Forget the beach, the Split Film Festival is starting.
Last year, the 19th edition of Split Film Festival was on shaky ground due to reduced funds allocated to the oldest international film festival in Croatia. Some even feared that the STFF will be discontinued. Fortunately, there were no such problems with this year’s 20th edition, which will start on 12 September and has received a significantly higher amount of funds from the city budget, reports Slobodna Dalmacija on September 10, 2015.
“By an inexplicable decision of the city movie council, last year 70 percent of the money that the festival usually received from the city budget was cut. This year’s 20th edition has received a much larger amount, an increase of 20 percent in comparison to the funds we received prior to 2014, so the festival is ‘due’ another 50 percent of the amount which it usually received prior to the inauguration of the new council”, said Branko Karabatić, the director of the Split Film Festival.
“It goes without saying that for an event like this that is completely insufficient, because the costs in relation to the budget are enormous. It is known that all our foreign films are screened in Croatia for the first time, most distributors require fees, and we have to pay for everything, from the cinemas to hotel accommodation for festival guests, not to mention the equipment rental, translation and subtitling of films, the cost of sending and receiving films and so on. For this year alone, the festival received 7,000 applications for films which all had to be screened. You can imagine how much that costs, and the time and effort it requires”, said Karabatić.
“This is not a populist festival, but one of the few, if not the only one in Croatia, which is trying to preserve the dignity of the film medium in the era of trivialization at all levels. The emphasis is on quality, on promotion of innovative, creative, personal, radical films, regardless of whether they are ‘low budget’ or Hollywood productions. In addition to film screenings, we will have numerous workshops, lectures, presentations. It will be our pleasure to welcome Martin Mhando, the director of the Zanzibar International FF in Tanzania, who will present the program of the awarded short films. The full program is available on the festival website”, added Karabatić.
“Every year we promote the Croatian film production, depending on the number of interesting films that fit the profile of the festival. The audience is certainly interested in Croatian movies, and this is an opportunity for them to see more of, not only feature, but also short films”, said Karabatić.
“True film buffs know how to recognize quality, and they will find good movies at the Split Film Festival. The choice is up to the audience. The films which a few years ago could only be seen at the Split Film Festival are now in the program of other local film festivals, so some titles that would naturally ‘belong to’ our festival we choose not so screen, since they have already featured at festivals before this one”, concluded Karabatić.