The Project

The European Grandma Project aims to explore Europe’s history through its female narratives. Nine grandmothers (born between 1920 and 1935) from Europe and Israel tell their stories to their granddaughters, filmmakers who make them accessible in form of cinematic portraits. The European Grandma Project represents probably the last chance to conserve their life stories in the form of first-hand accounts. The involved European filmmakers and their grandmothers, provide with their stories and views a critical, as well as affectionate, perspective on a shared European history.

See a description of the aim of the project also here

Press release*

Directors: Alenka Maly, Hadas Neuman, Fleur Nieddu, Anna Ólafsdóttir, Giorgia Polizzi, Berke Soyuer,Desislava Tsoneva, Maria Tzika, Ekaterina Volkova
length: 80 min.; documentary film
Alenka Maly, film director and actress from Linz, took her own intensive “conversation relationship” with her grandmother as the starting point for the realization of the European Oral History film project THE EUROPEAN GRANDMA PROJECT. With the motto “Grandmothers telling their versions of European history”, in 2015 she launched a European-wide call and found eight like-minded filmmakers, who created portraits of their grandmothers in parallel to one another in Israel, Greece, Italy, Iceland, Bulgaria, Russia, England, Turkey and Austria. These women, born in the 20s and early 30s of the last century, tell their filmmaking granddaughters about war, political upheavals, love, and everyday life in their time in Europe.
Alenka Maly and her colleagues have succeeded in capturing an authentic panorama of European history on film and creating a small cinematic memorial for a group of strong women, which offers an insight into the dark chapters of European history of the 20th century for the generations born later.
The film will be presented during the Crossing Europe Film festival opening on 25 April with eight of the nine filmmakers present.
Alenka Maly and Producer Nora Gumpenberger will be guests at Kepler Salon Linz on Monday, 23 April to talk about the origins and the development of the project.
The Grandma Portraits can be seen in full length as part of the exhibition ORAL HISTORIES: ALENKA MALY from 25 to 30 April in the kulturtankstelle in the Upper Austrian Culture Quarter.


*Press release source: Crossing Europe



CE18-OpeningFilms_TheEuropeanGrandmaProject-1_GROSSGrandma Muzaffer, Turkey ( (c) Berke Soyuer)

CE18-OpeningFilms_TheEuropeanGrandmaProject-2_GROSSGrandma Paola, Italy ( (c) Giorgia Polizzi)

TheEuropeanGrandmaProject-GrandmaMariaGreece_creditsMariaTzikaGrandma Maria, Greece ( (c) Maria Tzika)

TheEuropeanGrandmaProject-GrandmaRosaAustria_creditsAlenkaMalyGrandma Rosa, Austria ( (c) Alenka Maly)

GrandmaDisaIceland_copyrightAnna_TheEuropeanGrandmaProjectGrandma Hjördis, Iceland ( (c) Anna Ólafsdóttir)

PenaGrandma Pena, Bulgaria ( (c) Desislava Tsoneva)

MonicaGrandma Monica, Great Britain ( (c) Fleur Nieddu)

RuchamaGrandma Ruchama, Israel ( (c) Hadas Neumann)

LubovGrandma Lubov, Russia ( (c) Ekaterina Volkova)

The book of life – the grandmas and their granddaughters

(copyright: the filmmakers and Roland Freinschlag)



Press review

Die Referentin – Kunst und Kulturelle Nahversorgung

#11 März/April/Mai 2018



Blickpunkt:Film 6.2.2018


Volksblatt 7.2.2018