The jubilee Pula Film Festival will open on Saturday 15 July at the Arena with the screening of Hotel Pula, directed by Andrej Korovljev, starring Ermin Bravo and Nika Grbelja, and audience interest for the first fiction feature film by the director from Pula is extraordinary. The opening ceremony will be directed by Patrik Lazić and hosted by Ida Prester. Croatian Radiotelevision will broadcast the opening ceremony at 9.40 p.m. on HRT 1.
Pula Film Festival celebrates its first 70 years this year, and the anniversary edition will see participation from many filmmakers and cultural workers who have marked the Festival’s history, as well as domestic authors who will present as many as 20 films in competition in the main programme – 13 in Croatian Film and 7 in Croatian Minority Co-Productions. After the opening ceremony on Saturday, Freaktion will play at Portarata and Los Ekekos will play at the Forum at 10 p.m.
“The 70th Pula Film Festival is an opportunity to return to the pleasure of watching films together, which we sorely missed in recent years. We are looking forward to seeing the Arena filled to capacity once again, we have a great programme full of diverse films, and I invite the audience to support them and to watch and comment the films together with the filmmakers at the screenings at the Arena, Istrian National Theatre, and Valli Cinema”, said artistic director Danijel Pek.
PREMIERES OF SEVEN CROATIAN FILMS
Screenings of other Croatian films will be held at the Istrian National Theatre (INK) at 7 p.m. and at the Arena at 9.30 p.m., while crews of the films screened the night before will present their films from 10 to 11 a.m. at the conversations held at the Festival Centre located at the Home of Croatian Veterans.
Seven films will compete for the Golden Arenas in the Croatian Film programme as premieres: Hotel Pula (d. Andrej Korovljev), Escort (d. Lukas Nola), Only When I Laugh (d. Vanja Juranić), Seventh Heaven (d. Jasna Nanut), Death of the Little Match Girl (d. Goran Kulenović), and Good Times, Bad Times (d. Nevio Marasović). The documentary film Ship (out of competition), directed by Elvis Lenić from Pula will also premiere at the Festival. The youngest audience will enjoy watching the children’s hit films Cricket & Antoinette (d. Luka Rukavina) and The Diary of Paulina P. (d. Neven Hitrec). We will also watch the documentary film Bigger Than Trauma (d. Vedrana Pribačić), and fiction films Carbide (d. Josip Žuvan), Pelican (d. Filip Heraković), Safe Place (d. Juraj Lerotić), and Traces (d. Dubravka Turić), which have already been released in cinemas.
This year, seven films will compete in the Croatian Minority Co-Productions section: Infinity Pool, Brandon Cronenberg’s horror/thriller starring Alexander Skarsgård and Mia Goth; the drama Man Without Guilt, directed by Ivan Gergolet; and Mother, directed by Zornitsa Sophia, inspired by true events. There is also the documentary film Non-Aligned: Scenes from the Labudović Reels about Tito’s personal cameraman; as the black comedy/drama Have You Seen This Woman?, directed by Dušan Zorić and Matija Gluščević, starring Ksenija Marinković; the dramedy The Happiest Man in the World, directed by Teona Strugar Mitevska, starring Jelena Kordić Kuret; and the film for children and young audience Sea Sparkle, directed by Domien Huyghe. Conversations with film crews will follow the screenings at the cinema, and you can find the schedule of all screenings and side events on the Festival website www.pulafilmfestival.hr.
The decision on the Golden Arenas for films in competition will be made by a five-member jury: director of photography and cinematographer Tamara Cesarec, actress Nives Ivanković, producer Maja Popović Milojević, dramaturge and writer Tena Štivičić, and director Snježana Tribuson.
HITS AT THE ARENA AND UNFORGETTABLE CLASSICS AT VALLI CINEMA
Hit films will be screened at the Arena in the second time slot in PoPular Pula, a side programme of the 70th Pula Film Festival. These include Oppenheimer, directed by Christopher Nolan, which will have its Croatian premiere at the Festival, Barbie, directed by Greta Gerwig, Asteroid City, directed by Wes Anderson, as well as the classic by our own Academy Award winner Dušan Vukotić, the 1981 sci-fi treat Visitors from the Arkana Galaxy.
The side programme Time Machine will see premieres of restored classics at Valli Cinema at 6 p.m., including An Event, directed by Vatroslav Mimica, and the cult horror film The She-Butterfly, directed by Đorđe Kadijević. The international programme Greater Adria will include, inter alia, Penelope Cruz’s new film The Immensity, directed by Emanuele Crialese, and Next to You, the new thriller by Stevan Filipović.
HOME OF CROATIAN VETERANS AS FESTIVAL CENTRE
The gathering place for guests, film crews, and representatives of the media and the location of the side programmes open to the public is the Festival Centre, located at the Home of Croatian Veterans. Each day of the Festival, the programme will start in the morning, as early as 10 a.m., with the conversations with the crews of the films screened in competition at the Arena and Istrian National Theatre the evening before. After that, the new programme will take place, High Noon, a series of critics’ duels, also focusing on the topics from the films screened in competition at the Festival the night before.
From Monday to Friday, the Home of Croatian Veterans will be the location of Film Conversations as part of this year’s industry programme Pula Pro starting at 1 p.m, where professionals will talk about a number of topics related to successful distribution, promotion, and making of films. On Saturday 22 July at Valli Cinema, also as part of Pula Pro, there will be two pitches for projects in postproduction, in the Work in Progress programme and the new Screenplay of a Blockbuster programme, which is also an opportunity to find out about new projects in Croatian cinema.
EVENINGS WITH CONCERTS AT THE HOME OF CROATIAN VETERANS
Along with numerous films, more than 80 of them, Pula Film Festival will also offer its audience a range of side events open to the public. We would like to highlight the concerts with free entry, which will be held at the garden of the Home of Croatian Veterans at 11 p.m. starting from Sunday. On Sunday, Zdenka Kovačiček and the Greenhouse Blues Band will perform, and every day of the week after that the Cry Babies, Filmmusicorkestar, Zoran Predin – Srebrni pioniri Duo, Pocket Palma, Stampedo, and DJ Kovač on Saturday 22 July.
Pula Film Festival will run from 15 to 23 July and you can find additional information about all of the programmes and events on the Festival’s official website and social media.