The seventh edition of the festival will be affected by the travel chaos

The travel chaos caused by Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull could prevent many filmmakers and journalists from attending this year’s edition of Linz’s Crossing Europe which will open on Tuesday evening (April 20).

The seventh edition kicks off with screenings of Berlinale 2010 competition films On The Path by Jasmila Zbanic and How I Spent The End Of Summer by Alexei Popogrebsky as well as the world premiere of Christian Tod and Oliver Stangl’s music documentary Es Muss Was Geben.

In a statement on the effects of the volcanic cloud, festival director Christina Dollhofer said that almost all of the film prints had arrived in Linz and therefore 95% of the screenings would take place as planned.

“Should the European air space remain closed until Tuesday, many cancellations have to be expected; and even if air traffic resumes we do not know for how long flights will be delayed,” Dollhofer said.

At least 75 festival guests may be prevented from getting to the festival, including Lotte Schreiber, the curator of the new sidebar Reclaiming Space on architecture and film, as well as UK film critic Neil Young who is due to moderate the opening ceremony.

Highlights of this year’s festival programme include the European Cinema Competition of debuts and second films and a tribute to Russia’s Koktebel Film Company, the producer of films by Alexei Popogrebsky and Boris Khlebnikov as well as Nikolay Khomeriki and Vassily Sigarev.

The International Jury of France’s Matthieu Darras, artistic director of the Film Festival Bratislava, the Slovenian Film Fund’s Nerina T. Kocjanćić, and actress-producer Labina Mitevska, will be deciding the winner of the Crossing Europe Award from such films as Asli Özge’s Men On The Bridge, Samantha Morton’s The Unloved, Tatjana Turanskyi’s The Drifter and Vladimir Perisic’s Ordinary People.