Biggest European Film Hits in the Great 5 Program

One of ZFF’s most popular and longest-lasting programs which is taking place for the 11th time, The Great 5, will feature a selection of the most exciting recent film works from Europe’s five biggest cinematographers: France, Italy, Germany, Great Britain and Spain.

Representing France in the Great 5 program is the romantic comedy La Belle Époque by Nicolas Bedos (Cannes 2019) about a grumpy sixty-year-old Victor (Daniel Auteuil – Hidden) who is convinced his best days are long gone. When his wife finally kick him out, he accepts the offer of an agency offering its clients a chance to enter a historic period of their choice with the help of elaborate film sets and film crew. One of the roles is played by Guillaume Canet, the famous French actor and director we saw last year in the movie Double Lives.

The Traitor (Cannes 2019) is the Italian Oscar candidate which depicts the life of the most famous mafia boss turned pentito, Tommaso Buscetta. Caught in a war between clashed mafia factions in the 1980’s, the arrested Buscetta accepts the judge’s offer to become a witness. Disappointed with Cosa Nostra abandoning the traditional values, he does not view his act as breaking the code. The film is directed by Marco Bellocchio, an award-winning Italian veteran (Golden Lion Honorary Award) who shows no signs of slowing down after stirring the Italian cinematography in the 1960’s.

From Germany comes the triple laureate of Karlovy Vary (Special Jury Prize, Best Actress Award, Prize of the Ecumenical Jury), an intriguing study of the relationship between mother and son, Lara, by Jan Ole Gerster. It is Lara’s (Corinna Harfouch – Downfall) 60th birthday. On the same day, her son will perform the most important concert of his piano career. Although everybody but her received their invitations for that important event, Lara will not let that hinder her and she decides to deal with the matter in an unusual and idiosyncratic way. This long-awaited second film by one of the most acclaimed talents of his generation, Jan-Ole Gerster (Oh Boy), is praised by the audience and critics alike.

Representing Great Britain, the debut film by Harry Wootliff, Only You, is a painfully sincere film about desire, intimacy and obstacles one encounters on the path to true love. The story about Elena and Jake unfolds rapidly fast. They met on New Year’s and began a passionate romance. They soon move in together and start planning kids. But Elena is 35, and Jake 26 and the biological clock is ticking. How much can a romance withstand the pressure of raw everyday life? The producers also worked on A. Haigh’s acclaimed dramas 45 Years and Weekend, while the main roles are played by rising stars Laia Costa (Victoria) and Josh O’Connor (God’s Own Country – ZFF 2017).

Jonás Trueba gives us an atmospheric portrait of a long warm summer in the Spanish capital in a film about a young woman on the threshold of maturity The August Virgin, which won the special prize at Karlovy Vary. It’s summertime in Madrid and the unbearable heat has forced most of its residents out of the city. Turning 33, as a token of her faith, Eva decides to spend August with those who remained. As the streets teem with fiestas offering a refuge from the heat, Eva meets different people she tries to help. Wanting to make the main protagonist as authentic as possible, director Jonás Trueba wrote the script together with lead actress Itsaso Arana.

The program was realized in cooperation with the network of European Union National Institutes for Culture in Croatia (EUNIC Hrvatska).