European Union Film Festival kicks off tonight with Italian romance, Latvian animated memoir

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Recent award winners, national blockbusters, festival circuit faves, Oscar submissions and even three all-ages screenings make up this year’s European Film Festival.

Now in its 17th year, the festival collects the best and brightest from the European Union. This year that means screen entries from 27 member states, beginning tonight (Nov. 21) and running until Dec. 4 at the Cinematheque (1131 Howe St.).

Opening night (tonight) films show the kind of diversity audiences can expect. They include A Special Day, a 2012 Italian film described as “Roman Holiday meets Before Sunrise” by the Hollywood Reporter. In it, aspiring celebrity Gina, who’ll do anything to be famous, gets together (or does she?) with Marco, the chauffeur taking her to a meeting with an important man.

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The other opening night movie is Rocks in My Pockets, a 2014 Latvia/USA co-production. An animated memoir from Latvian-born, U.S.-based filmmaker Signe Baumane, it’s Latvia’s official submission to the upcoming 87th Oscars. Rocks in My Pockets mixes family saga, a personal account of inherited mental illness, and a mini-history of 20th-century Latvia.

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Other films come from Poland (Stones For the Rampart  – all ages welcome), Romania (Déjà Vu), Germany (F*ck you, Gohte aka Suck me Shakespeer), Finland (Road North) and more.

You can see a full schedule here.

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