Monday, 24 June 2019

Vukovar Film Festival to Be Held on July 4-7

ZAGREB, June 24, 2019 - The 13th edition of the Vukovar Film Festival will take place in that eastern Croatian town on July 4-7, and the first film to be shown is "All Alone" by Croatian director Bobo Jelčić.

Among the films to be screened in the Competition programme are Happy New Year by Hungarian filmmaker Krisztina Goda, System Crasher by German Nora Fingscheidt, The Bra by German filmmaker Veit Helmer, the Czech film titled Winter Flies by Olmo Omerzu and the Whistlers by Romanian Corneliu Porumboiu.

Several short films and documentaries are also included in the programme.

The festival also includes a programme called "Berlin and Cannes Winners".

The European Festivals Association (EFA) and the international Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe (EFFE) jury headed by Sir Jonathan Mills have short-listed 24 laureates among 715 applications for the EFFE 2019-2020 Awards, with Music Biennale Zagreb and the Vukovar Film Festival competing for for the awards.

During the Vukovar Film Festival (VFF), films are awarded in three categories and the winners get Golden Barge for best long feature, Golden Barge for best short feature and Golden Barge for best documentary.

Over the past 12 years, VFF has screened over 900 movies and attracted a total of 300,000 spectators.

More Vukovar news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Branding of Vukovar through Urban Visual Identity - Vukovart

Vukovart – the harbour of the art is the concept promoting Vukovar as a location that accepts all artists, ie, the creators of new values, and this year it's taking place for the third time, in the period between June 1st and 15th.

The concept will also aim to change the visual identity of the town, thus making it a better place to live, the website reports. In this way, the areas which have received attention by the artists will be an attraction to the ever increasing number of tourists arriving in Vukovar. In the long term, it's important for Vukovar to step away from focusing on the war, and create a positive story.

During the first Vukovart Street Art Festival, Vukovar got 3D anamorphous pictures, and the entire town became a so-called Open Gallery. Last year, five new murals were added, with a total area of over 700 square meters.

This year's moto of the festival is Give Me 5, as five artists with international acclaim (Thiago Mazza (Brazil), Zabou (Francuska), Lonac (Hrvatska), WD (Wild Drawing) (Indonezija)Mehsos (Belgija) will be performing their artistic magic on the facades on five buildings in Vukovar in that period.

The past two years of the festival prove that it's possible to brand the town as the desirable street-art location throughout Europe and the world. Additionally, it's a proof for the idea that investment into various events is not spending money, rather investing into added values that will generate arrivals and tourist spending in Vukovar, which will in turn help out other industries - which is tourism's biggest strength. 

More information about the programme of the event and the project itself can be found on the official website or on the Facebook page.

During the project, a panel discussion on the topics of the importance, the perception and the sustainability of culture, culture within tourism and examples of good practice will be held, with leading local and national experts on the topics of culture and tourism participating.

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Vukovar's Hotel Dunav Sold, New 200 Million Kuna Hotel to be Constructed

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 4th of May, 2019, Vukovar Mayor Ivan Penava and the CEO of the Swiss company Immo Invest Partner, Džek Djordić, signed a contract on the sale of the Dunav (Danube) Hotel in Vukovar on Saturday, and the Swiss company has thus announced the construction of a new four-star hotel, in which it will invest a massive 200 million kuna.

"This is a strategically important property in Vukovar, the building of the former Dunav Hotel, which has attracted a lot of interest from the public," stated Penava, pointing out that the building is located in an extremely valuable location at the very mouth of the Vuka along the Danube, but also because it involves a building that has not been in function for nine years now.

He added that the city, owing to the fact that the hotel had remained totally out of use for a long time, bought the former Hotel Dunav in order to sell it to a hotel business that had already established its branch office in Vukovar. The city will do everything to make the investor feel welcome with their investment which is strategic and considered to be at the state-level.

Deputy Mayor Marijan Pavliček recalled that the City of Vukovar had purchased Hotel Dunav for 10.3 million kuna, while a price of 10.7 million kuna was asked for at the public tender, and the aforementioned Swiss company offered 11.3 million kuna and paid the difference in accordance to the higher requested price.

"The investors are obliged to collect all of the necessary permits in the next eighteen months after which the parcel will be handed over to their ownership, after which a seven-year legal deadline for the construction and commissioning of the facility comes into force," Pavliček said, adding that the investors have promised a significantly shorter implementation deadline, more specifically until the year 2023.

Pavliček emphasised the fact that this is the biggest investment after the Homeland War in the tourist sector of Vukovar, which will open up welcome new jobs.

Immo Invest Partner's CEO Džek Djordić announced the construction of a four-star hotel with about 120 rooms, 240 beds, and which will include several restaurants, offices and a multimedia space in which about 200 million kuna will be invested, and the hotel should be open in 2023.

Immo Invest Partner Board Member Petar Đorđić thanked the mayor and his deputy for their engagement in the realisation of this deal and said that all those involved are great optimists and that the entire investment will be realised within the anticipated deadline.

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Saturday, 4 May 2019

Vukovar Symbol of Resistance and Development, European Croatia to be Built There

ZAGREB, May 4, 2019 - Addressing a special session of the Vukovar Town Council on Friday, the Feast Day of Saints Phillip and James who are the town's patrons, President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović said that Vukovar was not only the symbol of heroic resistance during the Homeland War but also of the development of Croatia.

In her speech, the president paid tribute to the forces that defended the eastern town at the start of the war in 1991 and to all who suffered and made sacrifice, and she promised that Croatia would never give up on the search for those who went missing in the war.

The president praised Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and Mayor Ivan Penava for the many development projects in the town.

Extending his best wishes to Vukovar residents on the occasion of the town's day, Plenković said that his cabinet was dedicated to implementing projects to the benefit of Vukovar.

"Yesterday we endorsed a development aid programme for Vukovar estimated at 1.4 billion kuna," Plenković said referring to the programme for the reconstruction of municipal and power infrastructure and for the conservation of the town's historical heritage, which encompasses 59 projects. At the same time, the Fund for the Reconstruction and Development of Vukovar was increased by 50% or 20 million kuna.

In reference to the 1991-1995 war which hit the east of Croatia hardest, Plenković said that people in that part of the country appreciate the truth most and they want to hear the truth which is a precondition for forgiveness, reconciliation and coexistence.

Therefore, the truth must be established. I can understand the mayor's and numerous Croatian defenders' efforts in that regard, he added.

"This should be done by the institutions of the Croatian state and they perhaps should be more intensively engaged. However, we should do that in the political sense being aware that we are now in 2019 and that our key national goals have been accomplished and that Vukovar is a free Croatian town in which Serbs also live. This is the town in which we need to build a European Croatia," the premier said.

Mayor Penava said that in 2018, a total of 13 million kuna was invested in economic programmes, and the number of created jobs rose by 579 from 2017.

Penava thanked the government for investments in the town. "After a huge setback during the Homeland War, Vukovar has recovered and is making good progress," he underscored.

More Vukovar news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Thursday, 2 May 2019

200 Million Euro to Be Set Aside for Revitalisation of Vukovar

ZAGREB, May 2, 2019 - The government on Thursday endorsed a programme for the reconstruction of municipal and power infrastructure in the town of Vukovar, and the 1.5 billion kuna programme encompasses 59 projects.

The scheme was endorsed a day before Vukovar marks its day on 3 May.

Concurrently, the Fund for Reconstruction and Development of the Town of Vukovar has been increased by 50% or 20 million kuna.

The ministry of maritime affairs, transport and infrastructure coordinates the implementation of the programme, and Minister Oleg Butković told the government today that the realisation of the projects would improve transport connectivity and enhance the local economy as well living standards in eastern Slavonia.

A total of 19 projects, worth 727 million kuna, are supposed to upgrade road and rail infrastructure.

There are 13 planned projects, worth 315.5 million kuna, for the water supply and drainage infrastructure.

Furthermore, 50.5 million kuna is to be invested in a project to upgrade the electrical network.

Also, 18 projects, estimated at 143 million kuna, which are part of the Operational Programme Competitiveness and Cohesion, are to be conducted for the purpose of the town's economic and social development.

The implementation of a project for the revitalisation of formerly war-hit small towns will cost 86.6 million kuna and a strategic project for the archaeological park Vučedol is estimated at 118 million kuna.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said that the large-scale programme was hammered out in close cooperation with the town of Vukovar.

Plenković said he would visit the town tomorrow on the occasion of its day.

More Vukovar news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Monday, 29 April 2019

VukovArt-Luka Street Art Festival to be Held in June

ZAGREB, April 29, 2019 - This year's VukovArt-Luka street festival will be held from June 1 to 15 under the auspices of President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, and during the event five murals will be painted on an area of 700 square metres.

The event will also include, for the first time, a semi-marathon, with 600 competitors having already registered to participate in the run.

A press conference held earlier this week heard that this year's festival theme is "Give me 5!", representing the five murals to be painted on apartment blocks.

Speaking on behalf of the organisers, Krešimir Herceg said that they wanted the festival to move away from war topics.

The organiser of the first Vukovar semi-marathon, Tomislav Marinović, said that the 21-kilometre run will go along a route including locations with the new murals, while citizens would have the opportunity to run a 5-kilometre route.

Vukovar Deputy Mayor Marijan Pavliček announced that the city was supporting the project with 450,000 kuna.

More Vukovar news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Vukovar Mobility Centre Promoting Sustainable Travel

ZAGREB, April 24, 2019 - A 128,434-euro regional mobility centre was opened in the eastern town of Vukovar on Tuesday, as part of the Transdanube.Pearls project, which promotes sustainable travel along the Danube.

As much as 85% of the total value of the centre comes from the European Regional Development Fund.

The Transdanube.Pearls project covers 15 partners from nine countries, the leading partner being the Environment Agency Austria. Its implementation started on 1 January 2017 and ends on 30 June 2019.

According to information on the website of the Transdanube.Pearls project, the central element of the project is the establishment of a network of about a dozen destinations committed to sustainable mobility for tourists and inhabitants along the Danube.

Mayor Ivan Penava said that the funding obtained under the project had been used to promote the work of the Vukovar Tourism Board, of which the regional mobility centre is part, as well as the town’s accommodation facilities.

The regional mobility centre will provide information on possibilities of sustainable travel in the area of Vukovar – by train, bus, bicycle or e-boat.

As a town on the Danube, Vukovar was interesting to partners because it has a boat that runs on solar power and invests significant funds in cycling infrastructure and has been recording an increase in the number of visiting cyclists.

More Vukovar news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Digital Croatia: Best Large ''Digital'' Cities Zagreb and Rijeka

Just how close are we to a real digital Croatia? The answer is unclear and as varied as ever, but some Croatian cities have shown promise with some rather impressive and encouraging results.

As Novac/ writes on the 23rd of April, 2019, although more and more cities are gradually digitising their business and investing in smart city solutions, and some of the most advanced have almost completely switched to doing solely digital business, generally speaking, Croatian cities are only in the very early stages of the much needed digital transition, just as Croatia is, as a country, at the very bottom in Europe in terms of the digital readiness of general society and the economy.

As the methodology for ranking cities in terms of digital readiness is only at its very beginning even at the European level, stories and analysis of the "smart city" concept development here in Croatia are still very much based on individual experiences, examples and projects.

That is why, in order to gain a real elementary insight into the digitalisation of Croatia's services and the communication of the country's many city administrations with citizens, experts from Apsolon, a consulting company specialising in digital business development, has undertaken the very first major study of the ''digital readiness'' of twenty of the largest cities across Croatia. This study, according to project manager and smart management director at Apsolon, Ivana Novoselec, is the basis for the further development of research tools and methodology that will track the development and progress of Croatia's cities on an annual basis.

In its study, Apsolon divided the cities into three categories - large (Zagreb, Split, Rijeka, Osijek), middle (Zadar, Velika Gorica, Slavonski Brod, Pula and Karlovac) and smaller cities (Sisak, Varaždin, Šibenik, Dubrovnik, Bjelovar, Kaštela, Samobor, Vinkovci, Koprivnica, Đakovo, Vukovar.)

The digital readiness index at Apsolon was set based on several criteria - the availability of e-services (the number of administrative services and their digitalisation rate in Croatia), the availability of site service information and the development of unified services for making payments in the city, then came the availability of city data, the level of citizen participation in decision making and communication channels between the city administration and citizens, ie, the availability of data and time in which citizens receive answers to their various questions. At this stage, Apsolon hasn't entered into the internal processes in Croatia's city administrations, but rather focused on what services are offered to the city's citizens and how long such things typically take.

After this type of indexing and ranking, the title of the ''digitisation champion'' among the Croatian cities was awarded to the City of Rijeka, thus confirming its status as the best city in the Smart City category which it won last year. Apsolon pointed out that the City of Rijeka has achieved the greatest advances in the systematic raising of the quality of its services, but also the opening of data and communication channels to citizens.

"Rijeka as the most advanced city in Croatia in terms of digitisation and is characterised in particular by the emphasis on openness and communication with its citizens. Its administration is oriented towards clear communication (a very clear centralised e-services approach with well-organised access to all automated services and available forms), openness and participatory management," said project manager Ivana Novoselac.

In many categories, especially those relating to the functional aspects of digitisation (advanced digital services, e-citizen connectivity, etc.), Rijeka is followed closely by the City of Zagreb.

The city of Pula is the most advanced middle-size city in Croatia, which also presents its services and available information to its citizens in a systematic and very detailed way, raising standards in terms of transparency and interaction with citizens, and is certainly a champion among cities with between 50.000 and 100.000 inhabitants.

In relation to the criteria relating to specific functional and technological solutions, Karlovac, Velika Gorica and Zadar follow. For the City of Karlovac the large number of available administrative procedures on its website and responses to citizens' inquiries are generally quick made it stand out from the crowd.

Among the small cities in Croatia, there is no distinctly dominant digital champion, but according to research findings in different aspects of digitisation, Dubrovnik, Samobor, Sisak, Koprivnica and Varaždin appear to be the most successful ones, according to this research. Among the prominent representatives of this category, Dubrovnik is strategically trying to profile as Smart City and has a high quality City Card, e-Visitor platform, is very active on social networks and it continuing to develop innovative application solutions. When it comes to the number of digitally available services, Koprivnica ranks above all.

Samobor, which is particularly active on social networks and is the category winner for social networking, has a very comprehensive and interactive website which separates the site accordingly and has adjusted all of the information for citizens and for visitors, as well as separating foreign visitors from domestic ones.

It should also be noted that Bjelovar is extremely proactive in the field of the digitalisation of its administration, it is working on applicative transparency solutions as well as on internal digitalisation processes. What is particularly commendable is Bjelovar's focus on the digitalisation of its internal processes.

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Click here for the original article by Novac/Jutarnji/

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Walkow – New Craft Beer from Vukovar

Everybody knows about Vukovarsko beer and that it recently came under the umbrella of Zagrebačka Pivovara. What most beer fans do not know is that a new brewery was recently opened in Vukovar, continuing the tradition of independent small breweries in the town. The brewery is registered as Craft Pivovara Vukovar j.d.o.o., and its craft beer is marketed under the brand Walkow.

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The owners have explained what the brewery name means. “Walkow is an old Croatian name for the Vukovar fort that was first built during the union with Hungary when Vukovar was the guardian of the Croatian identity and the town which was among the first to obtain the status of a free royal town (even before Zagreb). At that time, Vukovar was known for its fortress, which was firmly built on the high Danube coast, and the town was named after it. In the more recent history, in 1968, a new fort was built in Vukovar, which is nowadays the symbol of indestructibility – the Vukovar water tower – which, despite numerous times being hit during the Homeland War (more than 600), remained standing, persistent and stubborn, as a reflection of the will of the people defending the town. "

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The project is led by the Komšić couple. Mrs Komšić told us about their beer journey. "The idea started after many years of preparing beer ‘in the basement’ with my husband. So, we already had our own beer, which would be drank very quickly, so why not offer it to others as well. Since we have just started with the production and mostly due to logistical problems, we are focused on the town of Vukovar and its surroundings, although we are planning to start producing other types of beer in the future and extend our offer to other counties and cities. As there are no yet other craft breweries in the area, we decided to start with the blond ale, which was initially conceived as a way of moving consumers from commercial towards craft beer. Beer is unfiltered, unpasteurized, without additives and artificial colours, and the main ingredients are three types of barley malt, hops and yeast. Beer is of a characteristic blonde style, also called the golden ale.

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Iva discussed the future of the Croatian beer industry and its relation to the competition. “The Croatian craft scene is growing; people recognise the quality, which is vital for us as a small producer. We all help each other, so I believe that market growth is not a problem but an incentive. Beer events are most commonly held as part of beer festivals, where we exchange opinions, techniques and the like. I think this is very good for our beer scene because you can combine promotional activities with having a good time; it is almost like a team building.

We are currently offering our beer in five Vukovar cafes. The initial reactions are great, and now it is up to us to roll up our sleeves and start brewing, pouring, bottling, labelling, distributing.”

More news about Croatian beer scene can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Monday, 25 March 2019

Economic Boost for Eastern Croatia as Pevec Plans Store in Vukovar

An economic boost is on its way to Eastern Croatia, more specifically to Vukovar this autumn with the opening of a brand new Pevec sales centre, bringing with it employment opportunities and much more to this otherwise greatly overlooked city.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 25th of March, 2019, Pevec has signed a contract for the construction of a sales centre in Vukovar with a local company from Slavonski Brod, Projektgradnja, which is otherwise a member of the Fortenova Group. The new sales centre will cover an area of ​​almost 5,000 m2. On the first floor, the office space that will be used by the company is set to be done up, Pevec's logistics and potential other tenants will make use of the revamped space.

"We have signed a contract with the Croatian company Projektgradnja, with which we're getting another modernly equipped and well-organised sales centre, employees will get high quality working conditions, and our customers a nice location for good and always competitive purchases. The opening of the new Vukovar sales centre is scheduled for October the 1st, 2019, and Vukovar will get fifty new jobs,'' Krešimir Bubalo of Pevec's management board, said.

Samofino Café will also open its doors within the new Vukovar centre. In the second stage of construction, additional business premises are planned and the retail center Pevec is expanded to a retail park with other retailers and brands.

"It's my great pleasure that Pevec, as the first Croatian trading chain, is investing in the city of Vukovar. We're building two sales centres in Slavonia, with which we want to try to encourage our people to stay here. By increasing the net minimum wage to 5,000 kuna in our stores, for our merchants, warehouse workers and our drivers, we're going to be giving our employees jubilee awards, systematic examinations, Christmas bonuses, child allowance and support for newborns, we'd like to show our employees that we care and that through working for Pevec, they can realise their dreams in Croatia,'' stated the president of Pevec's management board, Jurica Lovrinčević.

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