Norwegian “Upperdog” to open Cine Europa in Manila

The “Upperdog” by Sarah Johnsen has been chosen to open the 15th edition of the Cine Europa Film Festival at Shangri-La Plaza on September 5. It will be the first time a Norwegian film will be featured at the annual Cine Europa in the Philippines. The “Upperdog” is a story about multiculturalism from the experiences of two young Koreans adopted by two different families from Oslo.

“Cine Europa allows us Europeans to show you what makes us laugh, what makes us cry and what makes us tick. We hope that cinema will do its magic and help us get to know each other a little better,” said Julian Vassallo, political counsellor of the European Union’s (EU) Delegation to the Philippines.

From just 11 movies in 1988, this year’s festival will feature 21 films from 17 European countries including Finland’s “Napapiirin Sankarit” (Lapland Odyssey, 2010), Sweden’s “Maria Larssons Eviga Ögonblick” (Everlasting Moments, 2008), Denmark’s “Hævnen” (In a Better World, 2010) and as mentioned Norway’s “Upperdog” (2009).

Filipino films shown for first time

For the first time, Filipino films will be screened together side by side with European movies.

“We are, for the first time, screening four Filipino movies which have been chosen either for their links to Europe or for the awards and acclamation that they have received there,” said Julian Vassallo.

He believes the screening of the Filipino movies will explore, that the links between the European and Filipino cinema are deeper than many may think.
Cine Europa in six cities 

More Filipinos will have the opportunity to experience Cine Europe as it extends to three new cities—Baguio, Iloilo, and Davao.

Together the venues from previous years: Shangri-La Plaza in central Manila; Ayala Center in Cebu; and Liceo de Cagayan in Cagayan de Oro, the new locations will bring the total number of cities where Cine Europa will be showing up from three to six.

“In the last 15 years the festival has brought European quality films to more than 200,000 Filipino film enthusiasts. Last year alone we reached 24,000 and hope to make another leap in viewers in 2012,” Vassallo said.

The films will be screened over the span of six weeks from September 6 to October 21.

Cine Europa 15 is organised by the European Union Cultural Group in Manila which gathers together the Embassies and Cultural Institutes of the European Union. The Embassies of Norway and Switzerland, the Film Development Council of the Philippines, the Independent Film Cooperative, the Shangri-La Plaza Mall (Manila), Arts Council of Cebu and Liceo de Cagayan de Oro (Mindanao) are Partners of Cine Europa 15.

Admission is free for all screenings at all locations between September 6 and October 21.

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