"Freedom begins with the perspective – in narrative and style the films here move far beyond the arthouse conventions of regular cinema business. In return, one also accepts a few minor rough spots. In Linz it is not a matter of finding masterpieces overlooked by other festivals, but rather of illuminating niches of (trans-)European life worlds: or focusing on figures that are not already morally preformatted when they appear on the screen."
Der Standard // Dominik Kamalzadeh
For almost 13 years now CROSSING EUROPE has been dedicated to the idea of accessibly presenting sophisticated European filmmaking in Linz and offering an opportunity for direct exchange with the filmmakers present from all over Europe – as it was again this year. For six days the city center of Linz, with the established festival district around the Upper Austrian Culture Quarter and the festival cinemas, was transformed into the throbbing heart of the festival. Following the motto “Europe, what is your Destiny?” CROSSING EUROPE sought to spotlight the various nuances of the (film) continent of Europe – as an invitation to directly engage with – often complex – European life worlds. 22,000 festival guests and film and music enthusiasts accepted this invitation and visited film screenings, exhibitions, talks and the nightline of the festival. This means that last year’s record high was reached again, which may be taken as an affirmation of the orientation of the festival program – much to the satisfaction of the entire CROSSING EUROPE team.
A total of 162 selected feature films, documentaries and short films from 35 different countries (including a total of 123 premiers) were presented in the cinemas that were largely sold out, while around 700 branch guests from Austria and abroad – including about 140 film guests – were counted. Along with the three competition sections (Competition Fiction, Competition Documentary and Competition Local Artists), the long established sections Working Worlds (this year on the theme of education/job training), European Panorama Fiction & Documentary (with selected highlights from the past festival season) and Night Sight (devoted again to the “fantastic”) were also part of the program structure. The series “Architecture & Society” dealt this year with “European Communities”, and the section CINEMA NEXT EUROPE, presented this year for the second time, was promisingly titled “Heimatland/Wonderland” and focused on the search for identity and the definition of homeland. Not to be forgotten – this year’s Tribute, which was devoted to the grande dame of Czech documentary film, Helena Třeštíková, and her oeuvre marked by humanist aspirations.