September 23, 2014

EUphoria Film Festival brings Europe to USC

5 Days. 13 Countries. 13 Films

By Megan J. O’Neil

A collaboration of European Languages and Movies in America (ELMA), the School of Cinematic Arts, as well as the consulates of the participating countries, the inaugural Euphoria Film Festival kicked off this weekend at USC. ELMA, a non-profit organization based in Santa Monica, showcases and celebrates European cinema as an art form, for American audiences. The festival features films from: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Poland.

EUphoria kicked off its opening night, on Friday September 19, at USC’s Norris Theatre with an invitation-only reception and screening of this year’s Greek entry for the Oscars, the highly emotional Little England (Mikra Agglia, 2013).  Pascal Ladreyt, the Founder and CEO of ELMA, addressed the audience, saying that the festival’s goal is to strengthen global awareness of European cinema. He also spoke about the challenges he faced in coordinating a festival with films from 13 different countries.

The weekend’s other films, all feature length documentaries or dramas, were open to the public. The closing film, also free and open to the public, will screen on Wednesday, September 24,at 7pm. From Italy, Discovery at Dawn is a mystery about a woman who finds a rotary phone that connects her to her younger self.

Alex Ago, Director of Programming at the School of Cinematic Arts, hosts the EUphoria Film Festival at USC. Ago has conceived it as an annual event, so Los Angeles lovers of European films now have a greater chance of seeing some of the continent’s best offerings.