Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Croatian Film Festivals: An Overview

March 23, 2022 - With the 94th Academy Awards just around the corner, Total Croatia News takes a look at some of the major Croatian film festivals celebrating the best of Croatian and international cinema, paving the way for major film festivals in the world.

This Sunday, at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, the 94th edition of the Academy Awards will be held, celebrating the best of the film industry in 2021. In recent years, the role of international cinema in the film industry has been growing progressively. This was evident at the 92nd Academy Awards, where the Oscar for Best International Feature Film was awarded for the first time, replacing the previously named Best Foreign Language Film. More importantly, it was the fact that it was the first time that a non-English language film had won the prestigious Oscar for Best Picture. This was the case of 'Parasite', from South Korea, directed by Bong Joon-ho, who also won the statuettes for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.

It seems that, in this last decade, the Academy has decided to reorient its vision of cinema towards a more globalized one, in which we can notice the presence of international films in different categories, thus nominating films, directors, actors, actresses, and scripts from all over the world.

Unfortunately, it could not be the year for Croatian cinema again as it failed to find a place among the best international films. No Croatian film has ever been nominated for Best International Film yet. This year, in particular, saw quite a bit of controversy in the selection process, after ''Murina'', directed by Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović, was not chosen by Croatia as its representative in the race for the Oscars, despite its enormous international recognition at festivals such as Cannes, where it won the Caméra d'Or for Best First Film. Instead, the Croatian candidate was ‘‘Tereza37’’, directed by Danilo Šerbedžija.

pula-film-festival-1_1.jpg

The Pula Film Festival, one of the most important Croatian film festivals. (Photo: www.pulafilmfestival.hr)

The road for Croatian filmmakers to the world's major film festivals is long and very competitive, but in recent years the international public has set its sights on this region of the continent, due to its richness in stories stemming from its turbulent past and present. The Bosnian film ''Quo Vadis, Aida?'', nominated in 2021, and the Macedonian film ''Honeyland'', nominated in 2019, are proof of this.

But despite the fact that the dream of every director is to show their stories to all corners of the world, it always starts here, at home. Many start out at student film festivals, or at film festivals organized by their towns or counties. If one investigates enough, they would realize that there are film festivals almost everywhere in Croatia. The Croatian Audiovisual Center, for instance, currently co-finances 60 Croatian film festivals and other audiovisual events. These Croatian film festivals serve various functions: they are particularly important for promoting Croatian audiovisual creation and serve as a platform for screening artistic content and non-commercial film forms, which makes them relevant on a local, regional, national, and, in some cases, international level.

In this article, we review ten Croatian film festivals with great recognition and importance not only for aspiring filmmakers but also for a large audience willing to enjoy good Croatian cinema. Many of these festivals also include workshops and special events for aspiring filmmakers. Pay close attention to the dates of these Croatian film festivals, you may still be in time to buy your ticket, or even submit your own movie or short film!

Zagreb Film Festival

Zagreb (23 – 30 October, 2022 | 20th Edition)

Zagreb Film Festival is one of the central and most visited cultural events and the largest among the Croatian film festivals. It is held during November in Zagreb and presents to its audience the best of newer independent international and local film production. From its beginnings, ZFF’s mission is to discover and promote contemporary independent film and debut films of directors from all over the world. For almost two decades, it has offered a festival, and later also a distribution platform, and it has screened works that are often left out of the programs of multiplex cinemas.

zagreb-film-festival_1.png

Photo: www.zff.hr

The festival has also played a key role in educating generations of audiences who enjoy film art. The festival program offers diverse film and educational content for all ages and interests, and serves as a platform for the networking of professionals: each edition of the festival gathers around 200 film experts from Croatia and around the world who come to Zagreb to present their films or participate in the festival’s educational programs.

Split Film Festival – International Festival of New Film

Split (1 – 9 September, 2022 | 27th Edition)

 119707102_3417051794983980_1173572948253057590_n_1.jpg

Photo: Split Film Festival/Facebook

The Split Film Festival – International Festival of New Film focuses on new, creative, experimental, radical, and subversive films, videos, and new media works. It screens all forms and genres, with a special focus on works diverging from the mainstream film and video production model, regardless of whether it concerns traditional filmmaking techniques or the use of the most recent digital technology.

The competition programme is divided into two parts: feature films and shorts. The festival’s side programme presents web projects, interactive works, performances, special programmes, and retrospectives of local and international filmmakers.

Pula Film Festival

Pula (16 – 23 July, 2022 | 69th Edition)

pula-film-festival.jpg

Photo: www.pulafilmfestival.hr

Pula Film Festival is one of the oldest ongoing film festivals in Europe and the world. Launched in 1954 as the main festival of Yugoslav films, Pula Film Festival became Croatia’s national film festival in 1992. Its main competition programme includes feature fiction films. Alongside other city locations, the festival’s programme takes place in Pula’s amphitheater, popularly called the Arena. It is organized by the Pula Film Festival public institution.

STIFF – Student International Film Festival

Rijeka (November 25 – 28, 2022 | 9th Edition)

student-film-festival.jpg

Photo: www.studentfilmfestival.eu

STIFF is Croatia’s first International Film Festival dedicated entirely to student films. Established by the SKC Rijeka (Student Cultural Center) and Filmaktiv – the purpose of the festival is to strengthen the student film industry by allowing an insight into the work of other fellow student filmmakers, encouraging the development of new ideas, and establishing international collaborations in the field of media production. STIFF’s main goal is to present the best of student film production from all around the world and help them get their audiences. It strives to educate audiences about the quality of work of emerging filmmakers.

Mediterranean Film Festival Split

Split (16 – 25 June, 2022 | 15th Edition)

mediterranean-film-festival-split_1.png

Photo: www.fmfs.hr

Mediterranean Film Festival Split takes place annually in June in the city of Split, the second-largest city in Croatia. The Festival's focus are feature and short fiction and documentary films from Mediterranean countries. Besides feature films, great attention is dedicated to the program of short films and the promotion of young authors and their work. The Festival also organizes lectures, workshops, exhibitions, and other side events. In 12 years of its existence, the Festival has become the most visited cultural event in the city of Split. Kino Mediteran project is also part of the FMFS. It is a network of cinemas in 30 small Croatian coastal towns, mostly on islands. 

Croatian Film Days

Zagreb (10 – 14 May, 2022 | 31st Edition)

croatian-film-days.png

Photo: www.dhf.hr

The Croatian Film Days are a national festival founded in 1991 devoted to showcasing Croatia’s annual production of short- and medium-length feature, documentary, experimental, animated, and commercial films. The festival is of a competitive nature, with awards handed out by the festival jury, members of the Croatian Film Critic’s Association, and the audience. The organizer is the Croatian Film Association.

Motovun Film Festival

Motovun (26 – 30 July, 2022 | 25th Edition)

motovun-film-festival-1.jpg

Photo: www.motovunfilmfestival.com

The Motovun Film Festival is dedicated to films made within small film industries and by independent productions. The programme consists of feature and short fiction and documentary films. The festival is jointly organized by the Motovun Film Festival, the Istria County, and the Municipality of Motovun.

Vukovar Film Festival – Danube region film festival

Vukovar (Summer, 2022 | 16th Edition)

vukovar-film-festival-2.jpg

Photo: www.vukovarfilmfestival.com

Vukovar Film Festival screens films from the Danube and neighboring countries – Slovenia, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Czech Republic, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Moldavia, Germany, Romania, Slovakia, Serbia, and Ukraine. It is the only festival that takes place literally on the Danube. The competition programme accepts feature, short fiction, and documentary films, and the jury hands out awards for all three categories. The festival is organized by Discovery Film, the City of Vukovar, and the Croatian House of Vukovar.

ZagrebDox

Zagreb (3 – 10 April, 2022 | 18th Edition)

20210613-202135-IMG_6844.png

Photo: ZagrebDox © Julien Duval

ZagrebDox is an international documentary film festival launched in 2005. The Festival is intended to provide audiences and experts insight into the recent documentary films, stimulate national documentary production, and boost international and regional cooperation in co-productions. The festival's competition program has international and regional categories. Besides the competition program, ZagrebDox has a number of non-competition programs – retrospectives and films focused on specific subjects, genres, techniques, and esthetics.

Brač Film Festival

Brač (Summer, 2022 | 8th Edition)

brac-film-festival-1_1.jpg

Brač Film Festival is an international feature film festival for emerging filmmakers from Europe and the Mediterranean. Key goals of the Festival are promotion of the first time feature film directors, presentation of short student films, development of film literacy amongst children and youth, and connecting young film professionals with experienced ones. The short film program is the only competition program, where the audience gives prizes for the best short film.

Learn about other Croatian film festivals at the Croatian Audiovisual Centre official website HERE.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Sunday, 27 February 2022

ZagrebDox Film Festival to Take Place on 3-10 April

ZAGREB, 27 Feb 2022 - This year's international documentary film festival ZagrebDox will take place from 3 to 10 April and will feature about 80 titles, the organisers announced earlier this week.

The programme includes several films with a focus on children and challenges they face. Among them are Ohad Milstein's "Summer Nights", Zahavi Sanjavi's "Imad's Childhood" and Simon Lereng Wilmont's "A House Made of Splinters".

"Inspired by children’s curiosity and an honest, piercing view of the world in and around them, these creations portray children’s microcosm in a gentle and empathetic way, without shying away from painful and still often taboo topics such as death and grief or burning issues such as growing up in constant uncertainty and restricted freedoms," the organisers said in the announcement of the festival's 18th edition.

The films will be screened at Kaptol Boutique Cinema.

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.

PXL_041020_30382935-zagrebdox.jpg

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.

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

ZagrebDox Film Festival, Numerous Business Events Postponed

ZAGREB, March 10, 2020 - The 16th edition of the ZagrebDox documentary film festival, set to take place from March 15-22, has been postponed following recommendations by the national civil protection authority to postpone indoor public gatherings with more than 1,000 participants due to the new coronavirus outbreak.

A new date for ZagrebDox and additional information on the event will be published in due time, the organisers said.

Numerous business events scheduled for March or early April, including the international Place2Go tourism fair, which was to have taken place at Zagreb's Arena sports hall, have been postponed as well.

The Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall, too, has postponed two concerts, set for March 12 and 21.

Earlier in the day the national civil protection authority decided that all foreign citizens entering Croatia from the countries worst hit by the coronavirus will be under mandatory quarantine for 14 days, and that all gatherings of more than 1,000 people should be postponed.

The new measures will be in force until further notice.

More coronavirus news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Chinese Documentary "Up the Mountain" Wins Big Stamp of ZagrebDox

ZAGREB, March 3, 2019 - The Big Stamp for best film in International Competition of the 15th edition of the international documentary film festival ZagrebDox went to the Chinese documentary "Up the Mountain" by Yang Zhang, according to the decision of the jury of the festival which ended on Saturday.

The Chinese documentary is about an artist originally from Shanghai, has been living in a small, remote village in Yunnan Province with his family for many years. and his apprentice Dinglong who decides to move to the city.

The Big Stamp for best regional film went to the film titled "Una Primavera" by Valentina Primavera, and this Italian documentary is about Fiorella, a mother of three, who decides to leave her husband, their house and life to free herself after 40 years of marriage.

The audience declared the Croatian documentary "Neighbours" by Tomislav Žaja the best film of the latest festival edition. The author has shot an observational documentary about people with psychological difficulties who leave the institution after decades spent in isolation, subsequently trying to put back together the pieces of their broken lives.

More film news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Saturday, 23 February 2019

15th ZagrebDox Film Festivals Opens Sunday

ZAGREB, February 23, 2019 - The 15th edition of the international documentary film festival ZagrebDox, to be held at Zagreb's Kaptol Butique Cinema from February 24 to March 3, will feature 104 documentaries, including 37 competing for international and regional awards, and the films will be shown as part of 16 programmes.

Festival director Nenad Puhovski said the festival committee has this year we more than 1,700 films and tried to choose the best for ZagrebDox visitors.

Puhovski recalled that over the past 15 years the festival had hosted all prominent documentary filmmakers from Croatia, from veteran to young authors, as well as many prominent filmmakers from the region and the rest of the world, which have made it the central documentary event in Zagreb, Croatia and the region.

So far more than 400 people have worked on the festival and more than 1,200 volunteers have been involved.

Almost half of all documentaries chosen for the festival's international programme have been made by young authors, under 35, which heralds a generational change on the world documentary scene.

Among them are two Academy Award nominees, Minding the Gap by Bing Liu, an atmospheric hit from the Sundance Film Festival about American skateboarders on the threshold of adulthood which has won 51 awards, and the British short documentary Black Sheep by Ed Perkins about a young man who chooses an unusual way to fight racial violence.

Tickets for this year's ZagrebDox are available at Kaptol Boutique Cinema, at ticket machines in the cinema's lobby as well as online at kaptolcinema.hr and on the iCineStar mobile application.

ZagrebDox is financially supported by the City of Zagreb and the Croatian Audio-Visual Centre.

More film news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Sunday, 4 March 2018

ZagrebDox Film Festival Announces Winners

ZAGREB, March 4, 2018 - The 14th edition of the ZagrebDox documentary film festival ended on Sunday and the winners have been announced: the Best Film in International Competition is "Of Fathers and Sons" by Talal Derki while the Best Film in Regional Competition is "The Other Side of Everything" by Mila Turajlić, and the Best film of a young author up to 35 years of age is "Over the Limit" by Marta Prus.

Friday, 23 February 2018

ZagrebDox Starts this Weekend

The time of year that documentary films fans have been waiting for is finally here: ZagrebDox, an international documentary film festival is starting this weekend!

Sunday, 21 January 2018

ZagrebDox Film Festival to Include over 130 Films

ZAGREB, January 21, 2018 - The 14th edition of the international documentary film festival ZagrebDox will take place at Kaptol Boutique Cinema from 25 February to 4 March, bringing over 130 films.

Page 1 of 2

Search