CineSud's Euregion Film Festival 2021 – review
By Guido Franken, CineSud Managing Director.
From 1 March to 7 March the sixth edition of the Euregion Film Festival took place. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the complete festival was held online. Nevertheless it was a great success!
“In comparison with the first online events we had to host due to the crisis, we saw an increase of 300% in ticket sales,”
says CineSud's managing director (and the festival's host) Guido Franken.
With 19 short films in competition and four in special program sections, the Euregion Film Festival 2021 hosted a small curated selection of the best International and Euregional films that have been made in the recent year.
"In the festival selection we wanted to reflect the experience of 2020, when our world narrowed down to four walls, limited to the circle of those who are closest to us,”
tells festival-programmer Alexander Gusev.
“At the same time our world seemed to expand to the entire planet since we, more than ever, acutely felt the unity of mankind facing similar problems in all corners of the earth."
The festival celebrated the young creative filmmakers who were able to reflect the universal problems of human existence, in recognizable hot topics and unexpected forms. With more than 400 votes in the audience voting, the films were received with great joy by the crowd. It was a tight call, but in the end the mockumentary Charlie Z by Karel Konings, Philippe Jackmaert and Yanu Schepens was their favourite.
Screenshot: Award Show © CineSud 2021
The professionals judging panel, formed by actor Bert Hana, media consultant Marijke Prevoo and producer Nadine Bemelmans, were given the difficult task to assign the awards for Best International Film, Best Euregion Film and a Special Jury Award. After a long and intense debate they chose the following winners: Your Are Always 20 by Christer Wahlberg (Best International Film), Split-Up by Katja Jansen (Best Euregion Film) and Dalía by Brúsi Ólason (Special Jury Award).
“We asked ourselves the question from which filmmaker we wanted to see more in the future, and these three definitely nailed it.”,
tells the jury's head Marijke Prevoo.
“The films were compelling, funny and touching and beautifully and perfectly made.”
To get to know more about the filmmakers, CineSud interviewed all of them in "CineTalks", interviews of approximately 20 minutes where the filmmakers tell more about themselves and the film they made. Usually the filmmakers would give a Q&A after their screening, but this crisis-inspired solution of recording interviews beforehand worked out perfectly well.
“Actually this kind of content shows a great complementary potential, as well when life goes back to normal. These interviews can now be watched over and over and give a much broader context and connection for the audience with the filmmaker and the film.”
The CineTalks with the filmmakers can be watched here: www.vimeo.com/showcase/eff21cinetalks
Of course the real life networking part was missed and can never be replaced with the virtual (Zoom) meetings we are all familiar with now, but the festival also created some interesting and dynamic online industry events, such as the Limburg Film Meeting, Limburg Film Pitch and a workshop on Crowdfunding for film. More than 60 filmmakers participated
in these online events.
Screenshot: Pitching Training Part 1 with coach Pieter Kuijpers (top centre) © CineSud 2021
“You can clearly see that these online solutions also make events more accessible in a way.”,
Guido Franken concludes.
“We hope that the next edition of the Euregion Film Festival will be held on location again, but for sure we will keep some complementary online activities included in the program as well!”
More information about this festival's edition can be found on the CineSud website under: www.cinesud.nl/agenda-deadlines/euregion-film-festival
The official program booklet can be found here.
The event's official promo video can be found on CineSud's Vimeo account.