70 Films from 32 Countries: Mediterranean Film Festival Split Announces Program

Daniela Rogulj

Dalmatinski Portal announced on May 31, 2019, that the features program of the 12th Mediterranean Film Festival in Split (FMFS) was released, and a new festival venue was announced – an open cinema in front of Dom Mladih (Youth Home) where short films from the international competition will be shown.

This year’s Mediterranean Film Festival opens on June 13 in the beautiful summer cinema ‘Bačvice’ with the Italian film ‘Piranhas’, awarded the Silver Bear for the best screenplay at the last Berlinale. It is an adaptation of the novel ‘Paranza dei bambini’ by Roberta Saviana, who for a long time has been under police protection for his book on the infamous Mafia organization.

The people of Split and their guests will first be in the region to see the films featuring the most famous French actresses – ‘Celle que nous croyez’ with Juliette Binoche and ‘Une jeunesse dorée’ with Isabelle Huppert. In the competition for the best feature film is the latest addition by the recently deceased European filmmaker Agnes Varde, the winner of the second FMFS.

The Greek ‘To thávma tis thálassas ton Sargassón’ is a thriller that premiered in Berlin, which will be presented at Bačvice by the main actress and screenwriter Youla Boudali. Two excellent documentaries ‘Lissa ammetsajjel’ and ‘Yom Adaatou Zouli’ come from Syria and Lebanon, both of which were rewarded in Venice, while Spain will be represented with ‘El reino’, an oppressive political thriller on corruption that won seven Goya national awards.

Italy also released great titles this year, and in the program is the documentary ‘Selfie’ that accompanies growing up in the south of the country, while the real treat for the audience is Loro’ by Paolo Sorrentino. The ‘I Leoni di Lissi’, an Italian-Croatian co-production inspired by the Vis battle of 1866, will be presented by director Nicolo Bongiorno, who has already received a number of awards and praises in his native Italy for this title.

“In the accompanying feature film program this year we are focusing on South American cinematography. The program we called ‘The Other Side of the Mediterranean’ has inspired our viewers and this year we bring five films from this continent. I would point out the Colombian ‘Pajaros de Verano’, a film that was among the nine Oscar nominees, and the Argentine trilogy ‘Rojo’ and ‘Acusada’, rewarded at the festivals in San Sebastian and Toronto. We continue the small tradition of closing FMFS with a Scandinavian film. This year, we decided to display the synchronized animated film ‘Gordon and Paddy’. We continue with the film ‘Koko-di Koko-yes’ and the 12th FMFS will close the romantic drama ‘Eld & lågor’ signed by famous authors the ‘Most’ mini-series,” said director of the festival Alen Munitić, who announced 15 Croatian short films for the ‘Ješke’ contest, which are competing for a 12,000 kuna cash prize, announced for next week.

The international short film program returns to FMFS at the new third location, in front of the Youth House, where the movies will be shown free of charge every night.

“We are partners of the Youth House Platforms on the project ‘Build a House together’ that has been supported by the European Social Fund and we are delighted to host this program at the center of the project, which will make this project an unavoidable cultural point of our city,” Munitić said. 

The Spanish-Swiss film ‘Those Who Desire’ and the Spanish ‘Watermelon Juice’ premiered in Berlin and the great Greek ‘Patision Avenue’ was featured in more than 20 festivals including Toronto, Sundance, and Venice. Also worth a look is the Greek film ‘Hector Malot’, the best film of the critics week in Cannes. From the neighboring Bosnia and Hercegovina comes ‘Dah’, the winner of the best short film ‘Heart of Sarajevo’, and the Portuguese ‘Casa de Vidro’, the public’s choice winner at the Rotterdam Film Festival.

The audience will also have a chance to watch the selection of short films from South America and Sweden, featuring the Chilean ‘Summer of Electric Lion’ and the Peruvian ‘Debris’ winner of the largest short film festival in Clermont Ferrand. One of the terms is also reserved for ‘Kino Circus’, in collaboration with partners from ROOM100, which bring ‘Circus Post’ a series of short films directed by Deborah May, which contextualizes the development of contemporary circus over the past 40 years.

The author of the visual identity of the Mediterranean Film Festival in Split this year is designer Karlo Kazinoti.

“The irresistible urge to throw stones into the sea is possessed by every man at least once in his life while walking along the beach or shore. This liberating enjoyment sometimes turns into a competition or just a question of one’s own strength, who will continue or who will make a greater number of skips. A similar excitement possesses someone who finds themselves with a heap of movies and they have to pick the best ‘stone’ that will bounce off the surface the most times,” explained Kazinoti of his idea.

The work of the association behind the organization of the festival is institutionally supported by the National Foundation for Civil Society Development and the Foundation for Culture Nova, the Croatian Audiovisual Center, the City of Split, Society of Croatian Film Directors, and the partner of the 12th FMFS is Addiko Bank.

Ticket packages for the FMFS and Kino Mediteran are already on sale and individual tickets are on sale on Monday, June 3rd. Tickets are 25 kuna for the films at the Bačvice summer cinema, and 20 kuna for screenings at the Golden Gate Cinema. 

You can find the full program and ticket info here

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