If you enjoy European films, or any film made by filmmakers outside of Hollywood, zip on down to catch them at the yearly European Union Film Festival (EUFF).
This long-running film fest in Singapore, jointly organised by the Delegation of the European Union, the Embassy of Italy and the Italian Cultural Institute, will have 27 stellar offerings to excite cinephiles and fans of European history and culture.
Screenings are at Shaw Theatres Lido from 15 May to 25 May.
After the success of last year's collaboration, the festival has once again partnered with Chapman University Singapore. This allows for short cross-cultural documentaries made by Singapore and exchange students from the school's main campus in Orange County, California, to be screened before the films.
Watch for ‘Trickster’, a documentary by students Joanne Lee, Suryati Adnan, Ben Fischinger and Joe Weber about Singapore freestyle footballer Azri Majilan, which will screen before the opening film ‘The Great Beauty’.
Here are some other highlights:
‘The Great Beauty’ (Italy)
Paolo Sorrentino's ode to legendary director Federico Fellini (‘La Strada’, 1954) is a stunning look at the beauty of Rome as well as the highly contrasting moral decay of the capital city's rich and famous.
Date: 15 May | Time: 7pm ; Date: 16 May | Time: 6.45pm
‘This Is Santilun’ (Iceland)
This independent film from Iceland, shot entirely in Beijing, has a tiny budget and an amateur cast, but it premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, which is no small feat. It tells of a British expat, Gary, in Beijing and his mentor, Frank, who promises to teach him all there is to know about China – for a small monetary reward.
Date: 16 May | Time: 9.30pm
‘Walesa: Man of Hope’ (Poland) & ‘Leaving’ (Czech Republic)
Poland's ‘Man of Hope’, which contested for an Oscar, is a biopic that chronicles the rise of Lech Walesa, a Polish dock-worker who became president of his country and helped bring down the Iron Curtain of the Cold War.
‘Leaving’, a tragic comedy by the late former Czech president Vaclav Havel, is about a political leader who steps down after many years in power, although Havel had insisted that it is not autobiographical.
These two contemporaries of Eastern European politics are linked because Walesa once spoke of his admiration for Havel, saying that the latter deserved the Nobel Peace Prize.
‘Leaving’ | Date: 18 May | Time: 4.30pm
‘Walesa: Man of Hope’ | Date: 21 May | Time: 7pm
‘Mary Queen of Scots’ (Switzerland)
Thomas Imbach's film looks at a particularly tragic piece of history, a retelling the story of Mary, Queen of Scotland from 1542 to 1567. Camille Rutherford (from ‘Blue Is The Warmest Color’) plays the queen through her ascension to the throne at a young age and her eventual abdication, imprisonment and beheading by her own cousin, Queen Elizabeth I of England.
Date: 22 May | Time: 7pm
‘Blancanieves’ & ‘Living Images’ (Spain, Estonia)
Spain's Oscar candidate for 2012, ‘Blancanieves’, is a reimagining of the classic fairytale of Snow White that is set in 1920s Spain. A tribute to old European silent cinema, this silent film has swept up awards, including the 2012 San Sebastian International Film Festival and the Goya Awards.
‘Living Images’, from Estonia, is a romantic historical-melodrama spanning the 20th century. It is not a silent movie entirely, but it does make use of a clever shift from silent to digital formats as the story unfolds, bringing the viewer along through the many changes of Estonia.
‘Blancanieves’ | Date: 22 May | Time: Midnight
‘Living Images’ | Date: 24 May | Time: 1.45pm
‘What Richard Did’ (Ireland)
The most successful Irish film of 2012 is a very dark and disturbing tale of how a young teenager (played by Jack Reynor) and his assault on a romantic rival caused his subsequent death. A slow burning thriller about the mistakes of youth.
Date: 25 May | Time: 7pm
24th European Union Film Festival | Date: 15-25 May 2014 | Time: Various timings | Venue: Shaw Theatres Lido | Tickets: $12 from www.shaw.sg