Media Response 2023

The 20th anniversary edition of the film festival “Crossing Europe” in Linz began on April 26 and runs until May 1, 2023. The annual event in the Austrian city remains one of the best-suited contexts to observe and discuss new trends in European cinema.
Mihai Fulger, / 28.4.2023
Since its foundation in the year 2004 by Wolfgang Steininger, the manager of two arthouse cinemas in Linz at the time, Crossing Europe has consequently focused on the entire continent including countries with a weak cinematic infrastructure. On the other hand, Crossing Europe never forgets about its Upper Austrian anchor respectively home port on the Danube. This dual approach is manifested in the impressively great number of productions invited from Central and Eastern Europe but also from Armenia or Iceland, and in the popular film series “Local Artists”. Always in relation to Upper Austria, it traditionally celebrates the experimental.
Kathrin Hillinger, / 4.5.2023
Once again this year, cinephiles are able to go on a cinematic journey from Linz to Greenland to the Black Sea. For the 20th time now, the Crossing Europe Film Festival presents unconventional, sociocritical and artistically ambitious perspectives by the younger generation of filmmakers from Europe.
Silvia Gschwandtner, Bezirksrundschau Linz / 20.4.2023
Antennas to hear the voices of fellow human beings who have become strangers to us: The CROSSING EUROPE Film Festival has set up a receiving station for this purpose.
Hansjürgen Schmölzer, Creative Austria / April 2023
War, bees, and Nazi killers: This year, the film festival Crossing Europe in Linz devotes itself to European cinema with a program where you can’t pick wrong.
Bert Rebhandl, Der Standard / 26.4.2023

Europe time and time again proves to be a promise whose keeping is delayed over and over. But the soft wing of the European community concept under which all people become brothers and sisters is lame not only because of a changeable “fashion”, as Schiller puts it, but due to geopolitical power struggles – and recently, once more, due to war. Faced with such, what does a festival called “Crossing Europe” do? Throw in the towel? Hardly. The Linzer event, celebrating its 20th edition this year, has always considered itself a bastion of the uniting where films from all regions of Europe would render visible the subliminal parallels and intersections of their individual countries of origin’s lifeworlds and psychogeographies, thus facilitating a dialog that is often thwarted by the real-political rhetoric of difference.
Andrey Arnold, Die Presse / 26.04.2023

Between morality and absurdity: cinematic conscience of Europe and smart commentary: the film festival in Linz has turned twenty.
Zsófia Buglya, Filmvilág / July 2023

The twentieth edition – a remarkable milestone for any cultural event – [...] was in fact the second of the artistic director duo Sabine Gebetsroither and Katharina Riedler, who, following last year’s excellent work, reconfirmed all their management capabilities by presenting a high-level program to the town and the professionals who had traveled there from all over the continent.
Massimo Lechi, Il Ragazzo Selvaggio / June 2023

Since its first edition in 2004, the film festival Crossing Europe has dedicated itself to European auteur film in particular, using it to depict some kind of state of mind of the continent.
Anna Katharina Laggner, FM4 / 17.4.2023

Despite the anniversary, the program structure of Crossing Europe remains as usual. Or actually, one should say – it is back to what it used to be before corona. Because it marks the first time that completely normal event-making is possible again, and normal at Crossing Europe means talks, cinema, and a vast Nightline at the OK Media Deck with a mix of live acts and DJs that invite us to dance and have fun – on each and every one of the six festival days. […] There’ll be a lot going on in the provincial capital at the end of April – which is why the only thing that remains to be said, with happiness and glee: Upper Austria without Crossing Europe – wouldn’t work!
Michaela Ogris, Kulturbericht Oberösterreich / 12.4.2023
To appropriately mark the round anniversary, festival directors Sabine Gebetsroither and Katharina Riedler have decided to return to the cinematic roots – with a very special Linz reference. [...] For 19 years now, Crossing Europe has provided insights into a continent with a complex history, conflict-laden present and yet hopeful future. The program of the 20th edition is dedicated to this approach, under the motto “Europe, we need to talk”.
Claudia Stelzl-Pröll, Kurier / 23.4.2023
Following years marked by the pandemic, the film festival Crossing Europe returned this year in all its glory, in all its multiplicity and internationality. And right on time for the 20th anniversary edition.
Mariella Moshammer, Oberösterreichisches Volksblatt / 3.5.2023

And together with their team, artistic directors Sabine Gebetsroither and Katharina Riedler pursue something big. The anniversary is characterized not by a question, not by a motto, but by a central demand: “Europe, we need to talk!” About what? An indication is given by the programmatical lines stretching through the program that was presented yesterday; the obvious, like the war in Ukraine, the suppressed, like the effects of the “Greek” tragedy caused by the financial crisis, and most of all, what’s in the air: the different views of lives of the generations caused by the breaking-up of a traditional model: father, mother, child(ren), work, prosperity. This is added to by exceptional images and film artists.
Nora Bruckmüller, OÖ Nachrichten / 14.4.2023

When the festival was founded 20 years ago, the idea of a European film festival in a Linz that was perceived as provincial seemed egregious. In the two decades since, not only Linz has changed, but the Europe that appeared on the screen back then has become a decisively different one. Today, political conflicts, war, and anti-democratic tendencies can be observed throughout Europe. All this can also be recognized in the festival program.
Magdalena Miedl, / 26.4.2023

The usual diversity of perspectives and topics pervades the festival program, which this year comprises 139 feature, documentary, and short films from 45 countries and allows for a cinematic trip from Greenland to the Basque region. Which is also where in 20,000 SPECIES OF BEES, an eight-year-old child spends their summer with a family who have a hard time accepting their not being able to identify with their biological gender. Emphatically telling about growing up in a patriarchal social structure, and doing so always from the child’s perspective, this feature film is also one of the four opening films. There is traditionally a special program focus at Crossing Europe dedicated to the examination of the life realities of young people. It offers talks with professional filmmakers who provide insights into their work, a Workshop Rally that allows them to try out new film techniques, or a dedicated film program, namely the youth-curated competition section YAAAS! Competition.
Julia Baschiera, ORF Die Kulturwoche / 23.4.2023

It’s now the 20th time that the cinematic journey through European life realities takes place in Linz. The international film festival Crossing Europe presents this year’s edition under the motto Europe, we need to talk. Crossing Europe traditionally starts with several films that provide a glimpse at the coming festival program. The opening features the documentary EASTERN FRONT by Vitaly Mansky and Yevhen Titarenko, in the presence of the filmmakers. For several months, Titarenko and his camera joined a group of paramedics rescuing wounded people at the Ukrainian-Russian front. LGBTIQ+ and identities also play a role in young European cinema. The main character in 20,000 SPECIES OF BEES struggles with the question of who she is. Eight-year-old leading actor Sofia Otero was awarded a Silver Bear for her performance. The drama A BLAST by Syllas Tzoumerkas addresses the consequences of the Greek financial crisis in the 2010s. Angeliki Papoulia, the principal actor, is the Tribute guest. So, there’s a lot to discuss.
Tiziana Aricò, ORF Kulturjournal / 24.4.2023

This year’s Crossing Europe Film Festival commences with the festival trailer “Das Meeting endet in 10 Minuten”. Fully reflecting the motto “Europe, we need to talk!”, it deals with the new forms of communication established over the course of the pandemic. They still remain faithful, however, to the traditional goal of discovering and communicating new, young European cinema, also during the 20-year festival anniversary that is celebrated this year.
Marlene Scheuch, Raiffeisen Zeitung / 20.4.2023

After 19 years, Crossing Europe Film Festival takes place for the 20th time this year – so one can rightly speak of an established film culture institution. [...] An anniversary, in any case, was the perfect time to look back – but also to look ahead.
Oliver Stangl, ray Filmmagazin / April 2023

“You could even scoot a little closer, if possible”: The first sentence from the short “Das Meeting endet in 10 Minuten” by Anna Sophia Rußmann and Kilian Immervoll, serving as this year’s festival trailer of the festival Crossing Europe, says it all: sitting down next to each other, talking with each other, learning from each other, recognizing the things in common and the differences.
Gini Brenner, Salzburger Nachrichten / 27.4.2023

If you have time to fully delve into the festival, you might forget that Linz is not Barcelona, Reykjavik or Belgrade. The languages mix, all of Europe is a guest in our city. Meeting new people with similar interests is never as easy as it is at Crossing Europe. And you’ll meet each other again, either at other festivals or in Linz, because the guests like to come back. While the Urfahraner Market is held and a May pole is put up on the main square with a lot of oompah, the cinema lets you see problems great and small from all regions of the world that may be so different and yet so alike. But that open-minded feeling is what I’d like preserved, for more than just one beautiful week a year.
Andreas Kepplinger, / 5.5.2023

From tonight until 1 May, a total of 139 feature, documentary, and short films from 45 countries are on the schedule of a film festival in a jubilant mood: When Christine Dollhofer launched the film event 20 years ago, “Crossing Europe” was still a small affair that walked us through neighboring and remote European filmmaking. The programmatic orientation has not changed, but the film event has grown up and grown steadily.
Matthias Greuling, Wiener Zeitung / 26.4.2023