A Season of Classics Films is a series of free film screenings and parallel activities across Europe designed to attract younger audiences to our shared cinematic cultural heritage. The programme looks to raise awareness of the work of European film archives, connecting the public with cinema history and the significance of film preservation. Most of the films are premiere digital restorations and some screenings include live performances and educational interactive sessions. All films are available with English subtitles. Additionally, French or other subtitles are in some cases available. This is an initiative of the Association des Cinémathèques Européennes (ACE) with the support of the EU Creative Europe MEDIA programme.
The screenings will take place between June and December 2022 in cinemas across Europe and online. Please check this page and follow ACE on social media for the latest news: Facebook / Instagram / Twitter.
9-10 June | Face to Face / Πρόσωπο με Πρόσωπο [Prosopo me Prosopo] | Greece, 1966, 84′
Manthoulis played a crucial role in the renewal of Greek cinema in both documentary and fiction film. This film presents a bitter satire of the new bourgeoisie in the 1960s. Restored and presented by Ταινιοθήκη της Ελλάδος / Greek Film Archive.
10-17 June | Blue 9 / Plavi 9 | Yugoslavia, 1950, 93′
A romantic comedy depicting adventures in the world of football with all the challenges and glory this game offers.
Restored and presented by Croatian state archive – Croatian cinematheque.
25 June | The Conformist / Il Conformista | Italy, 1970, 108′
A film that changed everything: Bertolucci’s directing style, his personal way of recounting the past, of staging history. It had a unique influence on an entire generation of filmmakers. Restored and presented by Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna.
17 July | P.O. Box 1001 / Apartado de Correos 1001 | Spain, 1950, 90′
Restored and presented by Filmoteca de Catalunya.
25 August | Character / Karakter | The Netherlands, 1997, 122′
In the Netherlands of the 1920s, a dreaded bailiff is found dead, with the obvious suspect being an ambitious young lawyer who worked his way up from poverty, always managing to overcome personal attacks against him. Restored and presented by Eye Filmmuseum.
7 September | Vera Klichkova: Film Legacy of a Pioneering Ethnologist | Yugoslavia, 1954-1966, 79′
Three ethnology documentaries from the cinematic legacy of Vera Klichkova depict Easter customs in Greshnica, Rusalii dances in Miravci, and a traditional wedding in Mariovo. Restored and presented by the Cinematheque of the Republic of North Macedonia.
8 September | Slovenian Experimental Classic Films | Yugoslavia and Slovenia, 1965-2013, 63′
These films were mostly created in the context of Kino Clubs in Yugoslavia where authors grew and formed their artistic film expression freely, without state interventions. Restored and presented by the Slovenian Cinematheque.
30 September | Manasse | Romania, 1924-1925, 54′
*world premiere restoration* Lelia Cohanovici, a young Jewish woman, wants to marry a Christian man, but finds opposition from her grandfather and peers. Restored and presented by Arhiva Nationala de Filme, Romania. There will be two simultaneous free cinema screenings with live music in Bucharest (cinema Eforie) and in Cluj-Napoca (cinema Victoria). The screenings will be followed by a Q&A session with Ruxandra Blaga, film restorer and archivist. A worldwide online premiere will follow (10-17 October).
11 October (Göteborg), 19 October (Stockholm), 1 November (Malmö) | With Reindeer and Sled in Inka Länta’s Winterland / Med Ackja Och Ren i Inka Läntas Vinterland | Sweden, 1926, 59′
One of the earliest feature-length films about Sámi, the indigenous people of Sweden. The film depicts the culture and everyday life of a Sámi family in a less exotifying manner than many similar films from its era. Restored and presented by the Swedish Film Institute.
23 October | Change of Life / Mudar de Vida | Portugal, 1966, 94′
Representing the so-called Portuguese “New Cinema” period, Paulo Rocha’s film silently echoes the colonial war, with the story of a man who returns to his country and finds it difficult to reunite with his native village. Restored and presented by Cinemateca Portuguesa-Museu do Cinema. The screening will take place in collaboration with the Avanca cineclub at the Estarreja Cine-Teatro, very close to where the film was shot.
25 October and 7 December | Janko the Musician / Janko Muzykant | Poland, 1930, 104′
One of the oldest preserved Polish films and an example of early European sound cinema. It tells the story of a boy who dreams of becoming a great violinist. Restored and presented by National Film Archive – Audiovisual Institute, Poland.
27 October | Corpses / Cada Ver Es | Spain, 1981, 81′
Radical and poetic approach to death through the testimonies of Juan M. Espada, assistant at the Anatomical Forensics Institute of Valencia, Spain. Restored and presented by Filmoteca Valenciana – Institut Valencià de Cultura.
20 November | The Cruel Embrace / Les Noces barbares | Belgium, 1987, 99′
The adaptation of Yann Queffélec’s Prix Goncourt-winning novel about the painful relationship between a mother and her unwanted child. Restored and presented by the Cinematheque royale de Belgique / Koninklijk Belgisch Filmarchief.
13 December | The Balkan War / Балканската Война [Balkanskata Voyna] | Bulgaria, 1913, 55′
A unique visual document of the Balkan Wars 1912-1913. The film will be contextualised by film historian Petar Kardjilov. The event will be recorded and uploaded on BNFA`s YouTube channel for free online access until 31 December 2022. Restored and presented by the Bulgarian National Film Archive.
13 December | The Wall / Le Mur | France, 1966, 86′
Film adaptation of Jean-Paul Sartre’s novel about Spanish Civil War. Restored and presented by La Cinémathèque de Toulouse.
14 December | Lotte Reiniger’s Early Work | Germany, 1919-1930, 108′
Lotte Reiniger (1899-1981) is the ‘Grande Dame’ of animation film and the creator of a multitude of silhouette films. This programme presents eight newly-restored films of her early work. Restored and presented by the DFF – Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum.
16 December | The Prague Executioner / Pražský Kat | Czechoslovakia, 1927, 99′
A tale of a 17th century executioner, his son and the machinations of one robber baron. The film shines as one of the earliest examples of how cinema imagined the past. Restored and presented by Národní filmový archiv, Prague.
17 December | This Other Eden | Ireland/UK, 1959, 81′
The first Irish feature film directed by a woman; This Other Eden provides a satirical insight into Irish society of the 1950s. It touches irreverently on illegitimacy, Anglo-Irish relations, the wealth of the Church, and the relevance of the fight for independence to contemporary Ireland. Restored and presented by the Irish Film Institute.
21 December | Orpheus and Eurydice / Orfeusz és Eurydiké | Hungary, 1985, 90′
István Gaál’s opera film to the music of Gluck evokes the classical Greek myth in a series of breathtaking images. Restored and presented by National Film Institute Hungary – Film Archive. The film will be free-to-view online with worldwide access between 26 December – 1 January.
25 December (online), 27 December (Tirana), 28 (Libohova) | Concert in the Year 1936 / Koncert në Vitin 1936 | Albania, 1978, 89′
A comedy about two young performers, a pianist and a singer, who arrive in a small town where they meet some unexpected resistance from the local authorities. Restored and presented by Arkivi Qendror Shtetëror i Filmit / Albanian National Film Archive.
28 December | Klakson | Yugoslavia, 1965, 99′
The story of an unsuccessful attempt by a group of young people to escape the absurdity of civilization. Restored and presented by Arhiv Jugoslovenske kinoteke / Jugoslav Film Archive. Cinema screening in Belgrade on 28 December at 18:00. Online worldwide premiere with English subtitles on 28 December at 21:00 (Belgrade time).
29 December | Stolen Meeting / Varastatud Kohtumine| Estonia, 1988, 97′
Valentina, an ex-convict, is determined to reunite with her 8-year-old son Jüri. Restored and presented by the Film Archive of the National Archives of Estonia. The film will premiere online on 5 January 2023 and will be available for free for one week.
Travel through Switzerland / Reise durch die Schweiz | Switzerland, 1920-1961, 102′
These unique short films offer an eclectic view of the past in different regions of Switzerland, from aviation pioneers in the 1920s to progressive women in the 1960s. The archived live streaming features an introduction about the films and piano accompaniment. Restored and presented by Lichtspiel / Kinemathek Bern.
Summer Daydream: A Selection of Vintage Bulgarian Short Films | Bulgaria, 1926 – 1940, 70′
The films depict life in Bulgaria in the interwar period with a pinch of humour and take the viewers to an imaginary vacation in the Black Sea and the countryside. The archived live streaming features an introduction about the films and musical accompaniment by violinist Boyana Zhelyazkova and pianist Yasen Obretenov. Restored and presented by the Bulgarian National Film Archive.
Sanz and the secret of his art / Sanz y el secreto de su arte | Spain, Maximiliano Thous and Francisco Sanz, 1918, 65′
An unusual hybrid between documentary and fiction displaying the manufacture and handling of animated human-like dolls, known as automata, and the fictitious adventures of Don Liborio. The archived live streaming features an introduction about the film and piano music by Arcadi Valiente Galbis. The film is restored and presented by Filmoteca Valenciana – Institut Valencià de Cultura.
Discover Czech silent films from 1891-1929
The selection includes some of the first movies shot in the Czech lands, Karel Lamač’s films and performances by Vlasta Burian and Anna Ondráková. Discussions on topics related to silent film and its presentation are also available. The films are restored and presented by the Czech National Film Archive with contemporary music.
A Quiet Summer / Мирно лето [Mirno Leto] | Yugoslavia, Dimitrie Osmanli, 1961, 99′
A young couple yearns for their summer peaceful retreat by the lake. Will they manage to escape from the very same faces they are trying to hide away? The archived live streaming features a mini-concert and an introduction about the film. Restored and presented by the Cinematheque of North Macedonia.
Frosina / Фросина [Frosina] | Yugoslavia, Voislav Nanovic, 1952, 79′
Frosina, a single mother who suffered a lot in life and lost many children, faces the fear of losing her only surviving child in the fight for freedom… The film is restored and presented by the Cinematheque of North Macedonia.
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