23rd Edition of Split Film Festival Set to Take Place this October

Daniela Rogulj

The Split Film Festival, the oldest international film and media event in Croatia, returns this October for its 23rd edition.

Scheduled to take place from October 4th to 12th, the Split Film Festival program this year has a common theme of resistance to capitalism, populism, and control which technological development only increases, in a system where a minute number of people become richer and the vast majority of people become poorer.

Traditionally, the festival does not choose films by names and prizes won at popular festivals, though, apart from the young authors and debutants, there are titles rewarded in Cannes or Rotterdam and some well-known directors. Recall, there were nearly 2,000 films registered for the festival!

You might be familiar with some of the films highlighted in international competitions. “Donbass”, for example, is a new film by cult Ukrainian filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa, and “Love 1. Dog” by Romanian writer-director Florin Serban is the latest romantic psychodrama by the director, which stars Valeriu Andriuta and Cristiana Mungiu. The Slovenian-Norwegian-Italian co-production “History Of Love” by Sonja Prosenc won in Karlovy Vary, and “The Widowed Witch” by Cai Chengjie was awarded the Tiger award in Rotterdam. Yet another film from Karlovy Vary this year is “Volcano” by Ukrainian Roman Bondarchuk, and from Rotterdam, the Swiss film “Those Who Are Fine” by Cyril Schäublin should be noted. The competition of feature films even includes the Croatian film “Do Kraja Smrti” by Anđelo Jurkas.

Of the 33 titles in the competition for international short films are five Croatian shorts: “FilmFlam” by Marko Belić, “Završni krug” by Vladislav Knežević, “Trip” by Marko Meštrović, “90 sekundi u Sjevernoj Koreji” by Ranko Pauković and “Nigdina” by Neli Ružić.

The program of Croatian films includes ”Lada Kamenski” by Sara Hribar and Marko Šantić, who won in Pula for best screenplay, best supporting actress, and was acknowledged by the international jury of FEDEORA, as well as the film “Happy End” by Anđelo Jurkas, which will have its official Croatian premiere at the Split Film Festival before it is distributed to cinemas in November. In the same program, there are eight, less exposed, Croatian short films.

All Croatian films presented at the festival will compete for the Ivan Martinac award, which praises Croatian directors for the creative and innovative use of film language in which expression dominates the use of specific, film-expressive resources achievable only in the moving image media.

The festival will also screen a list of interesting feature films in the “Forum/Next Door/Frame Extended” program, including Indian film “Tikli and Laxmi Bomb” by Aditya Kripalani, which follows sexual workers who take matters into their own hands to gain autonomy in their profession.

The film “Profundidad de Campo” by Peruvian director Renzo Alva Hurtado recreates protests against the Southern Copper mine project. German director Rosa Hannah Ziegle shows complex relationships between two young girls in “Family Life”, Aleksander Tesei’s documentary “The Zone – Post Atomic Journey” follows young men who illegally reside in the forbidden zone of Chernobyl, in the center of the famous Reaktor 4, which exploded in 1986. French debutant Camille Vidal-Naquet stars in the film “Sauvage”, which follows a young man who sells his body on the streets, though he seeks love. The Iranian film “Redhead” by director Karim Lakzadeh follows two brothers seeking revenge. 

The same program will highlight “Roi Soleil”, a new film by Albert Serra. The film is without dialogue, as is the work of Spanish director Jorge López Navarrete’s “Ronco Rumor Remoto”.

The festival will also feature seven VR movies and a ‘movemed’ digital work of “Plazaville” by GH Hovagimyan, the HD remake of Godard’s “Alphaville” film shot in New York. The scenes are displayed in random order, where a computer program shifts them to create a deconstructed narrative. The work is performed uninterruptedly but is not in a loop. 

You can find the full program here


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