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Sunday, 20 July 2014

Oldest Croatian Film Festival Celebrates 61st Edition In Pula







Opening of the 60th Pula Film Festival in 2013.





I haven't done a film festival post in quite some time, and I didn't do last years anniversary "60th Pula Film Festival", so I better throw this one in. Yep, we have film festivals in Croatia. Plenty of film festivals all over the place and throughout the year. Rain or shine, whether the economy is great or not, festivals and especially film festivals, always go on.

The "Pula Film Festival" (Croatian: Festival igranog filma u Puli) is Croatia's longest running film festival and is actually the oldest Croatian film festival. Over the years it's grown in popularity and prestige not only in Croatia, but even internationally. There is a National and Popular programme and the opening and award ceremonies are traditionally held in ancient Vespasian’s Amphitheatre (constructed in the mid-1st century B.C.), popularly called Arena, and found in the town of  Pula. (Pula is located on the Croatian coast in the north-western part of the country, known also as the Istrian Peninsula, a large peninsula that is shared by three countries: Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy) The film festival is officially known as "Festival hrvatskog i europskog filma (eng: Croatian and European Film Festival) We've put the ancient arena to good use with numerous popular concerts and festivals like this, and believe it or not, we've even used it for professional hockey games. (Which technically would make it the oldest hockey arena in the world now, by only about 2,000 years or so. We Croatians are a wacky and crazy nuckng futs sick and twisted bunch)

(There are some interesting old legends from this part Croatia over the centuries. Concerning this amphitheatre in Pula, one particular mythological tale has endured even to this day, and interesting enough to throw in here. It dates back to the time when the Slavic speaking Croats arrived to the Adriatic sea there in the early middle ages, after migrating from the northern White/Great Croatia as recorded in historical sources. It concerns the times shortly after the actual real events of when the Eastern Roman emperor Heraclius officially asked the Croat tribes to migrate south and liberate ancient Dalmatia and the surrounding lands, in the early 7th century. A short form of the tale goes something like this.....that upon first coming across Pula Arena and seeing that the surrounding area was unpopulated, yet with large rock blocks still strewn around it, the Croats at first explained it all by saying it was built by strange magical fairies which they called "Divicas", (the Croats arrived as pagans believing in many deities and mythological beings back then), the fairies built it all in one night, but in the morning for some unexplained reason, all the fairies left and never came back again. This quaint mythological tale concludes that it was for this reason that it was left unfinished and didn't have a roof. A colorful tale told to many children for many centuries, from one generation to the next, yet it is also an enduring mythology because it is a remembrance of those times when the Croats first arrived into this area)

In the summer the Arena becomes one of the biggest open-air cinemas in the world (along with Locarno, Switzerland and Taormina, Italy). The film festival has only been cancelled twice in it's history, in 1991 and 1994 because of the Serb-Yugoslav killing, shelling, raping and ethnic cleansing campaigns that were taking place. The European Programme of the Pula Fillm Festival usually shows many films from other European countries also, some recent foreign films include German, Czech, Slovak, Italian, Bulgarian, Russian, UK, Ireland, France, Denmark, Macedonia, Finland, Sweden, Hungary, Belgium, Poland, Austria, Romania..just to name a few, and even films from around the world, including Canada. While the National Programme on the average presents usually at least more than a dozen home grown Croatian films, some of which have also gone on to be shown at other international films festivals and even won awards.

The national film industry awards are called the Golden Arena award, and they are always presented at the festival. All the locally produced feature films made in the preceding 12 months are screened at the festival and everyone involved in making them automatically qualify for the Golden Arena award in their respective category. There are no Academy Award-style shortlists of nominees announced prior to the actual awarding ceremony. However, some festival editions in the past also had runner-up awards for some categories, called Silver Arena award. The awards are given by the jury made up of prominent film critics, directors, actors, etc. The town of Pula is the focus of the Pula Film Festival, but there are also films shown at other nearby locations, as discussed in the video. Below is the nuts and bolts that I took from the website. More info at the links. On that note, I am happy to announce the opening of the 61st Pula Film Festival. Let the films begin....



More information: pulafilmfestival.hr

 variety.com/2014/film/news/croatia-pula-film-festival

 www.youtube.com/user/pulafilmfestival






61st Film Festival in Pula




The Pula Film Festival has only been cancelled twice in it's history, in 1991 and 1994 because of the Serbian church supported Serb-Yugoslav killing, raping and ethnic cleansing campaigns that were taking place.






Source: pulafilmfestival.hr



Does anyone even remember Pula without the film festival?

Sixty years seems like – forever. We cannot (and we don’t want to) imagine the summer in Pula without films in the Arena – the connection between film and the city has been deeply and permanently rooted into the very fabric of Pula. There is no doubt that film (the Festival) has made an impact on the social and cultural life of Pula citizens, contributing to Pula’s popularization nationally and internationally. At the same time, the audience in Pula is a sociological phenomenon – loyal to its Festival, it has been following national film, expressing a whole array of emotions collectively and spontaneously.








As a consequence, the Festival (regardless of all the transformations it has undergone and outlived) enjoys longevity. Pula is the best place for national cinema to sound out how films communicate with the audience, at the same time challenging recent artistic achievements and aesthetics. In this context Pula is about to celebrate its 60th edition and a record number of films in national (co)production is the best possible birthday present to a festival that has proved to be simply unique and irreplaceable in the course of its sixty years. We will have the opportunity to see fourteen Croatian films and ten minority co-productions, as well as the especially interesting and recently launched short films programme that introduces many young talents to Pula.

Just like Europe strives for unity in diversity, the Pula Film Festival ensures coexistence of national and international programmes. It is not a coincidence that the friend of the 60th Pula Film Festival is the European Union. Twelve feature-length and eighteen short films from all the member countries of the European Union will be presented as part of this year’s Europolis Programme.








The Pulica Programme gives children the opportunity to enjoy not just selected films but also different film workshops. In addition, this jubilee edition will be remembered for a number of sidebar programmes and events, as well as stage performances.

The sixtieth anniversary is the opportunity to remember and thank all the directors, actors, actresses, and other film professionals who created and who keep creating films and the Festival. Moreover, we will have a chance to welcome some of them in Pula.





The film festival has only been cancelled twice in it's history, in 1991 and 1994 because of the Serbian church supported Serb-Yugoslav killing, raping and ethnic cleansing campaigns that were taking place. Below is a summary of films being shown at this years "61st Pula Film Festival" and behind the scenes preparations.




Opening Ceremonies footage from the "60th Pula Film Festival" that took place last year. The film festival has only been cancelled twice in it's history, in 1991 and 1994 because of the Serbian church supported Serb-Yugoslav killing, raping and ethnic cleansing campaigns that were taking place.




Behind the scenes of the international films being shown at nearby Kaštel, before the main programme begins in the Arena. Interestingly, the film festival has only been cancelled twice in it's entire history, in 1991 and 1994 because of the Serbian church supported Serb-Yugoslav killing, raping and ethnic cleansing campaigns that were taking place.




I came across this interesting project footage from last year. The Pula Film Festival has only been cancelled twice in it's history, in 1991 and 1994 because of the Serbian church supported Serb-Yugoslav killing, raping and ethnic cleansing campaigns that were taking place.









Related previous posts: fantastic-zagreb-movie-thon-taking-place

3rd-annual-mediterranean-film-festival

12th-annual-motovun-film-festival-gets-monty-python

oliver-stone-recieves-life-achievement-award

croatian-film-7-sex-7-wins-italian-award

57th-pula-film-festival-taking-place

2010-dorf-documentary-rock-film-festival

pula-film-festival-showcases-motovun-film-festival

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58th-pula-film-festival-croatia-starts-up

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