European Union Film Festival

5 films to watch at the 2013 European Union Film Fest

Not often do you have the opportunity to watch a feature film from Malta or Estonia. Even in Toronto, it can be difficult to find European films on the big screen. But from November 14 to 27, film fans can watch some of the best movies from countries across Europe at the European Union Film Festival. The ninth annual festival will screen 34 films from 28 countries for free at The Royal Cinema.

Here are five films to add to your watch list at this year's EU Film Fest.

The Other Dream Team
In 1988, Lithuanian basketball players helped the USSR win Olympic gold. Four years later, the team, representing a newly independent Lithuania, would face off against Russia at the Olympics in Barcelona. Not just your typical sports flick, the documentary explores the difficulties Lithuanians faced under Soviet rule, and how these athletes helped push for their country's independence. Thursday, November 14, 8:30pm.

Oh Boy
This black and white film from director Jan-Ole Gerster won Best Film at the 2013 Lolas, Germany's version of the Academy Awards. The film follows 20-something underachiever Niko, who has recently dropped out of college, been cut off by dad and dumped by his girlfriend, as he meanders around Berlin. The film's first-time director also took home the award for best director at the Lolas, and Tom Schilling won best actor for his performance as Niko. The film makes its Toronto premiere at EUFF. Friday, November 15, 6:30pm.

Grand Central
Lea Seydoux, who made waves for her role in the Palm d'Or-winning Blue is the Warmest Colour (and also for her criticisms of the film's director), stars in Grand Central, which also screened at this year's Cannes International Film Festival. The film, by French director Rebecca Zlotowski, follows Gary, a nuclear power plant employee who has an affair with his co-worker's wife (Seydoux). Wednesday, November 20, 6:30pm.

BAFTA 2013 Short Film Nominees
In less than the time it takes to watch a single feature film, you can watch seven completely unique short films, which have also all been nominated for British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards. If you don't have the opportunity to see many shorts, this is your chance to see some of the UK's best. Thursday, November 21, 8:30pm.

This dark thriller from Belgium was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2012 Academy Awards. It tells the story of a young cattle farmer, Jacky (Matthias Schoenaerts), who makes a pact with a meat-trading mobster and then has to deal with the profound consequences. Schoenaerts's performance has been lauded by critics, but perhaps more importantly, he's also been called "the next Ryan Gosling." Saturday, November 23, 9pm.

The European Union Film Festival runs from November 14 to 27 at The Royal Cinema (608 College St).

Still from Grand Central

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