Cine Europa 2014: Exploring family ties

Susan Claire Agbayani

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Cine Europa 2014: Exploring family ties
Admission is free on a first-come, first served basis, so come on over

Film afficionados who recently enjoyed the Silent Film Festival can look forward to a rich viewing experience at the Cine Europa 17 from Sept. 11 to 21 at the Cinema 2 of Shangri-La Plaza’s Shang Cineplex. 

In store for viewers are 23 films on focusing on family ties, from 17 countries including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. 

“The family is the main focus for many of the films being presented under Cinema Europa,” says Ambassador and Head of the European Union Delegation Guy Ledoux in a message printed in the CE 17 brochure. 

“We aim to showcase the family’s continued importance and significance in our lives in spite of its many permutations and the ever-changing nature of parent-child relationships,” says Ledoux.

Here’s a look at some of the films that will be part of the festival this year. 

There are a lot of light-hearted choices, like Belgium’s Everybody Famous. Factory worker Jean Vereecken gets laid off so he kidnaps the country’s top singer Debbie. 

This surprises Debbie’s manager Michael, as his ward’s latest single goes skyrocket high. The public eventually loses interest in the kidnapping, and Debbie’s record sales plummet.


In Scialla, Bruno Beltrame has lost his passion for living, and plods through life writing commissioned works and giving private lessons. 

While he’s writing a book for a famous Slovakian porn star-turned-hardcore movie producer, he learns that Luca, one of his 15-year-old mentees, is his son from a one-night stand. Forced to be together for six months, both father and son discover and learn so much from each other’s world and perspective. 


The arrival of Sub, a young substitute teacher in Netherlands’ Mister Twister – Class of Fun,  couldn’t have come at a better time for Tobias, a “pretty smart, cheerful and super funny” student. The “unique” teaching style of Sub earns him the affection of his students. This does not sit well though with Ms. Sanne, the school principal so obsessed with rules.


In Romania’s The Godmother, Jennifer – an American teacher in Bucharest  – finds out that her husband Radu has been “laundering money for local mobster Spanu, the Madfather.” 

To fight her family’s enemies, she forms her own mafia and receives help from unusual characters along the way.


In Spain’s animated feature The Missing Lynx, clumsy Iberian lynx Felix is transported to the animal recovery shelter at the Doñana National Park with daredevil goat Beeea and brave but injured falcon Astarte. 

The shelter virtually turns into a prison, what with mysterious animal kidnappings in other national parks and animal preservations.

Felix’s paranoid chameleon friend Gus believes that their human caretakers are conspiring to lock up the animals for experiments. Female lynx Lynxette is brought to the shelter and she and Felix forge a great friendship. 


Filipino films Magnifico, Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros, will be screened at 2pm and 4pm, respectively, on Friday., September 12, and Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan at 3:30 pm on Saturday, September 20.

This year, Cine Europa provides venues for educational discussions via the forum on Film Appreciation with film producer and educator Alemberg Ang at 11 am on Friday, September 12, plus a forum for Filipino filmmakers with the EU Cultural officers from Spain, Italy and France at 1 pm on Saturday, September 20.

“The educational component of the Festival seeks to give young Filipinos considering a career in film, greater insights about the industry and the opportunities for cooperation with their European counterparts,” says Ledoux.

The venue for the screenings of these local films and the forums will be at the Premiere Theatre, Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza, Mandaluyong City.

Incidentally, audiences in other cities and provinces will be delighted to see the films right where they are. Cine Europa goes to the following cities from September throughout November:


  • Baguio, Sept. 23-28
  • Iloilo, Sept. 30-Oct. 5
  • Cebu, Oct. 10-12
  • Leyte, Oct. 16-19
  • Tacloban, Oct. 21-26
  • Davao, Oct. 28-Nov. 2
  • Zamboanga, Nov 4-9
  • Cagayan de Oro, Nov. 13-16


Ledoux also says that they are bringing “European film culture to new audiences in southern Leyte. We are also very keen to plan additional screenings to reach residents of the worst affected areas typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban.”

Admission is free on a first-come, first served basis. Film ratings may be confirmed at the ticket office. Schedules are subject to change without prior notice. – 

For inquiries, visit Shangri-La’s Facebook page   

Susan Claire Agbayani is a freelance writer, editor, media consultant, teacher, workshop facilitator, events organizer and concert producer. She writes fiction and nonfiction and is an alumna of several national writing workshops. She is finishing her MFA in Creative Writing at De La Salle University-Manila. She lives in Diliman with her son Gide.





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