• By: Karen Temple

EUFF23 Kicks Off its Ten-Day Run at the OAG

A large gathering of diplomats was on hand to celebrate the launch of the 38th edition of the European Film Festival at the Ottawa Art Gallery’s Alma Duncan Studio.

Tom McSorley, Executive Director of the Canadian Film Institute, curated the collection of films and introduced the festival. He invited Dr. Melita Gabrič, Ambassador of the European Union to Canada, to officially open the EUFF23 before the audience was treated to the screening of the Spanish comedy Ramona by director Andrea Bagney.

The European Union Film Festival (EUFF) is a Canada-based festival that runs parallel in Vancouver and Toronto and screens 27 films, one from each EU member country. The movies being screened throughout the ten-day festival include dramas, comedies, thrillers and everything in between. In keeping with festival tradition, since Spain is currently presiding over the Council of the European Union, it was selected to kick off the festival.

In her remarks, Dr. Gabrič explained how film is the best medium to explore the diversity found in Europe.  The ambassador noted that we live in troubled times and stated, “They (films) transcend borders.”

This message was echoed by Tom McSorley, who quoted Liam Neilson. On the eve of the Gulf War, the Irish actor spoke from the podium at the Montréal World Film Festival and said: “In spite of International conflict, a film festival is more important than ever to showcase the power of human artistry and imagination, to promote tolerance and respect, and to slow down the shrinking of hearts and the narrowing of minds.”

These wise words eloquently describe the importance of film, especially with conflicts raging in multiple countries. The films being screened at EUFF23 pull back the curtain and let others peek inside to glimpse and hopefully gain an understanding of the lives of others. In addition, EUFF is an opportunity to see in-person quality European films that may never be seen in a theatre again in Ottawa.

The festival runs from November 16th until Sunday, November 26, 2023. Limited seating is available for each screening, so purchasing advance tickets is recommended.

Tickets, EUFF Six-Film Packs and Festival Passes can be purchased using this link: EUFF 2023 — Canadian Film Institute ∙ Institut Canadien du Film (cfi-icf.ca)