Monday, 25 July 2022

Pula Film Festival Successfully Closes Its 69th Edition

July 25, 2022 - The 69th Pula Film Festival ended with the award ceremony, where 121 screenings were shown in 16 locations over the past 8 days.

Judging by this year's selection, Croatian film expects a bright future. Namely, out of 10 films in the Croatian competition program, as many as 7 were directed by debutants, which brought a breath of fresh air under the "starry sky of the Arena", according to many, one of the most beautiful cinemas in the world.

The best films in the Croatian program were decided by Austrian Oscar-winning director Stefan Ruzowitzky, last year's winner of the Great Golden Arena Zrinko Ogresta, actress Marija Škaričić, British critic Rita Di Santo and editor Miran Miošić.

The jury, as well as the audience, awarded prizes for the best films and film workers, while visitors could watch 82 films, which is 146 hours and 30 minutes, or a total of 8788 minutes of top filmmaking, recent cinematography, and film classics.

"If there was an analysis, a poll, of who knows Croatian or Yugoslav film best, I think the people of Pula would be in first place, because the number of people who come to the evening screenings often exceeds the number of the total film distribution. Considering the very high marks that the films in Croatia won in the competitive competition at this year's Pula Festival, I believe that this will spread to the rest of Croatia as well," said the director of the Pula Film Festival, Tanja Miličić.


Sonja Tarokić received the Great Golden Arena award for her film ''The Staffroom''. (Credit: Pula Film Festival)

The jury, made up of renowned domestic and foreign film workers, as well as the audience, voted for the best films of this year's festival. The Great Golden Arena, as well as the critic's award, were awarded to Sonja Tarokić's ''The Staffroom'', a film that is also a powerful social and educational critique. The prize for the best film in the International Program went to the tense and visually stunning thriller that confronts the themes of homophobia, local corruption, and mafia mentality, ''Burning Days'', directed by Emin Alper, which also won the Critics Award.


Director Goran Dukić, winner of the Golden Gate of Pula award, for his film ''Even Pigs Go to Heaven''. (Credit: Pula Film Festival)

The Golden Gate of Pula, for the best-rated film in the Croatian competition program, was won by the film ''Even Pigs Go to Heaven'', by Goran Dukić, and the hearts of the audience in the international program were won by the film ''How I Learned to Fly'', by Radivoj Andrić.

"At the recently concluded 69th Pula Film Festival, 10 new Croatian feature titles were shown, seven of which were debuts, films of various thematic and aesthetic determinations, which speaks of the vibrancy of Croatian cinema. Nine minority Croatian co-productions were also shown, 6 of which were in the International Competition Program. The program has expanded to new locations, and viewership and sales are also approaching pre-pandemic figures. There were also numerous foreign guests, and the industrial program aimed at networking Croatian filmmakers with Europe also grew. We had visits from numerous festivals, among others – Berlin, Toronto, Cairo, Rotterdam, Cluj, Tallinn, Cannes (Author's Fortnight) and many others. The goal was to make a breakthrough and I hope we did that." said the artistic director of the Festival, Pavo Marinković.


Photo: Srecko Niketic/PIXSELL

The festival took place in 16 locations where people could watch film screenings, attend exhibition openings, book presentations and numerous professional industrial programs such as workshops and round tables. The locations where the films were shown were the Pula Arena, the Istrian National Theater - the City Theater of Pula, Kino Valli, Kaštel, and this year, after a two-year break, the screenings were also held in Ambrela, as well as in Brijuni. Several screenings were also held in Poreč and Rovinj.

Eight magical days of the 69th edition of the Pula Film Festival are behind us, but preparations for the next edition have already begun. In anticipation of the 70th  Pula Film Festival, watch HERE the video of the most beautiful moments from this year's edition.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Friday, 3 June 2022

15th Mediterranean Film Festival Split Tickets Now On Sale!

June 3, 2022 - Two weeks before its start, the complete programme was announced and now the tickets for the 15th Mediterranean Film Festival Split are on sale, marking its long-awaited return in the biggest edition of the festival to date, with new programmes and a fourth cinema location.

The 15th edition of the Mediterranean Film Festival in Split, which will be opened by the world premiere of the film "Throw yourself on the floor" by director and actress Nina Violić on June 16 at the Bačvice Open Air Cinema, will screen 72 films from 30 countries at the Golden Gate's Cinematheque (inside Diocletian's Palace), on the plateau in front of the Youth Centre, and the Gripe Fortress.

''We're proud that the Mediterranean Film Festival is going to be held for the first time with the support of Creative Europe subprogramme MEDIA, through which the European Commission encourages a selected number of European film festivals, and thanks to which we're going to be able to bring new things, both in the organisational sense and in terms of the programme itself. We are introducing a new programme that focuses on films from outside of the Mediterranean basin, but which we believe our audience should see. We're going to be receiving four regional festivals, as well as the European Film Academy with its own short programmes, a special part of the programme has been adapted for children and young people; and in addition to the script workshop for film professionals, we'll focus on video games and film dubbing'', announced the Mediterranean Film Festival Split director, Alen Munitić.


A number of feature films will be shown, coming from the official selections of the Cannes, Berlin, Venice, and Toronto film festivals, and all of the films will have their ''Croatian premiere''. Back in the main competition programme will be Hany Abu-Asad, a Palestinian director remembered for the Oscar nominees "Omar" and "Paradise Now", this time with his new film "Hood's Salon", a tense feminist thriller whose plot is inspired by real events.

From Spain comes the film "Piggy", a tense combination of thriller and drama with elements of horror, and from France comes the drama "Full Time" about a single mother struggling for a better life, approached by director Eric Gavel as a thriller, creating tension that doesn't subside until the very last second of the film. The beautiful Moroccan landscapes and picturesque backdrop town are the bold feature film debut ''Life Meets Me Good'' in which director Al Hadi Ulad-Mohand showcases his personal story in an honest, gentle, and warm way. The powerful debut film "Between Two Dawns" by Turkish director Selman Nacar deals with class issues, labour, and the moral dilemmas and responsibilities of those in positions of power.


You can find the 15th Mediterranean Film Festival's complete program HERE. (Image: Mediterranean Film Festival Split/Facebook)

The dark psychological thriller "America Latina", brought by the D'Innocenzo brothers, gave the esteemed Italian actor Elijah German another chance to shine in the lead role. Two more films from the competition programme are set in Italy. "Rimini", a new achievement by renowned director Urlich Seidl, brings a depiction of the debauched and lonely life of a forgotten pop star at the end of her career, who finances her debauched lifestyle by holding hotel concerts and providing sexual services to fans. ''Silent Land'' follows a seemingly perfect married couple renting a vacation home on a sunny Italian island, but their vacation is marred by the realisation that the pool isn't functional.

''The programme "Ješke" has gained great popularity among our audience over the years, so not only do we continue to give a short Croatian film a prime time term, but we put the main competitive focus on it as well. The authors of these films are the future of domestic cinematography, and at the Mediterranean Film Festival Split, they're competing for the biggest cash prize in Croatia for a short film. The winner will receive HRK 15,000, and another winner will receive HRK 5,000 according to the choice of the audience and also for the author of the best screenplay'', announced Munitić.

The new festival programme of feature films "Parangal" at the northeastern bastion of the Gripe Fortress brings titles from productions outside the Mediterranean, especially "Lunana", an enchanting film from Bhutan, nominated for an Oscar for Best International Feature film. At the same location, as part of the "Other Side of the Mediterranean" programme, films from Latin America are set to be shown, of which "Sunset" stands out as an unpredictable thriller drama by Mexican director Michael Franco, starring Charlotte Gainsbourg and Tim Roth.

The free cinema remains on the plateau in front of the Youth Centre, where the best short films from the European Film Academy, Animafest Zagreb, the Sarajevo Film Festival, Belgrade's Free Zone, and FeKK from Ljubljana will all be shown. The Golden Gate's Cinematheque, along with reruns of films from Bačvice, will host the "Little Mediterranean" programme for children and young people, and the "Industry" programme has never been richer, with a focus on video games and film dubbing.

A limited number of tickets went on sale online on June 1, and after the opening of the festival box office on June 12, all remaining tickets will go on sale on the webshop.

Individual ticket prices are the following:

  • Bačvice Open Air Cinema: 30 kuna
  • Gripe Fortress: 30 kuna
  • Golden Gate Cinematheque: 20 kuna
  • Youth hostel: free entrance (no need to pick up tickets)

Find the complete festival's complete program HERE.

You can buy your tickets for the 15th Mediterranean Film Festival Split HERE.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 22 February 2022

ZagrebDox Comes of Age in April with New Edition at Kaptol Boutique Cinema

February 22, 2022 - The 18th edition of the ZagrebDox International Documentary Film Festival will take place from 3 to 10 April at the Kaptol Boutique Cinema, and will feature an unmatchable selection of documentaries that have been awarded at Cannes, Tribeca, Locarno, Sundance, IDFA and even nominated for the upcoming Oscars.

After two challenging years, temporary relocation to new dates, and new (old) spaces, ZagrebDox marks its coming of age in the spring term by returning to the Kaptol Boutique Cinema! With the belief that we are achieving signs of stability, as well as offering visitors the best conditions for watching the best current documentary stories from around the world, the ZagrebDox program resonates with events around us, reflecting everything that is happening in the world today.

The adult, 18th edition of ZagrebDox will be held from April 3 to 10 and offer the audience to step into numerous life stories, situations, relationships, and parts of the world in cinemas that are today, more than ever, less accessible and determined by numerous restrictions. With eighty film achievements, the audience will be able to question the meaning of divisions, borders, wars, individual responsibilities, crises as a consequence of the functioning of the system, but also the importance of contact, relationships, communication, coexistence, independence, individuality, and coping.


Director of ZagrebDox, Nenad Puhovski. (Photo: Marin Tironi/PIXSELL)

Thirty documentary film achievements will be featured in the international and regional competition of the ZagrebDox competition program, while other films are distributed in official programs such as Biographical Dox, Masters of Dox, Teen Dox, and the always popular programs Controversial Dox and State of Things.

The competition program brings many films recognized at festivals around the world: A Night of Knowing Nothing is a debut film by director Payal Kapadia that speaks through the form of letters about the forbidden love of two Indian students separated due to belonging to different castes. This hybrid of documentary and fiction through an intimate story sheds light on broader socio-political issues in today’s India, and at the Cannes Film Festival won the Golden Eye Award for Best Documentary.

Questioning the notion of the "Chinese dream" today and exploring capitalist hyperproduction and the paradox of progress, the film Ascension by American author Jessica Kingdon, an Oscar-nominated documentary and the best documentary of the Tribeca Film Festival, takes us to China. At the mentioned festival, the author was also awarded for the best documentary debutante.

The shocking multi-award-winning Swedish documentary Sabaya by director Hogir Hirori takes us to the most dangerous Islamic State (ISIS) camp in the Middle East, following a group of young men who risk their own lives to save girls trapped as sex slaves. This impressive film won about 15 awards, including the best documentary at the Sundance Film Festival, as well as at international film festivals in Moscow, Stockholm, Hong Kong, and DocAviv.

At ZagrebDox, we will also show the current winner of the Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival (IDFA) in the Envision competition program - Lebanese author Karim Kassem's film Octopus, a metaphysical film study of the consequences of the explosion in the port of Beirut.

A new film by the renowned Polish author Paweł Łoziński, well-known to the festival, The Balcony Movie is also part of an international competition program. For two years, Łoziński used a camera to record neighbors, passers-by, and random visitors from his own balcony. The film won the Grand Prix in the Critics Week Award category at the Locarno International Film Festival.

The debut film Father by Chinese author Wei Deng, a portrait of two generations in the director’s family, depicts tradition, change, violence, and alienation in Chinese society. At the DOK Leipzig festival, he was awarded the Golden Dove.

In addition to the film program, ZagrebDox includes the ZagrebDox PRO platform dedicated to the education of film professionals, as well as a number of additional content in the form of special screenings, discussions, presentations, about which you can find more information on how to apply here.

Applications to volunteer at the 18th ZagrebDox are open until March 15 and you can find more information here.

More news about this year's ZagrebDox can be followed on the official website of the festival.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Sunday, 22 August 2021

The 19th Liburnia Film Festival Kicks Off in Opatija

August 22, 2021 - The 19th Liburnia Film Festival starts tomorrow in Opatija, with 44 Croatian documentaries on the program, 22 of which are in competition for awards.

Documentaries in competition for festival awards: the best film is chosen by the jury and the audience, the best direction, photography, editing, sound design, and the best regional film, will be shown on the small Summer Stage in Opatija, writes HRT Magazin.

The five-member international jury consists of art historian and curator Branka Benčić, editor and director Vladimir Gojun, director and artistic director of Beldocs Marko Grba Singh, organizer of film programs and representative of the Kinedok network Szabolcs Szyrony and film critic Višnja Vukašinović.

The festival awards the best film and the audience award with a cash prize and Restart with a technical service for making DCP.

For the first time, AVC Zagreb is awarding authors for the best photography and best sound design with a voucher for the purchase of film equipment in the amount of 700 euros, and ACER Croatia will award the prize for the best editing.

As in previous years, the IDF Documentary Film Institute and the Balkan Documentary Center award the best director and the best regional film. All winners will receive an original statue of the Kastav artist Saša Jantolek.

On Friday, August 27, before the announcement of the best, the audience will watch two documentaries produced by the co-organizers of the Liburnia Film Festival of the Zagreb association Restart "Letters to Nicholas" Dunja Ivezić and "More than 35" by Timy Šarec.

The festival will close with the world premiere of Relje Dušek's film "Enrico Marotti: This is my voyage" about the world champion in windsurfing from Volosko.

The accompanying program includes a case study of Đuro Gavran's film "One of Us", as an introduction to the panel discussion "When Violence Lives at Home".

The festival continues the afternoon conversations of the audience with the authors of the films shown the previous day.

The accompanying film program includes the program of the Regional with documentaries from the Primorje-Gorski Kotar and Istria counties and a retrospective of films by Đuro Gavran.

The 19th Liburnia Film Festival is organized by the LFF Association, co-organized by Restart, and partnered by the Opatija Festival. It is supported by the Croatian Audiovisual Center, the City of Opatija, the County of Primorje-Gorski Kotar, the Society of Croatian Film Directors, AVC Zagreb, ACER Croatia, and other supporters.

Learn more about the 19th edition of the Liburnia Film Festival HERE.

For everything you need to know about filming in Croatia, in your language, be sure to check Total Croatia's page.

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