Zagreb Film Festival Opens With "Rams"

By 15 November 2015

The 13th Zagreb Film Festival has begun.

"Rams", the Icelandic candidate for the Oscars, opened Zagreb Film Festival on Saturday evening at the Europa Cinema. It is the first of thirteen films which will compete for the main festival award this year. "Zagreb Film Festival every year offers quality programs of top independent films", Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić said at the opening ceremony, adding that he was proud that the festival this year will last a day longer than usual. He said that the City of Zagreb supports Zagreb Film Festival due to all the results the festival had achieved over the last thirteen years, reports Slobodna Dalmacija on November 15, 2015.

Traditionally, the annual Albert Kapović Award was presented during the opening ceremony. This year, the winner was producer Vanja Andrijević, whose Bonobostudio production company promotes Croatian animated and experimental films. "Vanja Andrijević works modestly and quietly, and tirelessly promotes Croatian films, generously sharing her experiences with others", said Vanja Sremec on behalf of the Croatian Producers Association which awards the prize.

Before the screening, a video message by director of "Rams" Grimur Hakonarson was shown. He explained that it was a very personal film for him, considering that as a child he helped his grandfather on a sheep farm. "I wanted to make a film about the special relationship between Icelanders and sheep, which are very important in our society and this is a movie dedicated to them", Hakonarson said, explaining that in Iceland there are far more sheep than people.

Zagreb audience welcomed to the Europa Cinema the main actors of the film, Sigurdur Sigurjonsson and Theodor Juliusson, as representatives of the film industry which, despite the small population, has been increasingly successful on the world film scene, with some calling it "Hollywood of the North". "Rams" won this year's "Un Certain Regard" competition at the Film Festival in Cannes, charming the jury with its unique presentation of isolated Icelandic wilderness where two brothers are forced to abandon their mutual hostility after a number of years.

The 13th edition of the Zagreb Film Festival includes a total of 109 films from Scandinavia to Oceania, with main program including two films from Iceland, two from the Czech Republic, two Croatian co-productions, two films from South America and five national candidates for Oscars. The festival ends on 22 November, and screenings will be held at cinemas Europa and Tuškanac, Zagreb Dance Centre, Museum of Contemporary Art, KIC Dokukino and Academy of Dramatic Arts.