Cine Europa 16 opens, features Europe’s most outstanding films

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The beauty of European cinema is once again creating excitement and buzz among cinephiles and culture buffs as the highly anticipated Cine Europa 16 opened at the Shangri-La Plaza in Ortigas last Wednesday, Sept. 4.

 

Present at the opening night were representatives and partners from the European Union Member States and Consulates, together with Lubomir Frebort Chargé d’affaires of the European Union; Briccio Santos, Chairman of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP); the Shang’s EVP and General Manager Lala Fojas, Italian Ambassador Massimo Roscigno and the Greek Embassy’s Head of Consul, Angelos Tsaousidis, who personally invited us to the opening.

“Cine Europa is now ‘sweet 16’, and has for that same number of years, been bringing to a wider audience the unique opportunity to appreciate the brilliance of European films, and to celebrate the continent’s cultural diversity through this prestigious film festival,” said Fojas in her welcome message.

She continued: “The Shang is proud to be hosting its 16th edition, as we believe that film is a commentary on issues that affect society and that through it we realize that though we come from different nations and are geographically apart, we aren’t so different after all. This realization helps us to focus more on our shared values and experiences, appreciate each other’s the beliefs and practices and respect our differences.”

The opening night affair also included brief remarks by FDCP’s Santos and a screening of the award-winning Danish historical film entry A Royal Affair.

I was looking forward to watch ‘A Royal Affair’ because it stars my current favorite actor, Mads Mikkelsen, who plays Hannibal Lecter in the acclaimed TV series “Hannibal.” As a tribute to his character Dr. Johann Struensee in the film, our group ended up at German restaurant Brotzeit, after the screening for sausages, potatoes and beer.

This year’s Cine Europa features top film masterpieces from 18 countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Screening schedules are between 12noon to 8pm. And while you’re there, try out some of the interesting new restaurants at the new wing of the Shang Plaza Mall, or at Brotzeit for a happy hour before, or after a screening.

Cine Europa 16 runs until September 15 at the Shang Cineplex’s Cinema 2. (Manila Bulletin)