Opening Films on 30 April & Closing Film on 5 May

01.04.2024 //

It is a tradition that Crossing Europe Film Festival opens not with one but with no less than four films that represent the variety of the festival program through their diversity in terms of content and artistry. The festival guests are offered the choice to start the festival with one out of four completely autonomous variations of current European cinema. In addition, starting already in the afternoon, films from almost all program sections can be viewed.
With DOMAINSTVO ZA POČETNICI / HOUSEKEEPING FOR BEGINNERS, Goran Stolevski delivers a powerful tragicomic portrait of an unconventional family and tells about being Roma as well as being queer in North Macedonia. Having premiered at the Venice International Film Festival and featuring a terrific ensemble that includes Anamaria Marinca and Alina Serban, the film is part of the program section European Panorama Fiction.
The Berlinale entry ELLBOGEN / ELBOW, the movie version of the eponymous novel by Fatma Aydemir, depicts 18-year-old Hazal’s captivating quest for identity and belonging.  Aslı Özarslan, its director, has already been a guest in Linz once before, in 2017, with her documentary DIL LEYLA (DE 2016). ELBOW will be shown at the festival within the YAAAS! Competition and, in co-operation with Crossing Europe, can be viewed again on 15 and 30 May at the Spielboden Dornbirn.
GERLACH is the latest work by documentary filmmaker Aliona van der Horst (NL), who is the subject of this year’s festival tribute. The film was co-directed by Luuk Bouwman. Employing a cinematic language that is poetic and visually stunning, they portray one of the last Dutch old-school farmers, who braces himself against the harassing industry. In 2023, GERLACH was awarded the IDFA Award for Best Dutch Film at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. It will be presented once again on 8 May, in co-operation, at the Austrian Film Museum in Vienna.
“Heimat Horror” and the kickoff to this year’s Night Sight section is provided by Tilman Singer’s CUCKOO, which makes rising American star Hunter Schafer live through an equally absurd and stylish nightmare in front of a stereotypical Bavarian Alpine scenery. The film had its world premiere at the Berlinale. On the weekend after Crossing Europe, it will stop by SLASH ½ (9-11 May) at the Filmcasino in Vienna.
On 5 May, the 21st Crossing Europe will close with another Berlinale entry and with Pia Hierzegger playing a leading role. Eva Trobisch’s sophomore feature IVO engages the topics of death and assisted dying at eye level while following the professional and private daily life of a palliative caregiver (Minna Wündrich). The film will have its Austrian release on 21 June (distributor: Polyfilm).

Opening Films 2024:

Directed by: Goran Stolevski, 107 min, feature film / Austrian premiere – director invited
Dita (Anamaria Marinca) never wanted to be a mother, but after the death of her partner Suada, she is forced to take care of her two daughters, little troublemaker Mia and rebellious teen Vanesa. Her longtime friend Toni comes to her aid. As the battle of wills flares up, the three become an unusual family, forced to fight to stay together. HOUSEKEEPING FOR BEGINNERS is Goran Stolevski’s turn into the genre of an intense family drama. The film premiered at Venice, where it won the Queer Lion Award. (Zagreb Film Festival)
Directed by: Aslı Özarslan, 86 min, feature film / Austrian premiere – director and leading actress invited
Hazal’s greatest wish is to have a life. In spite of many applications, she isn’t invited to a single job interview. Instead, she is stuck in a Job Centre training program that fails to open up any new opportunities for her. But on her 18th birthday, Hazal feels powerful. It is like the old days when she and her friends believed they could achieve anything as long as they stuck together. It’s only when they’re queueing to get into a hip club that Hazal feels they don’t belong there. And she’s right. The bouncer refuses to let them in. On their way home, they’re verbally abused by an arrogant student. The situation escalates, Hazal’s frustration about all the rejections erupts into a fatal act. Hazal flees headlong to Istanbul, a strange city in a country unknown to her. (Berlinale)
Directed by: Aliona van der Horst, Luuk Bouwman, 76 min, documentary / Austrian premiere – in the presence of Aliona van der Horst
GERLACH is a loving and humorous portrait of arable farmer Gerlach, who has been farming in the shadow of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol for sixty years. Around him, he has seen everything change. His simple wooden house is now wedged in between a Shell petrol station, a McDonalds outlet and various distribution centers. With great dedication he cares for his beets and grains, while property developers eye his land and climate change disrupts his harvest. Despite everything that comes his way, Gerlach stands tall with his down-to-earth humor, helped by his loving brothers and friends. His little house is the raindrop in which the world is reflected, existentialist and absurdist. (Syndicado)
Directed by: Tilman Singer, 102 min, feature film / Austrian premiere
Against her will, 17-year-old Gretchen (Hunter Schafer) is forced to move to a Bavarian Alpine resort with her father, stepmother and young stepsister. The parents have been friends with the manager of the atmospherically picturesque 1970s estate for many years and are supposed to help the property spring back into life with a renovation plan. While the bored teenager takes on a holiday job at reception, it soon becomes clear that things are not as they seem. On her way home from work at night, Gretchen is stalked by a creepy hooded woman and ends up in the local hospital, where events spiral out of control. (Lichter Filmfest Frankfurt International)


Closing Film 2024:

IVO (DE 2024)
Directed by: Eva Trobisch, 102 min, feature film / Austrian premiere
Distribution in Austria: Polyfilm / Theatrical release in Austria: 21.6.2024
Ivo works as a palliative home-care nurse. Every day, she visits families, couples and single people. They live in small flats and large houses. They all have different lives and deaths. (…) One of her patients, Solveigh, has become a close friend. Ivo has also formed a relationship with Solveigh’s husband, Franz. (…)  Solveigh’s strength is diminishing and she soon has to rely on support for the simplest tasks. She wants the final decision to be her own: she wants Ivo to help her die.