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    • New Talents Open Call
      Eastern Neighbours Film Festival (ENFF) began in The Netherlands in 2008 with the idea to offer Dutch and international audiences a unique glimpse into the cinema of their neighbors from Eastern and Southern Europe. This annual event presents the most recent, exciting, and thought‐provoking films, from countries with small, but often powerful film industries, that… Read more: New Talents Open Call
    • ENFF 2023 On Demand!
      Unable To attend the festival in person? No problem! From November 27th to December 3rd, we’re thrilled to bring you a curated selection of this year’s films available for online viewing! Catch our captivating Opening Film Ivan’s Land, or the touching Closing Film Seventh Heaven. Or explore a collection of shorts from the New Talents Competition! Follow along… Read more: ENFF 2023 On Demand!
    • What’s up in Slovak Cinema? A conversation with Monika Lostakova
      We talked with Monika Lošťáková about contemporary Slovak cinema.
    • ENFF and the Eastern European Film Festival Network!
      The Eastern European Film Festival Network brings together five film festivals dedicated to promoting and showcasing Eastern European cinema, alongside one partner organisation.
    • Masterclasses
      Through these masterclasses we approach two memory in film from different angles: memories from a personal or collective recollection through archive material.
    • Work in Progress
      In Work in Progress, emerging filmmakers and artists will present their works in development to the audience and engage in discussions with Dutch experts.
    • Festival Timetable Available!
    • Check out the catalogue for our 2023 edition!
    • Music at ENFF
      Every year, ENFF brings special musical guests who bring beauty to the program and further represent the rich cultures of their countries to a Dutch audience.
    • Film Marathon
      Join us for the Film Marathon, a new concept in which we merge two components, Short Films, Big Stories, and New Talents Competition into a whole-day screening of short films!

Memory in Cinema

(El Shatt – A Blueprint for Utopia 2023)

Film is a medium defined by its relationship with memory. The audience is always aware that what it sees on screen was recorded in the past and edited in retrospect. In many ways, every film is a reminiscence, with the filmmaker and editor taking on the role of our subconscious as they select, focus, and edit images. “Cinema, like our memory, travels through time, reliving moments from the past with limitless possibilities,” says Hungarian philosopher and aesthetician Georg Lukacs. According to him, “cinema copies the selective encoding process of our memory onto the screen as a director and editor compose the images and scenes into a full-length film.” When we immerse ourselves in the stories of contemporary films, our memories often force us to think about our situation in the here and now, and even about the future. 

We look at dealing with memory in film from different angles. For example, memories that are projected but not present, or memories from a personal or collective recollection through archive material. Memory is not just about the past but also about interaction with the present, which can consciously or unconsciously influence our view of the future. How do we anticipate the future by, for instance, being confronted daily with the constant horrors of the war in Ukraine? What will the story of Europe be in thirty or more years?

This program comprises feature films, documentaries, and animated films from six countries.

In The Happiest Man in the World (North Macedonia, Teona Strugar Mitevska, 2022), which premiered at the Venice Film Festival and was the national submission for the 95th Oscars, an impressive drama is told, inspired by the true story of screenwriter Elma Tataragić from Sarajevo. By chance, a young woman encounters the sniper who severely wounded her as a child.

Deserters (Damir Markovina, 2022) from Croatia, winner of the Opus Bonum Grand Prize at the Jihlava Film Festival, takes a deep look at the still-visible scars of the war in Mostar, Herzegovina, using animation.

Love Is Not an Orange (Otilia Babara, 2022), an award-winning film from Moldova, tells the story of mothers working abroad without their families and experiencing homesickness, touching upon the reality of many Ukrainians whose families are also separated.