Day One - 11th Vukovar Film Festival

By 22 August 2017

TCN's Deane Thomas gives us a closer look at the 11th Vukovar Film Festival.

I had the pleasure of connecting with Discovery Films director Igor Rakonića back in 2006, when the 1st Vukovar Film Festival came to Vukovar. Many at that time thought Igor was a little bit crazy, but his vision for conencting peaople through the performing arts is well and truly alive. Back in 2006 the screenings were held on a barge next to rowing club on the Danube. Today it is an event that resembles a junior version of Cannes. In fact Igor likes to call it the Danube Regional film festival, connecting the surrounding cultures of the Danube with film.

Having a big heart for Vukovar and a desire to bring much a needed spotlight on this region, it is clear to see the amount of hard work and energy the past 11 years has achieved. Today the event boasts a fantastic array of venues, a great portfolio of films, from a broad spectrum of cultures. In addition the event is attended by some of the greatest names in non-main stream commercial films.

This years' event was launched with the screening of the Hungarianproduction ''On Body and Soul'' (Testről és lélekről)directed byIldikó EnyediAn award winner at the 67th Berlin Film Festival, having been presented with the Golden Bear, as well as nominated as Best Film by the International Association of Film Critics (FIPRESCI). Vukovar was proud to welcome the film's director Ildikó Enyedi, and a full auditorium at the Hrvatski Dom.

Catching up with Igor yesterday, I had the chance to ask him, now the event has reached this pinnacle point, what is next, and what is the future of the event. His reply is very ambitous! His vision is now to build a boat and take the cinema along the Danube, so that every one can enjoy the best regional films. It is no coincidence that the first screenings back in 2006 took place of a former river barge, a seed of inspiration no doubt.

Outdoor screening areas and places of activity have taken over the town centre, with plenty of visitors taking part in the activities the organisers and sponsors have provided. The festival continues today, and offers the first screening on the Island Ada, where visitors can enjoy some fun on the beach. In addition screenings will take place across the region, including Borovo, Osijek and Vucedol. Tonights screening in Urania Cinema, Osijek is a film brought from Scandanavia, and fits the theme Viking Invasion.


Discovery Films with Vukovar Film Festival are raising the bar with the event, and offering a truly remarkable selection of films from across the region and the world. To check out the schedule visit the official screenings page. The Vukovar film festival ends on Saturday with an award ceremony, which presents a range of awards for participants of the festival.

Vukovar is transformed for a week, and the locals welcome the breath of fresh air, long may this energy remain, and plant the seeds of regeneration.