From LGBTIQ+ to disability inclusion, 32nd European Film Festival (EUFF) in Singapore tackles timely issues through cinema

23 European countries present best of contemporary cinema at the festival held in May

Cover - From LGBTIQ+ to disability inclusion, 32nd European Film Festival (EUFF) in Singapore tackles timely issues through cinema

Coming back strong on the silver screen, the 32nd European Film Festival in Singapore (EUFF) drew over 2 600 movie lovers to an expansive range of 24 films from 23 countries.

Seats were snapped up for the selection of showings between 16 to 31 May, which covered diverse genres from adventure to comedy, drama and history.

EUFF offered a range of movie genres including drama, historical drama, documentary, musical, comedy as well as family friendly films from the following countries in Team Europe spirit: Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine.

Showcasing the best of European cinema, EUFF is a celebration of the rich cultural tapestry of Europe.

Says Iwona Piórko, EU Ambassador to Singapore: ‘The festival celebrates cultural diversity and cross-cultural dialogue through cinema. Cinema has the power to transport us to different worlds and open our minds to various perspectives. The European Film Festival’s continued run is a testament to the enduring power of cinema to bring people together and promote cultural exchange, even in the midst of unprecedented challenges.’

The dynamism of Singapore’s youth filmmakers was also on display, with student works featured alongside the main festival showcase. Lasalle College of the Arts, Puttnam School of Film and Animation; Nanyang Technological University’s School of Art, Design and Media; and Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s School of Film & Media Studies participated in EUFF 2023. EUFF’s promotion of cross-cultural and inter-generational dialogue through cinema reaffirms the EU’s commitment to finding ways of deepening its relationship with youth and local communities in Singapore.

Hosted once again at independent cinema space The Projector, EUFF opened with Swedish film Hilma. Introducing the audience to critical issues, the film was timely with a public screening on the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) on 17 May. Over 400 guests attended the opening graced by Mr Baey Yam Keng, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Transport, Sustainability and the Environment.

The festival closed on 31 May with Spanish film Campeones. The film screening was followed by an engaging forum that discussed the film’s focus on the human rights of persons with disabilities. Disability inclusion is key to leaving no one behind, as committed to in the SDGs.

This year’s festival branding centred on the theme: Bloom. Flowers with film reels were used to evoke a sense of growth as a metaphor for the festival’s own journey of creativity and renewal post-pandemic. The eye-catching visuals got the highest visibility through street banners positioned prominently for a month-long period in Singapore’s Civic District.

As of the publication of this story, EUFF has been covered by various media outlets including Grazia, SG Magazine, Time Out and Click here for a summary of the 31st EUFF in 2022 and here for announcements on the 33rd EUFF in 2024. Film lovers can also check back regularly at EU Delegation to Singapore’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Presented annually since 1991, EUFF is a window to the rich cultural heritage and diversity of Europe. Each year it shows that culture is integral to all aspects of life and can help address important global issues, while also promoting mutual understanding and inter-cultural dialogue between countries. EUFF upholds the universal values of respect for human dignity, democracy, freedom, the rule of law and human rights.

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