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Image: 'Gratis' directed by Merijn Scholte Albers, Tobias Smeets.

This weekend’s EU Short Film Fest is gratis—free admission 05.03.18 to 05.05.18

By Greggory Clark on April 30, 2018


Image: ‘Nachsaison’ directed by Daniela Leitner.

Short films by prominent and emerging European filmmakers are being screened in Ottawa this weekend. Admission is free for the fifth annual European Union Short Film Festival at Arts Court Theatre, running from May 3–5. Every film will be presented in their original language with English subtitles.

One of those is Gratis, the award-winning comedy by Dutch filmmakers Merijn Scholte Albers, Tobias Smeets. In Gratis, an elderly couple wins a surprise one-minute shopping spree at a supermarket. It’s the premise for a hilarious scene and just one of many films to see at the festival, presented annually by the Canadian Film Institute and European embassies.

Pro-tip: Arrive early for Tastes of Europe at 6:30pm. The EU Delegation to Canada and European embassies serve complimentary snacks and drinks every evening.

Image: ‘Drops’ directed by Sarah Joy Jungen, Karsten Hoop.

Thursday, May 3

Opening the festival are eight short films that “explore the life of the imagination.” The program is 75 minutes long and suitable for ages 10 and up.

  • Latvia: Ursus (dir. Reinis Pétersons)
  • Bulgaria: My Truth (dir. Stephanie Raycheva)
  • Hungary: Hey Deer! (dir. Ods Barczy)
  • Luxembourg: The Night Light Monster (dir. Nicola Coppack)
  • Finland: Aigin (dir. Jouni West)
  • Romania: De Ce Pe Mine (dir. Dan Chișu)
  • Denmark: Drops (dir. Sarah Joy Jungen, Karsten Hoop)
  • Spain: Alike (dir. Daniel Martinez Lara, Rafa Cano Méndez)

Image: Eighth Continent directed by Yorgos Zois.

Friday, May 4

Another eight films examine a number of urgent personal and social issues in contemporary life, with both humour and intense drama. Running for 72 minutes and appropriate for adults 18 and up.

  • Ireland: Between Us (dir. Mairéad Kiernan)
  • Greece: Eighth Continent (dir. Yorgos Zois)
  • Slovakia: The Truck (dir. Michal Blasko, Adam March)
  • Germany: Kaputt (dir. Volker Schlecht, Alexander Lahl)
  • Cyprus: Natas (dir. Harry Ayiotis)
  • France: La nuit je danse avec la mort (dir. Vincent Gibaud)
  • Netherlands: Gratis (dir. Merijn Scholte Albers, Tobias Smeets)
  • Portugal: Surpresa (dir. Paulo Patricio)

Image: Kdo je kdo v mykologii directed by Marie Dvorakova.

Saturday, May 5

The final selection of six films which deal with “different times of life,” exploring relationships, memory and mortality. Running for 60 minutes and appropriate for all ages.

  • Czech Republic: Kdo je kdo v mykologii (dir. Marie Dvorakova)
  • Belgium: Pour une poignée de girolles (dir. Julien Grande)
  • Poland: Signum (dir. Witold Giersz)
  • Slovenia: Farewell (dir. Leon Vidmar)
  • Croatia: Just Swimming (dir. Darko Vidackovic)
  • Austria: Nachsaison (dir. Daniela Leitner)

The 5th European Union Short Film Festival is taking place at Arts Court Theatre (2 Daly Ave) from May 3–5, 2018. The screening begins at 7pm every night. Admission is free and at 6:30pm the EU embassies serve complimentary food and drink samples.