European Union Film Festival 2018: 5 films inspired by true events
1.Fly Away Home — Austria
Opening EUFF is the film Fly Away Home, directed by Austrian journalist and director Mirjam Unger. "It's actually very hard to choose an Austrian movie because during the last 10 years, Austrian movies have been chosen by us to receive the Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars, so there is a lot of tradition in Austria... With her books from my childhood, that was one of the reasons why it [Fly Away Home] was chosen. I also thought it was wonderful because it has a female director coming to Singapore for the premiere," said Austrian Ambassador to Singapore Karin Fichtinger-Grohe. Based on a popular children's book of the same name by Christine Nöstlinger, this coming-of-age movie chronicles the author's life as a nine-year-old girl living in Vienna towards the end of World War II and under the Russian occupation.
2. Life Feels Good/Che Się Żyć — Poland
Inspired by Przemek Chrzanowski, who has cerebral palsy, this story in flashbacks centres around Mateusz, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. This 2013 film directed by Maciej Pieprzyca bagged many awards such as the Silver Hugo during the Chicago International Film Festival 2013 and Best Actor in the Seattle International Film Festival 2014.
3. The King's Choice/Kongens Nei — Norway
Very often, we get to see what went down before and during the second World War for the United States, United Kingdom and Germany, but seldom other countries such as Norway. Shortlisted for Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards, The King's Choice (directed by the acclaimed Erik Poppe) documents over three days of Germany’s invasion of Oslo in 1940, where then-King Haakon VII had to decide whether to surrender or continue to fight.
4. SuperSwede — Sweden
If war history doesn't scream interesting to you, maybe this documentary biopic might be it. It follows the story of Sweden's iconic racer Ronnie Peterson, who died from sustained injuries in a crash on the Monza circuit during the 1978 Italian Grand Prix. SuperSwede, which was also his nickname, also takes a look at the glitz and glam through the smokescreen of the racing sport and business which claimed many lives. Peterson's daughter, Nina Kennedy, will be making an appearance during the screening and a dialogue after the show.
5. Breathe — United Kingdom
English actor Andy Serkis makes his directorial debut in this film as part of The British Council Inclusive Arts campaign, which was inspired by the life of Robin Cavendish, a staunch advocate for disabled people and medical device developer. Despite developing polio at 28-years-old and relying on a medical ventilator to survive, he continued to travel around the world with his wife, Diana, before his death. Hollywood favourites Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy play the protagonist and his wife, respectively. The screening of Breathe will also be hearing impaired-friendly, with the use of subtitles.