The Home of Croatian Veterans as the Festival centre is alive from morning with presentations of filmmakers and exciting industry PulaPro programmes to late in the night with concerts and parties open to all visitors.
Judging by the reactions from the audience, two sold out evenings at the Arena, the exciting atmosphere at film conversations and social gatherings, the exceptional reactions to critics’ duels that bring together the now already loyal audience every day, the 70th edition of Pula Film Festival is headed to its finale – the Golden Arena Awards, decided on by Nives Ivanković (president of the jury), Tamara Cesarec, Maja Popović Milojević, Snježana Tribuson and Tena Štivičić, will be presented on Saturday at the Small Roman Theatre.
Jury of the Main Program
Arena sold out with Barbie (and Ken)
Films in competition for Arena
The middle of the festival week was marked by premieres of Croatian films Only When I Laugh, directed by Vanja Juranić, Death of the Little Match Girl, directed by Goran Kulenović, and Escort, directed by Lukas Nola. The films Cricket & Antoinette, directed by Luka Rukavina, Pelican, directed by Filip Heraković, and Carbide, directed by Josip Žuvan, which have already been distributed in cinemas, were also screened and attracted attention of the festival audience at the Arena and the Istrian National Theatre.
The crew of the film “Only When I Laugh”
The crew of the film “Death of the Little Match Girl”
The crew of the movie “Escort”
The crew of the film “Cricket & Antoinette”
The crew of the film “Pelican”
The crew of the film “Carbide”
The screened minority co-productions were Have You Seen This Woman, directed by Dušan Zorić and Matija Gluščević, Mother, directed by Zornitsa Sophia, Sea Sparkle, directed by Domien Huyghe, Infinity Pool, directed by Brandon Cronenberg, Non-Aligned: Scenes from the Labudović Reels, directed by Mila Turajlić, and Man Without Guilt, directed by Ivan Gergolet.
The crew of the film “Have You Seen This Woman”
The crew of the film “Mother”
The crew of the movie “Sea Sparkle”
The crew of the movie “Infinity Pool”
Vanja Jambrović and Tibor Keser, co-producers of the film “Non-Aligned: Scenes from the Labudović Reels”
The crew of the film “Man Without Guilt”
In the remaining time until the closing of the Festival, the main programme, screening films in competition for the Golden Arenas, will include the awarded film Safe Place, directed by Juraj Lerotić, Bigger Than Trauma, directed by Vedrana Pribačić, and The Happiest Man in the World, directed by Teona Strugar Mitevska. On the closing evening at the Arena, the documentary film Ship, directed by Pula’s own Elvis Lenić, will be screened out of competition.
Checking the scores of Croatian films given daily by the audience is especially exciting, as well as comparing the scores given to films in the main programme (Croatian Film and Minority Croatian Co-productions) by 13 film critics and journalists at the Festival.
From this year, the award of the Croatian Independent Cinemas Network will be presented. Its goal is to encourage cinema distribution of premiere films from the Festival. The three-member jury is made up of president of the Croatian Independent Cinemas Network Danijela Fabric Fabijanac (Public Open University Slatina) and members Ivica Perinović (Kino zona Zadar) and Jelena Svirčić (Art cinema Arsen), and presented its award to the film Only When I Laugh, directed by Vanja Juranić, for its utterly realistic portrayal of an extremely difficult topic that has rarely been dealt with in Croatian film and that has, unfortunately, gained a foothold in Croatian reality. “Through the exceptional performances by actress Tihana Lazović and actor Slavko Sobin, the director reaches high aesthetic value in portraying a culture of violence within a patriarchal society and points to tragic failures of the judicial system. The special value of the film lies in the dramatisation of the complex relationship between spouses, which convincingly shows how the victim, exposed to violence and being without a choice, commits a crime herself,” states the jury’s explanation. The jury also gave special mention director Lukas Nola, who recently passed away, for his film Escort, which also premiered at Pula Film Festival. As the jury said in its explanation, the director wrote a requiem of sorts to his distinct body of work with his last film Escort, which can be seen in a number of the film’s aspects in his recognisable poetics, sensual eroticism, and almost palpable stylisation that successfully bring together various genres and motives and makes for a unique viewing experience.
The Croatian Cinematographers Society presented its jubilee, 10th cinematography award for best achievements in art and cinematography to Branko Linta, h.f.s., for the feature film Even Pigs Go to Heaven, which won the Golden Gate of Pula Audience Award at last year’s Pula Film Festival, to Bojan Mrđenović for the short film Banija, and Vanja Černjul, h.f.s., A.S.C., for the TV series The Gilded Age.
The award ceremony of Pula Film Festival will take place on Saturday 25 July at 8 p.m. at the Small Roman Theatre and will be broadcast live by Croatian Radiotelevision on HRT3. The winners of the Golden Arenas will be decided by the five-member jury: president of the jury Nives Ivanković, cinematographer Tamara Cesarec, writer Tena Štivičić, director Snježana Tribuson, and producer Maja Popović Milojević. Following the award ceremony, the Golden Arena winners will head to the Arena for their bow to the audience before the final festival screening – the documentary film Ship by Pula director Elvis Lenić.
Final party with Marijo Kovač
Just like all of the festival evenings, the final evening is also reserved for a party at the Festival Centre at the Home of Croatian Veterans. The party with DJ Mario Kovač is open to the public and everyone is welcome to say goodbye to the jubilee 70th edition of Pula Film Festival.