Zagreb, September 17th – For the tenth year running, the second half of October in Zagreb is reserved for the Zagreb Film Festival. During this time, the Croatian audience has an overview of the best debut films at its disposal, that is, an insight into the first and second films by both domestic and foreign filmmakers.
The jubilee tenth edition of the Zagreb Film Festival held from October 14th to 21st, includes some hundred films within eight film programs, held at various Zagreb locations, interspersed with several novelties to boot! As was the case in years past, the film screenings are set to be held in the movie theaters Europa and Tuškanac, the Zagreb Dance Center, and, for the third year running, at the Museum of Modern Art. The most recent location, introduced only this year, is the movie theater ‘Grič’ which is set to be transformed into a center of independent documentary productions for the duration of these eight festival days.
The main competition program of the festival includes eleven long feature films, ten short features and some fifteen documentary films. Within the long-feature program, among others, a Serbian production that sparked controversy and provoked strong views in recent months is set to be screened – a debut film by young Serbian director Maja Miloš, film entitled Klip. Despite explicit scenes of sex and violence, due to which the film was banned in Russia, the critics concur that the film provides a realistic portrait of today’s facebook generation. At the international film festival in Rotterdam, Klip won the Grand Prix ‘Tiger Award’, as well as the Dutch Film Critics Award. At the Motovun Film Festival it was the winner of the Bauer Award in the ‘Best Film in the Region’ category.
The main program also brings us the debut film by director Rúnar Rúnarsson – Vulkan. This is a drama portraying the last chapter of a love story of an old married couple in the picturesque suburbs of Island’s capital – Reykjavik. Through atmosphere and character layering, this work of art leaves quite an impact, akin to Mike Leigh’s and Ken Loach’s works, and has already won 14 awards at festivals worldwide, including those in Chicago, Denver, Montreal and Reykjavik.
This year, the documentary program includes several films dealing with conceptual artists -– Matthew Akers’ film Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present gives us a portrait of this famous Serbian artist, named after her performance at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York where she spent 700 hours sitting and silently staring back at the audience. Over 1500 visitors made good use of this highly unusual interaction, among others – Björk, Lou Reed, Marisa Tomei, Isabella Rossellini and many others. The film was granted awards at festivals in Berlin and Sarajevo.
The documentary This Ain’t California by German author Marten Persiel is a punk story that guides the audience into the world of skateboarding within the context of the social and political circumstances of East Germany in the past few decades.
The Competition Program ‘Kockice’ (Dice) brings current short-feature films by up and coming Croatian filmmakers.
Alongside the main program, the festival yet again incorporates three permanent accompanying programs: The Bibiade, a program of children’s long and short feature films; My First Film in the selection of film critics and editor Nenad Polimac who brought five debut films of renowned world-class directors from Austria such as Michael Haneke and Ulrich Seidl; The Big 5, a program of five current films by great European cinematographies (Spain, France, Italy, German and Great Britain). The latter program, among other titles, also brings us the film Reality by the renowned Italian author Matteo Garrone who delighted the film world with his previous work entitled Gomora. This story of a Naples fish dealer who wants to secure his entrance into the Italian version of ‘Big Brother’, was granted the Grand Prix Award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
This year’s edition of the Festival offers a few new film programs, one of which is My Third Film. This program includes the works of authors already known to the ZFF audience, with their first or second films shown at the previous editions of the Festival. The Belgian-French trio of authors Fiona Gordon, Dominique Abel and Bruno Romy know the Festival audience well – their first two films “Iceberg” and “Rumba” won the first prize – The Golden Pram – at the 2005 and 2008 editions. Their third film The Fairy is a somewhat peculiar story about the relationship between a clerk and a fairy named Fiona, with all the familiar characteristics of this gifted comedy trio – it is a series of slapstick pieces inspired by the works of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Jacques Tati.
Another novelty is the Spy Films Program, which is the continuation of last year’s special genre programs; it includes part of the films from The Celluloid Curtain – Europe’s Cold War in Film project, which had been realized in London and Berlin during last year in collaboration with The Goethe-Institut, and under the guidance of the curators Oliver Baumgarten and Nikolaj Nikitin. The project was launched on the fifteenth anniversary of the Berlin Wall construction, and it includes spy movies made on both sides of the Iron Curtain in the period between 1960 and 1974.
The event that is bound to bring smiles on the faces of all those who love documentary films, as well as on the faces of true film lovers; is the retrospective of films made by the renowned Michael Glawogger. This event will not only offer a chance to get to know the director’s work better, but Mr. Glawogger will also be the guest of the Festival and the President of a three-member panel of judges that will choose this year’s best documentary film.
Alongside the film program, this year’s 10th Zagreb Film Festival offers a variety of additional events, such as the introduction of the Festival, book presentations, lectures, and a very rich educational program Youth Industry!
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