Another week, another film festival—such is the luxury of living in Toronto! The city hosts not only festivals of films made in North America, but celebrations of cinema from all over the world, mirroring the melting pot of languages, cultures, and identities that make up Toronto. Right now, Torontonians have the pleasure and privilege to attend the European Union Film Festival, comprising 22 films from 21 European countries, many of which have participated in and won awards at film festivals worldwide (including the Toronto International Film Festival). For lovers of foreign cinema or culture, this would be reason enough to go to the festival, but I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet.
This festival is free. Oh yes: admission to the European Union Film Festival doesn’t cost a penny. All you have to do is go to Royal Cinema and get a ticket before the movie starts. One word of advice: get there an hour earlier than the showtime, when the festival begins distributing tickets, because the lineup to get into screenings builds very quickly. I arrived 45 minutes before showtime and there were already around 30 people in line before me. Although it might seem excessive to wait in line for an hour to see a movie, that’s a very minor inconvenience considering the festival not only offers free admission, but also the chance to see European films that would otherwise not be shown in Toronto theatres.
The film I saw was called The Robber, by Austrian director Benjamin Heisenberg. Some of the other countries participating in this festival have a long history in cinema, like France, Italy, and Germany. However, it’s equally exciting and valuable that emerging players in international cinema are also represented, with works from countries including Estonia, Slovenia, and Latvia. There is also a wealth of film genres to enjoy at the festival, from comedy, suspense, drama, to experimental.
If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, something indoors and away from the winter cold setting in, the European Union Film Festival offers you free movies, foreign cultures, and good times guaranteed. Don’t miss it!
The festival runs until November 30.
608 College St. W., west of Bathurst St., close to Clinton St.
By car: there is street parking all along College St. W.
By TTC: take the 506 Carleton streetcar and get off at Clinton St., 2 blocks west of Bathurst. St.
416 977 1661, ext 32