad meets Reservoir Dogs.

SUNDAY, MAY 31, 4:00 P.M.
Greece. Dir. Panos H. Koutras. 2014, 128 mins. With Kostas Nikouli, Nikos Gelia, Aggelos Papadimitriou. A gay teen and his older brother journey across Greece in search of their estranged father in this alternately surreal and stirring road movie. Juxtaposing the realities of present-day Greece with imaginative slips into dream logic, this bold coming-of-age saga swept this year’s Hellenic Film Academy Awards, winning Best Picture and six other awards.

Bota (The World)
With co-director Iris Elezi in person; followed by reception
SUNDAY, MAY 31, 7:00 P.M.
Albania. Dir. Iris Elezi, Thomas Logoreci. 2014, 104 mins. With Flonja Kodheli, Artur Gorishti, Fioralba Kryemadhi. The intersecting lives of three people working at an offbeat café in a small village form a captivating portrait of modern day Albania in this poetic drama, which confronts a particularly troubling chapter of the country’s Communist past.

The Way Out
FRIDAY, JUNE 5, 7:00 P.M.
Also showing: Tuesday, June 2, 7:00 p.m. at Bohemian National Hall
Czech Republic/France. Dir. Petr Václav. 2014, 102 mins. With Klaudia Dudová, David Ištok, Sára Makulová. The Way Out follows a young Romany woman who perseveres in the face of anti-gypsy racism to find steady employment. This heartrending drama, shown in competition at Cannes, is rendered with admirable understatement and an almost documentary-like realism. The Way Out, winner of the Czech Film Critics Award,
was named Best Film at the Czech Lion awards. New York Premiere.

Croatia. Dir. Tomislav Mrsic. 2013, 107 mins. With Sasa Anocic, Zivko Anocic, Matija Antolic. The Wild West and Eastern Europe collide in this infectious Croatian comedy, in which a prominent theater director mounts a hilariously bizarre cowboy musical in a bleak industrial town. Croatia’s Academy Awards entry for Best Foreign Language Film “is a nifty blend of social drama and absurdist comedy” (Variety).

In the Crosswind
SUNDAY, JUNE 7, 2:00 P.M.
Estonia. Dir. Martti Helde. 2014, 87 mins. With Ingrid Isotamm, Laura Peterson, Mirt Preegel, Einar Hillep, Tarmo Song. This startlingly original “landmark film” (The Hollywood Reporter) recounts one woman’s harrowing, true-life tale of survival in the midst of Stalin’s ethnic cleansing of the Baltic region. Told via stunning, monochrome tableaux vivants that freeze characters in time and space, In the Crosswind is both a visually and emotionally overwhelming experience.

The Gambler
With actress Oona Mekas in person
SUNDAY, JUNE 7, 4:00 P.M.
Lithuania. Dir. Ignas Jonynas. 2013, 109 mins. With Vytautas Kaniusonis, Oona Mekas, Rimas Blockis. This twisted, ultra-stylish thriller serves up a shocking premise: Vincentas, a paramedic with a gambling addiction, collects big time when he starts taking bets on whether his patients live or die. As the scheme spreads throughout the hospital, Vincentas begins raking in the money—but has he sold his soul? The Gambler is a noirish plunge into the darkest depths of amorality, and was Lithuania’s Oscar submission for Best Foreign Language film.

In the Basement
SUNDAY, JUNE 7, 7:00 P.M.
Austria. Dir. Ulrich Seidl. 2014, 85 mins. With Fritz Lang, Alfreda Klebinger, Manfred Ellinger. Best known for his “Paradise” narrative trilogy, Seidl returns to the documentary form by visiting the basements of middle-class Austrians to share the odd, disturbing, and touching findings in these intimate private spaces. Preceded by Exterior Extended (Austria. Dir. Siegfried A. Fruhauf. 2013, 8 mins. 35mm).

Breathe (Respire)
SATURDAY, JUNE 13, 2:00 P.M.
France. Dir. Mélanie Laurent. 2014, 91 mins. With Joséphine Japy, Lou de Laâge, Isabelle Carré. Two teenage girls’ seemingly perfect friendship turns toxic in this gripping sophomore feature from actress-turned-director Mélanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds, Beginners). Boasting standout, César Award-nominated performances from its lead actresses, Respire captures the turbulence of the adolescent years with raw emotional honesty.

The Unexpected Life
SATURDAY, JUNE 13, 4:00 P.M.
Spain. Dir. Jorge Torregrossa. 2014, 107 mins. With Javier Cámara, Raúl Arévalo, Tammy Blanchard. An actor and Spanish ex-pat living in Manhattan bonds with his more conventional cousin in this bittersweet comedy. A charming valentine to New York City, The Unexpected Life offers wise and witty insights into what it means to be a foreigner in a new country.

Magical Girl
SUNDAY, JUNE 14, 12:00 P.M.
Spain. Dir. Carlos Vermut, 2014, 127 mins. With Marina Andruix, Julio Arrojo, Luis Bermejo. This mind-bending neo-noir begins as a tale of a father desperate to fulfill his dying daughter's last wish: to own an extravagantly expensive dress from her favorite Japanese anime. The lengths to which he goes to secure the garment lead him down a rabbit hole of depravity. The film won the Golden Shell award for Best Film and the Silver Shell for Best Director at the 62nd International Film Festival in San Sebastian, Spain.

Age of Cannibals
SUNDAY, JUNE 14, 3:00 P.M.
Also showing: Tuesday, June 9, 7:00 p.m. at Bohemian National Hall
Germany. Dir. Johannes Naber. 2014, 93 mins. With Sebastian Blomberg, Devid Striesow, Katharina Schüttler. Passed over for a promotion, two slimy international business consultants head for a breakdown of epic proportions in this scorching satire of capitalism at its dirtiest. Propelled by tour-de-force performances, Age of Cannibals goes to extremes to expose the dehumanizing effects of the corporate rat race. The film won multiple German Film Critics Awards, including Best Feature Film, among others.

Preceded by live music by the Flemish band St. Grandson in the Museum Courtyard (5.45 – 6:45 pm )
Followed by reception offered by The General Representation of the Government of Flanders to the U.S.
SUNDAY, JUNE 14, 7:00 P.M.
Belgium. Dir. Bas Devos. 2014, 82 mins. With César De Sutter, Raf Walschaerts, Mira Helmer. This “intensely stylized, highly original and utterly mesmerizing” (Variety) film viscerally evokes the disorientation of grief as a troubled teen deals with the emotional fallout of witnessing his friend’s murder. Stunningly shot partly in 65mm, Violet favorably recalls Gus Van Sant’s portraits of teenage angst as it builds towards a heart-stopping climax.

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