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EUROPEAN SHORT FILM FESTIVAL 2008

November 25, 2008

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 26 at 7 pm
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 27 at 4 pm, 6:30 pm and 9 pm
at the Peace Center for the Performing Arts Gunter Theater, Greenville, SC

The Upstate Film Society and the Peace Center are proud to present this year’s European Short Film Festival. The 2008 festival will feature some of the best new short films from various European countries. See below for details!

Upstate Film Society has been working with the French Embassy in Washington, DC, to obtain these films. Because France holds the presidency of the European Union in 2008, we are able to enjoy short films from countries such as France, Holland, Spain, Sweden, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Finland.

In 2009, the festival will return to featuring French short films.

Tickets for the 2008 festival are $10 per person and may be purchased in advance from the Peace Center box office or website. We suggest that you buy your tickets in advance, as last year several shows sold out!

UFS members are entitled to purchase best-seating tickets on December 26, so join the Upstate Film Society and enjoy all the benefits!
Final Selection of films in their running order (total time 81 min.):

Maestro – Hungary (5 min.)
The festival opens with a charming Hungarian film that was nominated for an Academy Award in 2006.  The film was written and directed by Géza Toth.  In this exquisitely animated piece, the maestro is carefully preparing to go on stage five minutes before the big performance.  Time is slowly ticking away…

I Am Bigger and Better – Czech Republic (18 min.)
Selected as a nominee for the 2008 Honorary Foreign Film award in the 35th Annual Student Academy Awards competition, “I Am Bigger and Better” features the intersection of art and technology and asks the compelling question, “Can a robot be a proper substitute for an actor in the theater?”  This Martin Duda-directed film features live action and 3-D animation in the Prague of a not-to-distant future.

Ester – Sweden (4 min.)
When director Pernilla Johansson was a little girl, she and her sister would watch the colorful MGM musicals featuring swimming sensation Esther Williams.  In Johansson’s “Ester,” it’s a gray and ordinary Tuesday like any other for most people.  But for Ester it’s her favorite day when she goes swimming and the underwater world is transformed into a weightless paradise.

Pizza Passionata – Finland (13 min.)
A winner at the Cannes Film Festival in the short film department, the animated “Pizza Passionata” stars Tovio (the name translates as “hope”), a shy and lonely man who imagines himself to be the perfect man in his dreams.  One day he meets a rather determined woman who reveals to Tovio the difference between dreams and reality.  This is the first film by Finnish director Kari Juuonen.

Not a Good Idea – Spain (13 min.)
Directed by Ugo Sanz, this tender movie from the Basque region of Spain features Maria, a young cancer victim who must find the courage each day to face the world.  Her father struggles to keep up her spirits as he faces a devastating problem of his own.  The film challenges us to think about how we honestly communicate with those we love, even when we think they may too young to deal with the consequences.

Even Pigeons Go To Heaven – France (9 min.)
On a moonlit fall night, a priest races to the home of Mr. Mouton, a miser with a sock full of money that the priest would like to appropriate by selling the old man a space capsule that will take him to paradise. After a test drive and some negotiation, the deal may be struck, but then there’s a knock at the door.  This animated film by Samuel Tourneux and Simon Vanesse was nominated for an Oscar in 2007.

Taxi? – Spain (5 min.)
In yet another Basque film entry, director Telmo Esnal presents a rather unusual situation:  The city taxi drivers have taken a course on kindness. If you don’t make the grade, you might not arrive at your destination!

Tanghi Argentini – Belgium (14 min.)
Nominated for an Oscar in 2007 and winner of multiple major awards at festivals worldwide (including the Audience Award and Best Comedy Award at the Clermont-Ferrand, France, short film festival), this sublime delight introduces us to André, a middle-aged man who convinces a reluctant co-worker to teach him the tango in two weeks in order to win the heart of a woman he’s met online.

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