Pula Film Festival becoming the most important meeting place of Croatian film and its audience

 Pula Film Festival becoming the most important meeting place of Croatian film and its audience

In its jubilee 70th edition, Pula Film Festival will focus on the relationship between film and audience. Alongside fiction film, it will open up to animated and documentary film to become the central meeting place of the Croatian film community.

Pula, 6 March 2023 – The Festival Council of Pula Film Festival has adopted the programme by the new artistic director Danijel Pek, who is going to be at the helm of the longest-running film festival in Croatia for the next four years. The presentation of the concept of this year’s Pula Film Festival and the announcement of the celebration of its 70th edition was held at Valli Cinema in Pula, which will be one of the central venues together with the Arena and the Istrian National Theatre, while the Home of Croatian Veterans will become the festival centre.

The session of the Festival Council was held in Pula, sending the message of Pula being the central meeting place of Croatian film and its audience. The session of the Festival Council was productive, and I can say all of the decisions were made unanimously. The programme is very ambitious, as it should be for the jubilee edition, and it aims to intensify the activities leading up to the start of the 70th Pula Film Festival, because we think of Pula as the city of film. This anniversary is a good opportunity to prove ourselves once again; and along with the celebration of the jubilee edition, we will also celebrate 15 years of work of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre – said state secretary Krešimir Partl.

At the 70th edition of Pula Film Festival we want to thank the audience for decades of  loyalty and show them the best of our film production, and to make Pula the annual meeting place of the Croatian film community, said the artistic director of Pula Film Festival Danijel Pek, and added that Pula is becoming the festival of Croatian feature film. The focus will still be on fiction film, which will make up the majority of the programme, but we want to be open to exceptional achievements in animated and documentary features, which has become common practice at festivals the world over.

The main part of the programme will have two sections: Croatian Film and Croatian Minority Co-productions, where the films will compete for a total of 20 Golden Arenas: 16 in Croatian Film and four in Croatian Minority Co-productions. Pula is where we pay tribute to all those who make films, both authors, artists, and professionals across different occupations. We want the winners of Golden Arenas to leave Pula with a sense of pride, said Danijel Pek, and added that the call for submissions for the 70th Pula Film Festival will be announced on 21 March.

Mario Kozina, Pula Film Festival selector, said that the festival wants to keep up with the current habits of professional and wider audience.

“Pula Film Festival is a reflection of the current state of the film and cinema scene. In recent times, we have witnessed an advent of new voices in Croatian film who offer a fresh approach to familiar topics and genres. Due to the increase in quality and huge steps forward supported by international success of Croatian film, we expect a record number of submissions”, said Mario Kozina.

Tanja Miličić, director of Public Institution Pula Film Festival, announced the range of activities planned to mark the jubilee edition. As early as late March, Valli Cinema will be the venue of the 8th Children’s Film Week, Pulica in a Coat, screening several films from previous editions of Pula Film Festival that are suitable for the youngest audience, and will also be accompanied by an exhibition. This exhibition will the kick-off to an abundant exhibition programme, and will present posters, photographs of film stars, films, and the atmosphere of past and present-day Pula at the time of Pula Film Festival at a number of open-air locations. In cooperation with the Croatian Independent Cinemas Network, independent cinemas from all over Croatia will be included in the festival events, and will screen some of the best festival films from the programme, with the film programme itself continuing at Valli Cinema. The best of the films from previous editions of Pula Film Festival, suitable for children and families will be screened at 12 different locations around Pula in the Festival in the Neighbourhood programme. There are plans to dedicate Circolo Classics to the jubilee edition by selecting film classics.

“We will publish the most important edition about Pula Film Festival in the last 45 years, the monograph Film Under the Stars, in cooperation with the Historical and Maritime Museum of Istria, which takes care of the festival archives. The monograph presents the history of Pula Film Festival on more than 400 pages”, said Tanja Miličić in conclusion.

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