Judging by this year’s selection, Croatian film expects a bright future. Namely, out of 10 films in the Croatian competition program, as many as 7 were directed by debutants, which brought a breath of fresh air under the “starry sky of the Arena”, according to many, one of the most beautiful cinemas in the world.
The best films in the Croatian program were decided by Austrian Oscar-winning director Stefan Ruzowitzky, last year’s winner of the Great Golden Arena Zrinko Ogresta, actress Marija Škaričić, British critic Rita Di Santo and editor Miran Miošić.
The jury, as well as the audience, awarded prizes for the best films and film workers, while visitors could watch 82 films, which is 146 hours and 30 minutes, or a total of 8788 minutes of top filmmaking, recent cinematography, and film classics.
“If there was an analysis, a poll, of who knows Croatian or Yugoslav film best, I think the people of Pula would be in first place, because the number of people who come to the evening screenings often exceeds the number of the total film distribution. Considering the very high marks that the films in Croatia won in the competitive competition at this year’s Pula Festival, I believe that this will spread to the rest of Croatia as well,” said the director of the Pula Film Festival, Tanja Miličić.
Sonja Tarokić received the Great Golden Arena award for her film ”The Staffroom”. (Credit: Pula Film Festival)
The jury, made up of renowned domestic and foreign film workers, as well as the audience, voted for the best films of this year’s festival. The Great Golden Arena, as well as the critic’s award, were awarded to Sonja Tarokić‘s ”The Staffroom”, a film that is also a powerful social and educational critique. The prize for the best film in the International Program went to the tense and visually stunning thriller that confronts the themes of homophobia, local corruption, and mafia mentality, ”Burning Days”, directed by Emin Alper, which also won the Critics Award.
Director Goran Dukić, winner of the Golden Gate of Pula award, for his film ”Even Pigs Go to Heaven”. (Credit: Pula Film Festival)
The Golden Gate of Pula, for the best-rated film in the Croatian competition program, was won by the film ”Even Pigs Go to Heaven”, by Goran Dukić, and the hearts of the audience in the international program were won by the film ”How I Learned to Fly”, by Radivoj Andrić.
“At the recently concluded 69th Pula Film Festival, 10 new Croatian feature titles were shown, seven of which were debuts, films of various thematic and aesthetic determinations, which speaks of the vibrancy of Croatian cinema. Nine minority Croatian co-productions were also shown, 6 of which were in the International Competition Program. The program has expanded to new locations, and viewership and sales are also approaching pre-pandemic figures. There were also numerous foreign guests, and the industrial program aimed at networking Croatian filmmakers with Europe also grew. We had visits from numerous festivals, among others – Berlin, Toronto, Cairo, Rotterdam, Cluj, Tallinn, Cannes (Author’s Fortnight) and many others. The goal was to make a breakthrough and I hope we did that.” said the artistic director of the Festival, Pavo Marinković.
Photo: Srecko Niketic/PIXSELL
The festival took place in 16 locations where people could watch film screenings, attend exhibition openings, book presentations and numerous professional industrial programs such as workshops and round tables. The locations where the films were shown were the Pula Arena, the Istrian National Theater – the City Theater of Pula, Kino Valli, Kaštel, and this year, after a two-year break, the screenings were also held in Ambrela, as well as in Brijuni. Several screenings were also held in Poreč and Rovinj.
Eight magical days of the 69th edition of the Pula Film Festival are behind us, but preparations for the next edition have already begun. In anticipation of the 70th Pula Film Festival, watch HERE the video of the most beautiful moments from this year’s edition.
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