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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Cine Europa unreels 25th anniversary edition

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The Delegation of the European Union (EU) to the Philippines and the EU Member States Embassies, together with Cultúr Éireann, Irish Film Institute, Goethe Institut Manila, the Philippine-Italian Association, and Instituto Cervantes de Manila, recently celebrated the opening of Cine Europa’s 25th Anniversary Edition at SM Seaside City Cebu’s Large Screen Cinema. 

From left: Embassy of Poland’s Counsellor-Minister Ana Krzak-Danel and Charge d’ affaires a.i. Jaroslaw Szczepankiewicz, with EU Delegation Information Officer Robert Leon and Ella May Arevalo

Cebu has been one of the pioneer host cities of the film festival since Cine Europa was first brought outside Manila in 2001. 

For the past 25 years, Cine Europa has been the hallmark cultural event of the European Union Delegation to the Philippines. Beyond showing European films, the country’s longest-running festival has become a platform to strengthen EU-Philippine cultural relations and collaboration with Philippine cultural institutions and partners.

 This year, thirty award-winning films from Europe have been specially lined up for the silver anniversary showcase and will follow a hybrid format. Film enthusiasts can register at to enjoy the festival online, or on-site at partner venues until October 28. 

“Film is deeply rooted in Europe’s culture which we are very proud about,” said Dr. Ana Isabel Sanchez Ruiz, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to the Philippines, who graced the festival opening. “It mirrors our identity and speaks a lot about our heritage and what we are”.

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Dr. Sanchez Ruiz was joined by Nicole Weisman, wife of EU Ambassador Luc Veron, and festival partners including SM Prime Holdings vice president Marissa Fernan and Arts Council of Cebu Foundation president Dr. Vivina Chiu-Yrastorza.

Members of Cebu’s diplomatic corps, arts and culture community, business, academe, and the media also attended the launch.

From left: Members of Cebu’s business community Kelie Ko, Steven Yu, and Enrison Benedicto attended the opening of the milestone edition of this year’s Cine Europa

Guests were seen enjoying the festival’s opening film Páfsi (Pause), a drama from Cyprus and Greece focusing on a middle-aged woman and the fantasy world that she uses to escape her real-world misery — and what happens when the lines between fantasy and reality start to blur. The film is directed by Cypriot Tonia Mishiali, whose work focuses on women’s and social issues. 

Cebuanos also had a rare opportunity to watch other Cine Europa offerings at SM Seaside City Cebu’s Large Screen Cinema. These included Sanremo, from Slovenia and Italy; Libertad (Freedom), from Spain; Mysi Patri Do Nebe (Even Mice Belong in Heaven), from the Czech Republic, France, Slovakia, and Poland; Kapsalon Romy (Romy’s Salon) from the Netherlands and Germany; and Bicycle Thieves: Pumped Up, from Ireland.

The line-up also included Nematoma (Invisible) from Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine, and Spain; Lola Vers La Mer (Lola) from Belgium and France; Aatos Ja Amine (Gods of Molenbeek), from Finland, Belgium, and Germany; Las Niñas (Schoolgirls) from Spain; Marina, from Belgium; Un Triomphe (The Big Hit), from France; Seltsimees Laps (The Little Comrade), from Estonia; and Dating Amber, from Ireland.

Cine Europa 25 is one of the exciting cultural events at SM Seaside City Cebu and SM Cinema. Festival partners also include the Arts Council of Cebu, Film Development Council of the Philippines, National Parks and Development Committee, and the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

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