About the festival

What? 

Since 2004, the CROSSING EUROPE Film Festival Linz has devoted its program each year in April to idiosyncratic, contemporary and socio-political auteur cinema from Europe. Over the six days of the festival, CROSSING EUROPE offers international film and press representatives and guests of the film industry (nearly 700 accredited festival participants) and the Austrian audience a program with approximately 160 outstanding, hand-picked fiction films and documentaries.

Where? Linz, Austria

When? 25 – 30 April 2017

Festival Website: https://www.crossingeurope.at/

Denmark

Godless

Directed by Ralitza Petrova

Screening in Competition Fiction

A nurse traffics the ID cards of demented patients on the black market of identity theft. Driven by easy cash, and an addiction to morphine, she struggles to keep tabs on her emotional void, and a growing fear of punishment.

Festival Link

Nordic Film Database

Loving Pia

Directed by Daniel Borgman

Screening in European Panorama Documentary

A work of fiction, the film is developed from the life of – and starring – a real woman, Pia, who is intellectually disabled. Pia is sixty years old and she lives in rural Denmark in the care of her mother Guittou, eighty-four. In the story, Guittou is getting old, and Pia worries about what will happen when her mother dies. She is afraid of being left alone. Although Pia has never had a boyfriend, she thinks that she needs to find a man to love in order to survive. Then Pia meets a man called Jens at the harbor. Pia embarks on a quiet and simple relationship with him, not realizing that in the meantime it is her mother who is left alone.

Festival Link

Nordic Film Database

The War Show

Directed by Andreas Dalsgaard, Obaidah Zytoon

Screening in Competition Documentary

In March 2011, radio host Obaidah Zytoon and friends join the street protests against the oppressive regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. Knowing the Arab Spring will forever change their country, the artists and activists begin filming their lives and the events around them. But as the regime’s violent response spirals the country into a bloody civil war, their hopes for a better future are tested by violence, imprisonment, and death. A deeply personal road movie. We were immediately struck by the political and social significance and urgency of the film, while also appreciating its daring and innovative approach to filmmaking. […] We believe it is a film that each and every one of us should see.

Festival Link

Nordic Film Database

Quit Staring At My Plate

Directed by Hana Jušić

Screening in Competition Fiction

Marijana’s life revolves around her family. Whether she likes it or not. They live on top of one another in a tiny apartment, driving one another crazy. Then her controlling father has a stroke and is left completely bedridden, and Marijana takes his place as head of the clan. Soon, she is working two jobs to keep everything afloat, while her mother and disabled brother do their best to scupper the ship. Driven to the edge, Marijana finds comfort in seedy sex with random strangers – and this taste of freedom leaves her wanting more. But now that she has finally found freedom, what’s she meant to do with it?

Festival Link

Nordic Film Database

In the Blood

Directed by Rasmus Heisterberg

Screening in Competition Fiction

It’s summer in Copenhagen. A time of endless days and carefree nights. Simon goes to medical school with his best friend Knud and they share an apartment with Søren and Esben, the other two friends in the group. The four boys party, drink, chase girls, and wake up the next day only to do the whole thing all over again. But it is also a time of change between the friends and when everyone, except Simon, wants to sell their shared apartment, it creates a growing tension within the group. Simon is not ready to quit the happy-go-lucky days of no responsibility, while the others are steadily gravitating towards the safe haven of adulthood.

Festival Link

Nordic Film Database

Finland

Deadweight (feature image)

Directed by Axel Koenzen

Screening in European Panorama Fiction

Axel Koenzen’s oceangoing debut feature, a Finnish-German co-production, premiered in the Forum section at the Berlin International Film Festival. Latest in a welcome flurry of oceangoing pictures that plunge viewers into the hard-knock realities of nautical life, Axel Koenzen’s enigmatically elliptical debut Deadweight positions itself at the more challenging end of the cinematic spectrum. Taking its tenor from an inscrutable lead performance by Tommi Korpela as the taciturn, grizzled and broodingly morose captain of a troubled container vessel, it’s strong on realism but deliberately uninvolving in terms of plot.

Festival Link

Nordic Film Database

Kaisa’s Enchanted Forest

Directed by Katja Gauriloff

Screening in Competition Documentary

Katja Gauriloff’s non-fiction feature revolves around the bond between a Swiss writer and a semi-nomadic tribe in Arctic Finland. Family chronicles, European history, and ancient legends merge poetically in the sublime documentary Kaisa’s Enchanted Forest. Filmmaker Katja Gauriloff, a Lapland native and member of the indigenous Skolt Sami people, has not only uncovered delightful archival material about a nearly lost culture, but she also has created something that itself feels handmade and lovingly aged.

Festival Link

Nordic Film Database

Iceland

Heartstone

Directed by Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson

Screening in Competition Fiction

In a small village in rural Iceland, Thor and Christian are best friends whose home lives are unsatisfactory, to say the least. Thor is ruthlessly mocked by his elder sisters, while his mother can’t be bothered to hide her frustration at having to sacrifice her pleasure for the sake of her children. While Thor suffers from absentee parenting, Christian’s drunken and abusive father is, unfortunately for him, all too present. When the two friends strike up romantic relationships with a pair of girls, the events that follow threaten to destroy the longest and most meaningful relationship either has ever had.

Festival Link

Nordic Film Database

La Chana

Directed by Lucija Stojevic

Screening in European Panorama Documentary

The beat goes on in Lucija Stojevic’s La Chana, a documentary portrait of the eponymous living legend of Spanish flamenco dancing. Buoyed by the passionate energy of its irrepressible sexagenarian subject, it’s a lively compendium of rousing archival materials and present-day fly-on-the-wall footage as the Catalan superstar nicknamed La Chana surveys the emotional rollercoaster of her tough life and remarkable career while gearing up for one last comeback.

Festival Link

Nordic Film Database

Sweden

Baby

Directed by Lovisa Sirén

Screening in Cinema Next Europe

Summer night in Stockholm. People meeting people. Loners and drifters hooking up. Babies making babies. Meet Emma, thirty-five, and Joel, seventeen, two strangers waiting for the night bus to take them home. They start talking and realize neither of them wants to go home. The night is theirs to take.

Festival Link

Sami Blood

Directed by Amanda Kernell

Screening in European Panorama Fiction

Elle Marja, fourteen, is a reindeer-breeding Sámi girl. Exposed to the racism of the 1930s and race biology examinations at her boarding school, she starts dreaming of another life. To achieve this other life she has to become someone else and break all ties with her family and culture. Elle Marja resolves to leave behind her Sámi identity and find a new life in Uppsala.

Festival Link

Nordic Film Database

Martha and Niki

Directed by Tora Mkandawire Mårtens

Screening in European Panorama Documentary

In 2010, Swedish friends Martha Nabwire and Niki Tsappos were the first ever female hip hop dance duo to beat all their opponents – men included – at the most important international street dance competition, Juste Debout in Paris. Armed with boundless energy and huge amounts of talent, they annihilated the opposition. The two girls love to dance, to be together, and to travel. They intuitively understand one another. But what happens when you don’t come out on top? After one such disappointment, the first cracks start to appear in their friendship. In spite of their shared passions, the girls have very different backgrounds, different lives, and different personalities. How can you keep your cultural heritage alive, and how can you deal with all of these things within an ambitious friendship?

Festival Link

Nordic Film Database