25th Split Film Festival to Kick Off at Bacvice Open-Air Cinema

Daniela Rogulj

September 9, 2020 – The oldest international film festival in Croatia – Split Film Festival / International New Film Festival, will hold its 25th jubilee edition this September, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

In accordance with the current recommendations for protection against coronavirus, film lovers will be able to enjoy screenings in the open, announced the Split Film Festival on its website.

The festival will be held from September 10 to 17, and the central part of the program will be located in the pleasant ambiance of the Bacvice Open Air Cinema. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many famous film festival friends will not be able to visit Split, so the audience will be able to enjoy their company online. Among them is the winner of this year’s special award for an outstanding contribution to the art of moving images – Mexican director Carlos Reygadas.

The backbone of the festival this year is the international competition of feature and short films, notably the award-winning Taiwanese drama RIZI / Days (directed by Tsai Ming-liang) and the documentary Land of my Father (directed by Matthew J Koshmrl), which brings to the screen the unresolved trauma of the Japanese occupation of Korea and the way it reflected on the lives of the peasants.

The accompanying program includes the documentary Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blache (Pamela B Green), which sheds light on the intriguing story of the forgotten first female director and producer of more than a thousand films, whose achievements have so far been completely erased from of the dominant macho historical narrative.

Honoring the recent death of Bekim Sejranovic, the festival program also includes the film From Tokyo to Morava (Moku Teraoka), whose central character is Bekim.

The audience will have the opportunity to hang out with two favorite actresses from Split. Marija Skaricic arrives in Bacvice in the main role of the Swiss-Croatian film Mare (Andrea Staka) in which she embodies all the complexity of a middle-aged Dalmatian woman, while Ivana Roscic in the Slovenian-Italian film Stories from the Chestnut Forest (Gregor Bozic) stars in a dream story of a forgotten community that once lived on the border of Yugoslavia and Italy.

The online program of the festival offers film lovers and film professionals, no matter where they are, the opportunity to attend masterclasses by the American director of short experimental films Robert Arnold, the new media artist G.H. Hovagimyan, a lecture by British video artist George Barber and American director Pamela B. Green, among others.

For 25 years, the Split Film Festival has focused on works created in deviation from the ruling canons of film and video production. Apart from the recent world and domestic productions, the audience remembers the festival through a series of retrospectives, workshops, lectures, and presentations by leading experts. The globally unique retrospectives of Béla Tarr and Lars von Trier, the Brazilian Cinema Novo, and Orson Welles are especially remembered as the first, and so far only, retrospectives of the father of video art Nam June Paik.

The Split Film Festival is the first domestic film festival to promote new media from the beginning. It also provided its audience with the first drive-in cinema in these areas, the Béla Tarra film workshop, and a lecture by the father of film avant-garde Peter Kubelka.

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