Sunday, 14 July 2019

Film about General Ante Gotovina Opens 66th Film Festival in Pula

ZAGREB, July 14, 2019 - The film General by director Antun Vrdoljak was premiered at the start of the 66th edition of the Pula Film Festival on Saturday evening after the opening ceremony which included a fireworks display in Pula's landmark of Arena. Vrdoljak's film is about the life of Croatian war hero general Ante Gotovina who had a crucial role in the 1995 military and police operation Storm when Croatia liberated the largest part of its occupied areas which used to be under the control of rebel Serbs since 1992.

After the showing of the film, President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, who delivered a speech at that opening ceremony, said that she found the film very emotional. The 2.5-hour film features Goran Višnjić, a Croatian American actor and producer, in the role of General Gotovina.

Before the screening, in her opening speech, the president said that she believed that the film "is not a story of just one deserving man – a general of the victorious Croatian Army Ante Gotovina – this is a story about the Homeland War, but above all the story of the Croatian struggle for human and national freedom."

"This long historical story of ours has many protagonists and deserves many more quality movies," the president concluded, declaring the festival open.

In her speech she also emphasised that "the lasting value of the Pula Film Festival lies in its presentation of contemporary Croatian film production, its diversity and versatility." Therefore, the president awarded the festival the Charter of the Republic of Croatia, for its current work and as an incentive to persevere in the future.

Artists presented themselves and their works on this location, they were judged by experts, but above all by you, the audience of Pula, whose voice always has special importance and value, she added.

At a news conference before the opening ceremony, the Director of the Public Institution Pula Film Festival Gordana Restović thanked all the associates and the Culture Ministry, City of Pula, and the Istria County for their support and assistance to the Festival.

She also said that 110 films would be shown cross 17 venues until 21 July. The Croatian programme includes eight films.

More news about Ante Gotovina can be found in the Politics section.

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Varaždin Baroque Evenings Festival to Take Place in September

ZAGREB, July 11, 2019 - The 49th edition of the Varaždin Baroque Evenings festival will take place from September 20 to October 1, with Sweden as this year's partner country, the organisers announced on Thursday.

The festival will open in the Varaždin Cathedral with the Gothenburg Baroque Choir and Orchestra performing works by Vivaldi, Roman, Zelenka, and Handel under the baton of Magnus Kjjelson.

It will be one of 19 concerts to be held in Varaždin and Trakošćan Castle, while nine more will take place in other towns in Varaždin County, Međimurje County, Krapina-Zagorje County and Koprivnica-Križevci County, as well as in Ptuj, Slovenia.

The Gothenburg Baroque Choir and Orchestra will also perform on the second day of the festival to present the ancient music of Scandinavia.

The festival's director Davor Bobić singled out a concert by the Romeo & Julia Koren ensemble who will perform The Decameron under the artistic leadership of Benoit Malmberg in the Croatian National Theatre in Varaždin on September 22.

Swedish Ambassador Diana Helen Madunić said she was looking forward to so many Swedish musicians coming to Varaždin.

More news about festivals can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Saturday, 6 July 2019

53rd Đakovo Folklore Festival Starts

ZAGREB, July 6, 2019 - The 53rd Đakovo Folklore Festival (Đakovački Vezovi) started in that eastern Croatian town on Friday evening, this year's partner country being Slovakia.

The festival, launched in 1967 on the occasion of International Tourist Year, has to date grown into the biggest symbol of preservation of traditional heritage.

The event was opened by Slovak Ambassador Peter Susko, Agriculture Minister Tomislav Tolušić, Osijek-Baranja County head Ivan Anušić and Đakovo Mayor Marin Mandarić.

Anušić said that the Đakovo festival was one of the biggest events of the kind in Croatia and the biggest one in Osijek-Baranja County.

Mayor Manadrić thanked Slovakia for accepting the invitation to be the partner-country of this year's festival.

"I'm glad that along with the Slavonian folklore tradition, this year we will also be able to see the folklore tradition of Slovakia as well as a dozen other countries from around the world," he said.

The festival continues on Saturday and Sunday, when its central event will take place - a parade of 61 folklore troupes from Croatia and abroad, with horse-drawn wedding carriages, horsemen and other participants.

The event closes on Sunday evening, with the selection of the most beautiful traditional costumes.

More news about festivals in Croatia can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Monday, 10 June 2019

Croatian Cultural Events Nominated for Prestigious European Awards

ZAGREB, June 10, 2019 - The European Festivals Association (EFA) and the international Europe for festivals, Festivals for Europe (EFFE) judging panel headed by Sir Jonathan Mills has short-listed 24 laureates among 715 applications for the EFFE 2019-2020 Awards with Music Biennale Zagreb and the Vukovar Film Festival running for the awards.

EFFE awards celebrates arts festivals that demonstrate artistic excellence and at the same time have a strong impact on the local and regional development of cultural cooperation.

EFFE – Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe is initiated by the European Festivals Association (EFA) and supported by the European Commission.

The winners will be presented during the EFFE Awards Ceremony in BOZAR, Centre for Fine Arts Brussels on 26 September 2019.

This year saw the 30th edition of the Zagreb Music Biennale which presented almost 50 programmes with numerous guest composers from abroad as well as presenting new compositions by Croatian composers. More than 400 local and foreign performers participated in the biennale.

The next biennale will be held in April 2021.

The Vukovar Film Festival (VFF) – Festival of Danubian countries has been held in August every year for the past twelve years. Films are awarded in three categories and the winners get Golden Barge for the best long feature, Golden Barge for the best short feature and Golden Barge for the best documentary.

Over the past 12 years, VFF screened over 900 movies and attracted 300,000 spectators on aggregate.

More news about festivals in Croatia can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Friday, 31 May 2019

Court Rules Zagreb Film Festival to Remain in Europa Cinema

ZAGREB, May 31, 2019 - Zagreb's Commercial Court ordered an interim measure according to which the Zagreb Film Festival (ZFF) organisation is permitted to remain in the Europa cinema for the time being, ZFF reported on Friday.

A day after the last screening was held at the downtown cinema and just before the premises were vacated, Zagreb's Commercial Court delivered an interim measure according to which ZFF does not need to vacate the premises pending a final court decision.

"ZFF still hopes that in the period to come it will manage to establish dialogue with the City authorities and find a solution that will satisfy both sides and above all the citizens of Zagreb and Europa cinema's public," ZFF said.

City authorities in April decided to close the cinema on June 1 for renovations, despite the fact that no such plans exist and strong legal grounds to extend the contract, the cinema claimed then and citizens organised a protest to express their dissatisfaction with the announcement that the popular cinema would be closed.

ZFF sued the City requesting a new lease contract. However, all their attempts to contact City authorities failed.

The suit was filed on the grounds that the lessor was obliged to provide a new lease to the existing tenant if all obligations had been fulfilled until then, which ZFF claims it has proved a number of times.

More Zagreb news about can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Friday, 24 May 2019

Taste the Mediterranean Festival Starts in Hvar

With the opening ceremony held at the beautiful Hvar Arsenal, accompanied by delicacies and fine Croatian wines, the 6th International Festival Taste the Mediterranean has begun. This year, in addition to a rich programme designed for professionals as well as fans of gastronomy and oenology, seven foreign and six top Croatian chefs are taking part in the festival. From 22 to 25 May, the festival, taking place in the Mediterranean ambience of the town of Hvar, will promote the benefits of the Mediterranean diet which UNESCO has included in the list of world’s intangible cultural heritage.

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The town of Hvar and the Hvar Tourist Board, as well as the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ), have recognised the importance of the event attended by many foreign journalists. The festival was opened by Hvar mayor Rikardo Novak, together with Petar Razović from Hvar Tourist Board and Ingrid Badurina Danielsson.

“We are delighted that the festival is developing and has been recognised by numerous exceptional partners from the gastronomy segment, as well as the local community and the Ministry of Tourism and the HTZ. The festival promotes the values of Mediterranean culture, bringing together top-quality chefs, winemakers and local food producers, and experts from the field of agriculture, cultural landscapes, fisheries and sustainable tourism,” said Ingrid Badurina Danielsson, director and founder of the festival.

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The Mediterranean specialities and Hvar wines from the Tomić and Vujnović wineries were appropriately tasted at the opening ceremony, and Andro Tomić and Juraj Vujnović personally presented their wines to the guests.

Japanese chef Ippei Uemura hosted a culinary show and presented the art of tuna filleting. Sommelier Daniel Čečavac hosted the Dalmatian wine tasting, and the following wines were included: Tomić Beleca 2018, Vujnović Prč 2018, Stina Vugava 2018, Ahearne Wild Skins 2017, Duboković Prije 6009 Godina 2015, Rizman Primus 2015, and South Side Plavac Mali 2014.

The wine workshop will be hosted by the well-known duo from Split, Siniša Koceić and Alen Gulan from Winebox. Spain will be represented by chef Vicente Patino, whose Saiti restaurant boasts a Michelin recommendation, and he will demonstrate the traditional cuisine of Valencia. He will cook an exclusive dinner at the Hvar Divina together with the restaurant’s chef Nataša Vukmirović, and guests will enjoy delicacies and Spanish wines on the terrace.

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Hrvoje Zirojević, the Croatian chef of the year according to Gault&Millau, will host in his kitchen Bee Satongun, the best chef in Asia for 2018 according to the 50 Best Restaurants. With a creative menu and an exclusive dinner at the Laganini restaurant, they will demonstrate common features of the contemporary Thai and Mediterranean diet.

The third dinner will be held on the terrace with the most beautiful view on the historic Hvar, at the Kod Kapetana restaurant, where the Italian chef Marcello Trentini will join his two hosts: Tonči Jerković and Antun Matković Car. For the first time, a chef from Albania will come to the festival. Sokol Prenga is a master confectioner, baker and chocolatier, and a great promoter of Albanian cuisine, and his non-profit organisation “Culinary Education Center” focuses on promoting Albanian history, culture and gastronomy in the world. Slovenia is represented by Igor Jagodic, the Slovenian chef of the year according to Gault&Millau, from the Strelec restaurant in Ljubljana, and the wine academician and sommelier Mira Šemić.

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Renowned lecturers will speak at the conference “Sustainable Mediterranean Food Systems, Cultural Landscapes and Biodiversity” held at the Hvar Arsenal. It will undoubtedly be interesting, varied and very, very tasty.

More Hvar news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Samobor to Host Citroen 2CV Fans from Around the World

The 23rd International Meeting of Citroen 2CV cars will be held for the first time in Croatia, with more than 12,000 enthusiasts expected to attend. The event will take place from 30 July to 4 August. This is the largest such gathering of drivers and fans of Citroen’s legendary car 2CV, popularly known in Croatia as Spaček, and it has been held since 1975. Approximately 12,000 participants from over 30 countries will come to Samobor, including some from Australia and Ivory Coast!

This event has been selected as one of the 30 TOP events in Croatia in 2019 supported by the Croatian National Tourist Board, as the only event in Zagreb County. It is organised by the Croatian 2CV Citroen Club, headquartered in Samobor, which has gathered drivers of the popular Spaček cars for 20 years, but also Dyane, Mehari and other favourite Citroen models in which they travelled much of Europe and the world. The club is a member of ACI (Amicale International Citroen), the international association of Citroen clubs based in Paris.

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“To host such an event is a huge recognition, but also a responsibility because people from around the world will come, and we want to present them not only Samobor but also other parts of our country,” says Goran Skrbin, president of the club, which will also organise adventures for visitors after the event ends – 2CV Adriatic Raid will travel through Gorski Kotar, Lika and the coastal areas and conclude in Split, while the 2CV Continental Raid will travel through inland Croatia, including Hrvatsko Zagorje, Sisak, Lonjsko Polje and Slavonia, with the finish near Đakovo.

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Zagreb County and the town of Samobor support this event. “The county has provided funding to support this event, which will bring people from all over the world to the beautiful Samobor. The event will certainly contribute to an even greater growth of tourism sector, which in the first four months of this year recorded 15 per cent more overnights and 14 per cent more arrivals than last year,” said director of the Zagreb County Tourist Board Ivana Alilović.

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“With this event, Samobor will stand alongside the European destinations that have hosted this meeting in recent years, including De Steeg in the Netherlands, Salbris in France and Ericeira in Portugal, which have the necessary infrastructure, people and enthusiasm for organising such a large gathering. Samobor will not only present itself as a town but also Croatia as a desirable tourist destination,” said Martina Paladin, director of the Samobor Town Tourist Board.

The meeting will be an occasion to mark the first century of the French car manufacturer. It will include the “100 Years of Citroen Museum”, where visitors will be able to see original exhibits from Tomos and Cimos factories. A 2CV motorcade ride to the centre of Zagreb will be organised, with 200 vehicles coming to Ban Jelačić Square, and there will also be an off-road ride on the Žumberak hill. Visitors will be provided with a fully-equipped camp and a commercial zone with stalls for traders of spare parts, souvenirs, a variety of food and beverages, children’s programme, the selection of the most original vehicle, the unique driving experience, 2CV flea market, evening concerts, gastro corners promoting Croatian regions and many other exciting events. At the end of the meeting, the host of the 24th World Meeting in 2021 and the candidate for the organisation of the 25th World Meeting in 2023 will be presented.

More Samobor news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Monday, 20 May 2019

HOMBRE – Osijek Hosts the First Home Brewing Festival

The long-awaited day has finally come. In addition to the Days of the First Croatian Beer, organised by the Osječka Pivovara brewery on the left bank of the Drava river, and the craft beer festival held on Sunčana Street, Osijek now also has its home brewing festival – HOMBRE.

HOMBRE is a play-on-words and an abbreviation from the expression “home brewing.” Spaghetti westerns inspired the visual identity of the festival, so the festival poster included the character of Angel Eyes from the cult movie The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.


Conceptually, this event is similar to the Požega Krigla or Pijana Čaplja in Slavonski Brod. For a price of just 100 kuna, visitors received a festival glass, two dinners and beer in unlimited quantities. On offer were beers made by craft breweries, as well as homebrewed beers.


The festival took place on Saturday, May 18, and the venue was the Pampas shooting range in Osijek, located in the town, yet sufficiently distant to provide the intimacy of a homebrewing party. This is an event where you come intentionally (and remain until the end), unlike the craft beer festival in Sunčana Street, which you can stumble across while taking a walk through the town, have a beer or two, and then leave.


When it comes to craft breweries, visitors had a chance to drink ESB by Valens, Novi Val by the Medvedgrad brewery, pale ale by Zmajska brewery, C4 by Nova Runda and the coffee stour by the Mlinarica brewery. Appropriately for this type of event, there were considerably more homebrewed beers on offer. Visitors were quite thirsty, empty kegs kept being replaced by full ones, so it is difficult to list everything that was offered, but we should certainly mention a homebrewing team which appeared under the name Dost’ Dobro Pivo, and brought two truly quite good beers: American pale named “mosaic + simcoc = ♡” and fruit beer called “It takes two to mango”.


Congratulations to the leadership of the Pannonian Brewery Union who organised the event. They thought of everything, even bringing a cannon for mosquito spraying so that the blood-thirsty insects would not spoil the fun for the beer-thirsty visitors!

More news about Croatia’s beer-brewing industry can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Saturday, 18 May 2019

20th Urbanovo Wine Festival Begins

In mid-May, Štrigova in Međimurje traditionally becomes the regional oenological and gastronomic centre visited by many fans of excellent wines and good food. For contemporary vineyards and winemakers, the Urbanovo festival has been a special event for two decades, and it now brings together the second generation of winemakers from this area.

The event is organized by the Association of Wine-Growers and Winemakers Hortus Croatiae, Međimurje County, the Municipality of Štrigova, the Štrigova Tourist Board, and the Međimurje County Tourist Board. This year's jubilee wine festival is held under the auspices of President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, as well as the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts.

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The opening was attended by Darko Horvat, Minister of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts; Sunčana Glavak, the envoy of Speaker of Parliament and an MP; Matija Posavec, prefect of Međimurje County; and Zoran Grgić, the dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb.

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The president of the Hortus Croatiae association David Štampar sent a message to the wine producers and emphasized that the unity of Međimurje winemakers was their strongest link. "In recent years, we have been working together to improve the quality of our region as a tourist destination as well as to raise the quality of wines. We are working hard to create a high-quality wine scene that will enrich this region. I want to thank everyone for their contribution because each of you is a precious factor which affirms our Međimurje."

The event started with the Pušipel Festival, with 24 wineries, members of the Hortus Croatiae association, presenting their wines: Agromeđimurje – Podrum Štrigova, Vina Alojz Novak, Vinogradarstvo i podrumarstvo Belović, Vinarija Cmrečnjak, DGA Pjenušci, Vinska kuća Dvanajščak-Kozol, Izletište „Vinska kuća Hažić“, Vina Horvat, Vinogradarstvo i podrumarstvo Jakopić, Vino Kerman, Vinarija Kocijan, Vina Kojter, Vinska kuća Kossi, Vina Kunčić, Vina Lovrec, Vina Medenjak, Vinarija Munđarov breg, Vina Nemec, Vinarija Novak, Vina Preiner, Solum Vinarija, Vinarija Štampar, Vinogradarstvo i podrumarstvo Tomšić and Vinarija Turk.

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Minister Darko Horvat said: “This event clearly demonstrates that further development of our entire economy must be based on quality. That is proved by the wines here in Međimurje, which have been receiving prestigious international awards year after year. Only last year, Međimurje winemakers won six prestigious Decanter prizes, and we expect this figure to grow this year," he said.

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Urbanovo was preceded by the international wine assessment Štrigova 2019. Of the 150 samples received, four awards were given: Pušipel Mađerka 2018 - Cmrečnjak Winery; Graševina, the selected vintage of raisined grapes 2015 - Jakopić winery; Chardonnay 2018 - Vina Matočec; Penina Šipon Brut 2017 – Vina Krampač.

The Pušipel Festival will conclude on Sunday, May 19. In the second week of the event, on Friday and Saturday, May 24 and 25, the Days of Open Cellars will be held, with Međimurje winegrowers organising special programmes in their wineries, which each year attract more and more visitors.

The event traditionally concludes with the Wine Ball, this year held on Friday, May 31, at the Terbotz restaurant.

More wine news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Cheese and Wine Festival Held in Valpovo

On Saturday, May 11, the second cheese and wine festival took place in Valpovo. The festival venue, as last year, was Valpovo’s medieval-baroque complex of the Prandau-Normann castle. There are a number of events dedicated to wine being held, but this event is unique because it puts the emphasis on both the wine and the cheese, as well as on how to pair the two. Some of the best wine and cheese producers from Slavonia, Baranja and Srijem took part.

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With the exception of the Podolski winery from Križevci, all the other wineries were from the Danube region, and it can be said that the Danube is the link which connects them all. Although it is not perceived as such by the public, Valpovo could be said to be located in the Danube region. Namely, the only suburb of Valpovo situated on the Drava river is located 42 kilometres from the point when the Drava meets the Danube River.

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The Baranja wine area was presented by wineries Gerštmajer, Josić, Kolar, Kalazić, Svijetli Dvori, Szabo and Zajec. The Gerštmajer winery was represented by Ivan Gerštamjer Zelember, the fifth generation of the Gerštmajer wine dynasty from Baranja. Their wines are already well-known to everyone; for most connoisseurs, they represent the essence of traditional, original Baranja wine-making.

The other winemakers from the Baranja area were represented by the head of the Baranya Julia wine shop from Zmajevac, Gabriella Gerštmajer, who is also the vice-president of the Surduk association, organiser of legendary events in Zmajevac such as the Wine Marathon.

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The Josić winery also comes from the Baranja wine capital Zmajevac. In addition to their wines, also highly acclaimed is the Josić winery’s restaurant, where their wines are served and paired with Baranja delicacies. Recently they decided to rebrand the visual identity of their wines, but the quality has remained at an exceptional level.

The Kolar winery comes from Suza, a town connected to Zmajevac and through which you must pass if you are coming to the wine capital from the direction of Kneževi Vinogradi. The Kalazić winery is on the road that runs from Zmajevac to Batina. Svijetli Dvori and Szabo wineries can be found in the Karanac ethno-village. All Baranja wineries presented at the festival came from the Kneževi Vinogradi municipality, which is just one of nine local self-government units in Baranja.

The Erdut wine area is located to the southeast of Baranja. This area geographically belongs to Slavonia, and it was represented by wineries Danubio, Iuris, Magistra and Siber. The Ilok wine area was represented by the Buhač, Papak and TRS wineries.

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The cheese producers who came to the festival were family farms Geto from Lug, Glavaš from Bizovac, Gašić from Beketinci, Đurković from Marjančaci, Lehki from Gat, Pranjić from Drenovci and Mala Mljekara from Valpovo.

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The Golubov family farm from Draž presented its elderberry juice, while family farms Brkić and Kraljik showed their cured meat products. The Horvat family farm from Duboševica prepared homemade pasta with poppy seeds and walnuts.

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The highlight of the festival was the pairing of cheeses and wines, led by Tomica Đukić, the chef of the Osijek Hotel restaurant and the chief cook of the Croatian national football team.

More wine news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

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