For the first time, EFP (European Film Promotion) spotlights outstanding European documentaries with True Stories: New Non-Fiction from Europe in New York City. For the launch of the program, running from May 3 – 7, 2017 EFP has teamed up with the New York-based cinema Metrograph, home to a prolific and finely curated world of cinema. The majority of EFP’s 38 member organizations enthusiastically suggested films that push the visual and narrative boundaries of traditional non-fiction filmmaking. The final selection – curated by Metrograph – presents nine productions including four US premieres and three NY premieres.
Europe’s refugee crisis is confronted head-on in this daring conversation-starter. The film unfolds in three acts, each of which takes place in a classroom full of actual refugees. At the front is Valentin, a Dutch actor who embodies a different political stance in each act: he’s a right-winger in the first iteration, liberal in the second, and finally, in the third, he represents the actual Dutch position on refugees. The blunt dialogues between Valentin’s personae and the asylum seekers can be as enraging as they are illuminating, and are never less than riveting. These are difficult and necessary dialogues, and 28-year-old director Guido Hendrikx rises to the level of fearless, challenging, and provocative filmmaking that this political firestorm requires. Accomplished with little more than a chalkboard and conversation, Stranger in Paradise is a brutal lesson for us all, not least in its damning epilog. “If Lars Von Trier were to make a documentary about the current immigration crisis in Europe, it might very well turn out like Stranger in Paradise” (Variety).
EFP Member: EYE International
European Film Promotion (EFP) is a unique network of 37 European member countries who represent films and talent from their respective territories. Under the EFP flag, the members work together on initiatives to jointly promote European cinema and talent at key international film festivals and markets. EFP is financially supported by the Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union and by its member organizations. The Hamburg-based office is backed by the German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, the Film Fund Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein and the Ministry of Culture of the City of Hamburg. www.efp-online.de