The 3rd European Psychoanalytic Film Festival


London 3 - 6 November 2005

Organised by the
British Psychoanalytical Society

A warm thank you to all who attended this event
and who made it such a success [Ed]

Report on the 3rd European Psychoanalytic Film Festival (epff3)

Andrea Sabbadini

Organised and hosted by our Society, the 3rd European Psychoanalytic Film Festival took place in London from 3 to 6 November 2005. Some 260 delegates coming from over 20 different countries (as remote as Brazil, Canada, the USA, Russia, South Korea and Australia) took part in the ongoing creative interdisciplinary dialogue between cinema and psychoanalysis.

In the course of the opening reception at Regent’s College, psychoanalysts, therapists, filmmakers, scholars and students were welcomed by Roger Kennedy as President Elect of our Society and by myself as Chairman of epff3. Film historian Ian Christie and Helen Taylor Robinson then introduced the screening of two powerful Czeck animation shorts by Jan Svenkmajer, a world master of this medium.

Proceedings started the following morning in the prestigious theatres of BAFTA (the British Academy of Film and Television Arts) in Piccadilly. Throughout two days, delegates were offered an intense programme of screenings of movies - some of them never seen before in this country - from different European cinematic traditions, which they then had the opportunity of discussing with panels of psychoanalysts, film directors, screenwriters and academics. Some of the themes covered by such films included the unlikely friendship between two very different men (Elling), the doomed attempts of an adolescent girl to rescue her mother from a life of prostitution (Or), the plight of 70,000 Finnish children evacuated to Sweden during WW2 (Mother of Mine), the psychological conflict of a man involved in a hit-and-run car accident (Wolfsburg), the sado-masochistic relationship between a girl and a man who would only love anorexic women (First Love), the reconstruction through family movies, diaries and still photographs of the life and suicide of two filmmakers’ own parents (Un’ora sola ti vorrei and Boogie-Woogie Daddy).

Lectures and panels, generously illustrated with clips from the works being presented, looked closely at such works as Un Chien Andalou (Andrew Webber), Mother Dao (Laura Mulvey and Daniel Pick) and Talk to Her (Andrea  Sabbadini); investigated the representation of ageing in such films as The Swimming Pool (Diana Diamond), Belleville Rendez-Vous (Alexander Stein), The Flight of the Eagle (Lissa Weinstein) and Comment J’ai Tué Mon Père (Jeff Kline); considered a series of films where time is represented as moving backwards (Ian Christie), Buñuel’s development of the idea of amour fou (Peter Evans), contrasting forms of representations of the Holocaust in Central and Western European cinema (Cathy Portugues and Bruce Sklarew).

Other highlights at epff3 were Glen Gabbard’s tour-de-force on different methodologies in psychoanalytic film criticism, and the discussion with actor Imelda Staunton, following the screening of Mike Leigh’s Vera Drake, of her role as a backstreet abortionist. The programme of events culminated with the presentation to Bernardo Bertolucci, Honorary President of epff since it started in 2001, of the first Honorary Fellowship awarded by the British Psychoanalytical Society. This brief and moving ceremony was followed by the viewing of a 35 minute long compilation, specially prepared for this occasion by Bertolucci himself, of poignant sequences from some of his best-loved movies.

The dinner-and-dance party on Guy Fawkes night aboard the Dixie Queen sailing up and down the Thames lit by fireworks will be remembered as a very special one indeed by the over 200 people who joined us to celebrate epff3.

The final event, on the Sunday morning, chaired by Laura Mulvey, Glen Gabbard and myself, was a stimulating plenary discussion. The organisers had a chance to share with the delegates many useful comments and constructive suggestions, and were left with the gratifying impression that most delegates wished to come back in 2007 for epff4.

Click here for

by Clive Robinson

some photographs from epff3. Thanks are due to our epff3 photographer Clive Robinson



Tower Bridge Video (Broadband only)






British Academy of Film &Television Arts 
195 Piccadilly, London W1


Honorary President
Bernardo Bertolucci

Organising Committee
Andrea Sabbadini (Chairman)
Marina Perris-Myttas (Hon Sec)
Don Campbell
Eric Karas
Eileen McGinley
Tharu Naidoo
Kannan Navaratnem

Ann Glynn (Administration)


Sponsored by
The Italian Cultural Institute, London


epff3 consisted of film screenings followed by discussions, and of panel presentations on various aspects of European cinema and its relationship to psychoanalysis, with plenty of opportunities for audience participation. epff3 was a unique opportunity for international filmmakers, critics, academics and psychoanalysts to come together with a wide audience.

For those of you interested in film and psychoanalysis there is a growing bibliography on the site, which already is one of the most comprehensive of its kind.

  Film & Psychoanalysis Bibliography


Enquiries:(+44)(0)207 563 5017 

Archived information about the three European Psychoanalytic Film Festivals

epff1 , epff2 & epff3

please note that not all links are active








New Library of Psychoanalysis Number 44

The Couch and the Silver Screen

Psychoanalytic Reflections on European Cinema

The Couch and the Silver screen

Edited by Andrea Sabbadini

The latest title in the New Library of Psychoanalysis series is a collection of original contributions which explore European cinema from psychoanalytic perspectives. Both classic and contemporary films are presented and analysed by a variety of authors, including leading cinema historians and theorists, and psychoanalysts with a specific expertise in the interpretation of films, as well as the filmmakers themselves. This composite approach offers a fascinating insight into the world of cinema.


Soft cover / 258 pages / ISBN: 158391952X / £18.99 Eur30.38

Order now from Karnac Books



Enquiries:(+44)(0)207 563 5017


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