For seventeen years now, every year the European Union Film Festival has been bringing a selection of films to Malaysia. A rare chance to see something other than the usual big budget crowd-pleasing block busters on the big screen, this year’s festival will run in Penang at Gurney Plaza’s GSC cinemas from November 3rd until 9th.

Nineteen countries are participating this year, with a total of twenty-one award-winning movies, including everything from romance, drama, comedy and thrillers to documentaries. All of them are screened in their original language with English subtitles, and from time to time may be manually censored during the screenings….

Particular titles to look out for include Standing Tall (La Tête Haute) a 2015 French drama starring Catherine Deneuve, which was selected to open the Cannes Film Festival, received eight nominations at the Cesar Awards and won two. It screens on Tuesday 8th November at 5pm.

Spain’s Living is Easy with Eyes Closed (Vivir es fácil con los ojos cerrados)  is a 2013 comedy drama) which won 6 GOYA awards, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Original Writing and Best Leading Actor. This is being screened twice, on Thursday 3rd, and Wednesday 9th, at 9.30pm. Unlike most of the other films, it is being screened free of charge. You can download vouchers for entrance on the festival’s website.

Another free of charge screening is of Dreams Of A Life, a disturbing English documentary, telling the story of a woman who died in her bedsit above a shopping mall in North London in 2003, and whose body wasn’t discovered for three years. Interweaving interviews with imagined scenes from the woman’s life, the film is not just about her, but is also  portrait of London in the eighties: the City, music, and race relations. It shows at 9.30pm on Monday 7th November.

The full schedule is available at Tickets are priced at MYR8.00 each except for Living is Easy with Eyes Closed (Spain), Have You Ever Been on the Moon (Italy), Dreams of a life (UK), Children of Glory (Hungary). Vouchers for these can be downloaded at

All screenings are at the GSC cinema on the top floor of Gurney Plaza.