Organizer: Jewish Film Festival Zagreb
Festival of Tolerance is a cultural event whose programme includes film screenings, themed exhibitions, Festivals’ Market, discussions, lectures, educational and music events. The festival aims to spread the truth and the memory of the Holocaust and to promote the awareness and adoption of tolerance in everyday life and the times in which we live. The Festival promotes a culture of non-violence and democracy, tolerance and inclusion.
Festival of Tolerance is chaired by two-time Academy Award winner Branko Lustig (Schindler's List, Gladiator), one of the world's most prominent film producers and survivor of the Holocaust; also the chief selector of the Festival’s film programme.
All of the Festival’s film programmes and accompanying events are free of charge.
Since its first edition in 2007 - when it was founded under the name Jewish Film Festival (JFF) Zagreb, as the only such festival in South Eastern Europe to date - Festival talks about the social problems of our time and uses contemporary film, but also other forms of artistic creation (visual arts, music, etc.) to convey the experience of the past and to educate about the Holocaust.
Currently, we are witnessing the rise of hate speech in public arena, strengthening of right-wing ideologies, youth violence, discrimination and social injustice, especially among youth, towards individuals of different nationality, religion or race, and political opponents.
The Festival of Tolerance programme draws attention to a number of current social trends and phenomena: discrimination against minorities, xenophobia, integration of disabled persons, refugees and migrants, asylum seekers and vulnerable groups, as well as the attitude of the community towards the third age.
Since the beginning, Festival warns of frequent manipulation with the Nazi ideology, masked as false patriotism, in order to promote unity and glorify the nation-state. Developing a culture of dialogue and non-institutional education of young people and the general public about the acceptance of diversity as a fundamental driver of a healthy society, the Festival contributes to the strengthening of democratic and more inclusive society.
The Festival is supported by numerous renowned names of world cinema such as American film director Steven Spielberg, Austrian film director and screenwriter Stefan Ruzowitzky, German film director Volker Schlöndorff, Hungarian film director István Szabo as well as legendary actors: Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgård, Irish actor Liam Neeson, English actor Ralph Fiennes, Croatian actor Rade Šerbedžija and many others.
From only 12 films in 2007 - the first year of the Festival – ten years later the Festival of Tolerance offers up to 80 feature and short films annually, from features, to documentaries and animated films from both national and international film production. The quality of the offered films keeps pace with renowned European and international film festivals.
The Festival’s programme includes films that are having its world premiere, giving the audience the opportunity to watch highly anticipated titles before their regular festivals’ cycle. Such films are usually screened in the presence of the film directors themselves.
The film Colonia (2015) by Oscar-winning German director Florian Gallenberger opened the Festival of Tolerance in 2016. The Croatian audience thus had the chance to see the film before its American premiere, presented by the director himself. The film is based on actual events and speaks of Colonia Dignidad, a German sect founded in Chile, led by the infamous Paul Schäfer. The film stars Emma Watson and Daniel Brühl.
Also, among the most awaited films of 2014 was the documentary Night Will Fall (2014), directed by André Singer, with participation of great Alfred Hitchcock, about the liberation of Nazi concentration camps in 1945. The film had its screening in Zagreb immediately after the Berlinale Film Festival, while its festival distribution began only a year later.
In 2015, in response to suggestions of the audience, the Festival has also introduced Open Discussions that build on topics of selected films. Experts from relevant areas, opinion-makers, artists and civil society representatives participate in the discussions.
In 2015, the Festival introduced an honorary award May it never be forgotten, a plaque made of olive wood, a wood of peace. The symbolism of the prize is to never forget the past and to strive to build a better future together. That same year, the award was presented to the Croatian film directors Zlatko Bourek and Pavle Štalter for their contribution to preserving the memory of the Holocaust through the short animated film Wiener Blut / Bečka krv (2015).
Over the past ten years, the Festival has experienced a strong regional expansion and was, to this day, besides in Zagreb, organized in Rijeka and in four other countries of the region: Serbia (Belgrade), Slovenia (Ljubljana), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sarajevo) and Montenegro (Cetinje and Podgorica). The Festival was also presented as part of the LET'S CEE Film Festival in Vienna, Austria.
Adding regional editions to the national editions of the Festival, the Festival had a total of 21 editions: 10 editions in Zagreb and 11 editions in other cities of the region. The Festival programme attracted a total of over 115,000 visitors.
The visual identity of the Festival is signed by the world renowned graphic designer Mirko Ilić, who has won numerous international awards for it, which also contributed to the promotion of the Festival in Croatia and beyond, from the US to China.
Counting all the Festival’s activities - from film screenings to accompanying programmes (some of which are year-long), such as: exhibitions, concerts, Educational Mornings, discussions and round-tables, book presentations, International Talent Workshop for students, Festivals’ Market, and street art programmes - it is estimated that more than 7.5 million people across the region were exposed to the issues of tolerance and the Holocaust thanks to activities of the Festival of Tolerance.
Programs such as the Educational Mornings use films to educate youth (elementary and secondary schools pupils, as well as University students) about the history of the Holocaust and the presence of neo-fascism and fascist symbols in the public discourse. Educational Mornings are very well attended and over the years have become the tradition and a recognizable brand of the Festival.
The Festival’s activities also include lectures and presentations of less known cinematographies with a rich tradition, such as Ukrainian cinematography, but also roundtables targeting current social trends, such as the global migrant and refugee crisis.
The Festival’s programme called Festivals’ Market is an excellent platform for the exchange of experiences and networking between film and industry professionals. The programme also aims at developing the audience. This way the audience is being introduced to the European festivals’ scene. The concept is unique in the world and has opened up communication channels to film festivals, professionals, but also to the wider audience.
An important segment of the Festival are also music events organized in order to attract younger audience and to diversify the music offer of the Croatian capital. The tradition of hosting top musicians is reflected in international and local musicians’ guest performances of different music genres - from klezmer, the traditional music of Eastern European Jews with jazz rhythms, to electronic music.
With the aim of spreading the message of tolerance to all segments of society, especially among youth, the Festival also organizes exhibitions, talent workshops for students, etc. in an effort to encompass various urban subcultural groups, associations and organizations whose focus is on acceptance and the right to diversity, but also on arts and education.
Exceptional value of the Festival are certainly its volunteers, who to date count more than 500, ranging from 11 to 84 years old, and come from different countries (Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Turkey, Germany, Italy, Poland, etc.). With their skills, energy and enthusiasm they significantly contribute to the successful preparation and implementation of the entire Festival’s programme.
The Festival’s achievements and further growth have been recognized and rewarded at the international cultural level through the financial support of many institutions and foundations, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany, the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National-Socialism, International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance - IHRA, Erste Stiftung, the US Aliis Inserviendo Consumor – AIC Foundation, Mediterranean Anna Lindh Foundation, and others. In 2016 Festival of Tolerance was also supported by the European Union’s Europe for Citizens Programme.
FESTIVAL OF TOLERANCE – OVERVIEW OF ACTIVITIES
The programme consists of high-quality European and world cinema films rarely accessible through regular cinema programmes. Films focus not only on Holocaust, but also on all social trends that encourage reflection about tolerance and respect for diversity.
The Zagreb audience has an opportunity to view premieres of films that have received prestigious awards over the past year and have been screened at major international film festivals (Cannes Film Festival, Berlinale, Sundance Film Festival, Karlovy Vary FF, Venice Film Festival, etc.). The programme’s value added is also its world premieres of selected domestic and foreign films.
All film programs are free of charge and take place in Zagreb's Europa Cinema and Tuškanac Cinema, and as of 2017, in the Cultural Information Center (KIC) in Zagreb.
Chief selector of the Festival’s film programme is Croatian world-renowned producer Branko Lustig. Volunteering at this position, he selects on average between 200 and 300 feature and short films. Determinants in selecting the films are their thematic, artistic and production qualities and the strength of the author’s message.
In the period from 2007 to 2016, the Festival screened over 510 films from all over the world; out of which 61% of them were EU production, 12% US production and 27% the rest of the world. More than 140 lectures, discussions, exhibitions and concerts were held in the past decade.
Tenth anniversary of the Festival of Tolerance, held from 5 - 15 April 2016, attracted a total of 12,500 visitors - 9,000 visitors of the film programme and more than 3,500 visitors of the accompanying programme.
The 10th edition of the Festival presented a total of 68 films from around the world, out of which 19 feature films, 29 documentaries and 20 short films.
Festival of Tolerance screens over 4,000 minutes of film programme each year. Films are screened only once, which allows the audience to see up to 80 films per Festival’s edition.
In addition to its artistic value, films highlight current social trends, issues of minority rights, rights of people with disabilities, environmental issues, etc.. The screened films allow for deeper reflection and discussion about its themes, either with filmmakers or experts from relevant areas.
In 2016, the audience had a possibility to see numerous Croatian premieres and three world premieres, as well as two current Oscar winners: (1) Pakistani documentary A Girl and the River: The Price of Forgiveness, directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, which follows Saba, a young woman who survived an attempted “honor” killing by her family; and (2) British short film Stutterer by Benjamin Cleary about a young man with impaired speech who collects the courage to meet for the first time the girl with whom he had corresponded for months.
Films are generally rated by the audience with a 4.5 score (scores ranging from 1-5). It is an indicator that films are selected according to their quality, and that the bar set by the Festival systematically raises year after year.
Over the years, other prominent Croatian film festivals have included the Holocaust themes in their programmes as well, and we see this trend as a direct result of the Festival of Tolerance’s activities. Also noted is an increased interest in the purchase of screening rigths for Holocaust-themed films by the local film distributors.
After the screenings, the audience is offered a possibility to discuss the film with their authors and other prominent filmmakers in a session called Questions and Answers / Q & A.
For instance, during the last, 10th edition of the Festival, German director Michael Verhoeven, a BAFTA winner and an Oscar nominee, whose films were awarded at Berlinale, presented his feature film Let’s Go, a subtly probing investigation of the complex notion of German-Jewish identity.
Among the most popular Q&A sessions this year was also the one with Eva Lustigova, who presented her directorial and screenwriting debut The Presence of Arnošt Lustig - a documentary about her father, the famous Czech writer and screenwriter, a Holocaust survivor, nominated for the Pulitzer and the Nobel Prize.
Undeniably, Festival of Tolerance contributed to the development of new habits of the Zagreb film audience with its high-quality programmes and guests. Only few years ago viewers were not familiar with a concept of Q&A sessions with filmmakers after film screenings, while today the audience eagerly awaits the announcement of world-renowned authors and filmmakers visiting the Festival.
Open discussions related to the topics of selected feature and documentary film screenings were introduced in 2015, as an answer to the needs and suggestions of our audience.
The idea was to create a public platform for an exchange of opinions, questions and answers, agreements and disagreements. Besides experts in the relevant fields, discussions are also open to the audience as an important factor in co-creating public opinion, stimulating the culture of dialogue with the aim of building a more open and tolerant society.
The 2016 edition of the Festival brought 8 film discussions that followed after top notch feature-length and documentary films screening. Europe today: Racial revolution? Followed after German film We are young. We are strong. by Afghan-German director Burhan Qurbani. The discussion prompted heated discussion about xenophobia, racism, civil education, historical heritage and the future of Europe.
Integration of migrants, rise of the right wing, impact of film on political regimes, adopting children, destroying the planet or the integration of the disabled, are among some of the topics discussed.
All discussions, as well as a majority of the accompanying programmes are filmed and posted on the Festival’s website Festivaloftolerance.com and YouTube channels and are thus archived and available to the public at a later stage.
FILM AND DISCUSSION
Film and Discussion (FID) is a new Festival of Tolerance project.
Film as a medium, and discussion as a means of engagement of an individual put together intend to draw attention to the presence of discrimination and intolerance in a society. Societies of today rely heavily on the visual medium. Through the intermediation of film, television, video, computer, etc., youth receives multiple content both on emotional, as well as informative levels that requires interpretation and personalisation. Young people can review the information with a critical eye only if they are media literate and have developed critical thinking.
Educational morningsare an innovative program aimed at educating the younger generations about the holocaust and accepting difference through the medium of film, testimonies from survivors and expert lectures. The program debuted in 2009 and today, after 70 iterations in 6 different countries, it can be said that it has become a true brand, recognizable both as a stand alone project and as a segment of Festival of Tolerance, that brought about a visible shift in society. With the Ministry of science, education and sports recommending them as a valuable source of information for students, Educational mornings have become a part of school curriculum for numerous educational institutions and serve as an inspiration for professors to implement similar programs as part of school education. Not many institutions that educate about the Holocaust can boast the impressive number of 20.000 students that have attended Educational Mornings so far.
Furthermore, this project becomes more unique and thus more precious with each passing year as it includes the Holocaust survivors who share their experience with the students in person, and sadly, as time passes, there are less of them each year.
The Association has organized several exhibitions by world-renowned European contemporary artists, which have attracted significant interest of the media, diplomatic corps and wider audience. With exhibitions focused on educational content (Holocaust, refugees, street art, women, children, minorities etc.) and with segments implementing audio-visual multimedia, FoT is becoming a meeting place for Zagreb and Croatian culture scene and European and world artists and art projects.
- Exhibition "Power and powerless" by the renowned German artist of Japanese descent Seiji Kimoto was organized as part of FoT Zagreb in 2012 (Gallery Karas HDLU - 14th to 31st of May). The exhibition was previously displayed at memorial areas of the former concentration camp Mauthausen in Austria and former concentration camp Struthof in France.
- Exhibition "Drawing Against Oblivion" by the Austrian artist Manfred Bockelmann, which was previously displayed at the German Bundestag building, and that was seen in the Leopold Museum in Vienna by 100.000 visitors, was shown in the French pavilion of the Student center in Zagreb (January 27th - February 10th 2016) as part of Festival of Tolerance.
- Exhibition "Art Against Oblivion" by Adolf Frankl, a great Austrian artist of Jewish descent, depicts the horrors of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp that he himself survived. Before being displayed at Klovićevi dvori gallery, as part of the FoT Zagreb 2014, the exhibition was displayed in Yad Vashem in Jerusalem (Israeli memorial center dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust), Berliner Dome (Berlin cathedral), Germanisches Nationalmuseumu (Nürnberg), Rathausgalerie (München), Austrian parliament (Vienna) and the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum.
ORGANISING PARTICIPATION IN THE MARCH OF THE LIVING
In cooperation with the Faculty of Political Science of Zagreb the association has, in 2014, organized participation of over 60 Croatian students in the March of the Living, an annual commemorative-educational program that honors the victims of the Holocaust with a procession from Auschwitz to Birkenau. This was also the first larger organized participation in Croatia and while most students were from the Faculty of Political Science of Zagreb there were representatives of other universities as well. The City of Zagreb and University of Zagreb recognized the importance of this participation and have financially supported the project. The delegation consisted of association employees, its volunteers, students from aforementioned universities and their professors, and was joined by the mayor of Zagreb, Milan Bandić and the former rector of the University of Zagreb Aleksa Bjeliš.
The aim was not just participating in the March but to also educate the students about the Jewish culture, history and legacy. With that goal in site the program included a visit to city of Krakow in Poland, where the students visited the Krakow ghetto, old Jewish quarter, Jewish graveyard and the Tempel synagogue, as well as the Oscar Schindlers factory, that is now a History museum. In Krakow and especially in Auschwitz, Branko Lustig spoke to students about historical facts but also his memories and experiences from his captivity as well as from the set of "Schindlers list" by director Steven Spielberg.
The March of the Living was held on April 28th 2014 and Croatian delegation joined the group of 10.000 people from all over the world.
To this day the association has cooperated or received support (financial, logistic or otherwise) from over 200 subjects: local self-government, ministries, foundations, embassies, cultural institutes (Goethe-Institute, Austrian culture forum, Balassi institute) international organizations (European parliament - Information office in Croatia, UNHCR), non-government organizations, media houses and others.
The international level of recognition of the associations achievements and its development is also expressed through financial support of institutions and foundations such as the German Ministry of foreign affairs, National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism, European Union (Europe for citizens program), International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, Erste Stiftung, US AIC Foundation, Mediterranean Anna Lindh Foundation and others.
Through 10 years of its operation the association has achieved excellent contact with both printed and electronic media, with special emphasis on the regions national television. Prominent representatives of the media (HTV director, journalists, chief editor of Jutarnji List) also took part in the Festival programs as participants and panelists. Notable success was also achieved in project and program visibility on the social networks. Social media has a strategic importance in promoting project activities among the young as a target group, especially in light of the fact that smartphones have overtaken computers for browsing the Internet. Social networks allow for content selection and more accurate audience targeting which in turn increases their interest and interaction.
Through implementation of various programs and project, for the last 10 years the Association promotes a culture of non-violence and democracy, tolerance and inclusion. Thanks to systematic labor of the Association there has been a noted expansion of programs on the subject of the Holocaust and tolerance (including associations, film festivals, art organizations and so on), and a part of the Associations program was included in the school curriculum. Also created was an extensive network of organisation with similar activities with whome new cultural programs are implement.
Current social events reveal even more individual socio-cultural-economic antagonism with an emphasis on specific social groups. The need to promote and protect cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue for the purpose of common fight discrimination is becoming ever more important in the community that is, more often then not, slow to change and achieve a pluralistic and tolerant society. This is due to inadequate use of the basic tools - knowledge, literacy and a culture of dialogue - for building and developing a society in which integration isn’t a one-way process that serves any majority and in which the intellectual freedoms are consumed in a civilly competent and socially acceptable fashion.
Europe is facing major socio-economic challenges that are greatly affecting its future, such as growing economic and cultural co-dependence, closing of digital divides, nurturing of culture of innovation in societies and organizations, as well as ensuring the trust in democratic institutions and among the citizens. The stated challenges surpass national borders and demand a complex comparative analysis of mobility and new forms of institutionalized, intercultural and international cooperation. Instead of competition, promoted is cooperation in creating inclusive, innovative and thoughtful societies by developing innovative research, new smart technologies and processes, social innovations, coordinated activities and policies. Such efforts contribute to facing the challenges and considering the future, European and global alike.
In Europe and the United States, a polarizing us-versus-them rhetoric has moved from the political fringe to the mainstream. Blatant Islamophobia and shameless demonizing of refugees have become the currency of an increasingly assertive politics of intolerance.
In April, the UN Human Rights Committee adopted concluding observations on Croatia, including concerns about discrimination and violence against members of ethnic minority groups, particularly Roma and Serbs.
Stateless Roma faced particular difficulties accessing basic state services, such as health care, social assistance, and adequate housing. Roma children are de facto segregated in the education sector.
The association, in its operating and project realization is clearly dedicated to an open, pluralistic, democratic society free from prejudice and based on the fundamental principle of rule of law, encouraging and standing up for tolerance and acceptance of differences as well as raising awareness about the position of endangered groups. Radio "Slobodna Evropa" in a text "Tolerance in Croatia: Dominant racial and ethnic discrimination", indicates a declining trend of tolerance and acceptance of differences in regards to minority groups. The signing of the Declaration of intolerance and ethnocentrism in Croatia (signed by Parliament representatives Nedžad Hodžić, Furio Radin, Milorad Pupovac, Mile Horvat, Dragan Crnogorac, Šandor Juhas, Veljko Kajtazi, Vladimir Bilek and the president of the Council for National Minorities Aleksandar Tolnauer), issued a clear warning that the position of national minorities in Croatia has grown significantly worse. "We are discriminated against by some parties that have from nationalism and exclusivity created, both their political ideology and their political practice and sure that such a situation represents a security problem for national minorities and an obstacle in achieving their constitution and international contract given rights... Many members of national and other minorities feel increased uncertainty and unease because of recent breeding of fear and intolerance in Croatia, and therefore on their behalf as well as their representatives we ask for solidarity and help of all responsible institutions, primarily institutions of Croatian government, institutions of European union and institutions of civil society (Source: 15.11.2014. http://www.slobodnaevropa.org)
According to reports from MyPlace (European Commission: Memory, Youth, Political Legacy and Civic Engagement) - a project that was carried out in 2014 in 14 European countries on a population aged 16 to 25 - 20% of young Croats considers violence the only means of fighting to achieve their goals, 50% believe that the Romani to not contribute to our society, while 25% think the same for Jews and Muslims. 48% of young in Croatia do not spend time with members of other religions or ethnic groups (Link to policy brief: http://bit.ly/2dL8uM2 )
According to research by the Center for peace studies from 2014 on violence in schools, verbal violence is more common then physical, a fact that was confirmed through interviews with teachers and expert associates, and in part through research with students. (Link to research results: http://bit.ly/2dS9bmg )
Today we are witnesses to the growing hate speech on the Internet, violence among the young, discrimination and social injustice, especially among children of same age, towards individuals of other nationalities, religion or race and political opponents. Keeping in mind the recent strengthening of right-wing ideologies and lack of extra institutional tools for teaching about the Holocaust and the injustice of Nazi regime, the Festival has a goal of introducing as wide as possible target group on that subject and in a multimedia and multidisciplinary way speak out about the injustices and promote open dialogue and cooperation of cultural, educational and state institutions.
The US State Department published a regular report on the state of human rights in Croatia, 2015. In it, highlighted as a significant problem, were social discrimination, emergence of violence towards national minorities and women, followed by overpopulation in certain institutions of the prison system, lengthy court proceedings, pending case restitutions, anti-Semitism, isolated examples of public expression of pro-fascist feelings and trafficking. Also featured are cases of violence against LGBT people.
Also noted was the problem of unavailability of public information with the relevant institutions on executed penalties for hate speech, and programs of the Association intensely point that problem. What should be taken as an example of good practice from EU countries, in this case Germany, are ways of monitoring and penalty enforcement mechanisms for the accused. Penalties of up to several thousand euros can befall anyone in Germany that spreads hate speech via the Internet.
As reported by the German news portal Stiftung Warentest, comments such as advocating the return of Nazi methods are punished very severely. "I would re-open the gas chambers and stuff that whole kind inside "- someone wrote and ended with a fine of 4800 euros. Someone who called for a public stoning of Angela Merkel, was fined with 2000 euros, according Stifftung". Source http://croexpress.eu/vijest.php?vijest=7949.
It is also important to point out the launch in 2016 of the Internet page DostajeMrznje.org (EnoughHate) that was created in a joint effort by GONG and House of human rights Zagreb as an attempt to respond to the presence of unacceptable public speech. Such projects are necessary for public cohesion, pluralism, interculturality and tolerance towards others and different. In the past few years the Association attempted developing a similar project but unfortunately was unable to achieve sufficient financial support to realize it. However the Association believes that it will, in cooperation with the portal "DostajeMrznje", succeed in contributing to further development of the aforementioned program with segments form its own unrealized project.
Realising the importance of special care for the young as the most significant segment in develpment of democratic society, in 2009 the Educational mornings become one of the more important parts of the Festival - the educational program through which the young are introduced with the horrors of the Holocaust so they would learn from that tragical episode of world history learn more about acceptance of differences and aproaching each person as an individual worthy or respect. It is precisly the model of educatiing the youngest that starts development of understanding and tolerance, the fundimental principles for functioning of healthy socialization. According to the conclusion of the Minister of Science, Education and Sports (2015/2016) Predrag Šuštar, there is room in Croatian school curriculum for further education of young people on the topic of the Holocaust. "... these days Minister Šustar stated that the students should learn more about Jasenovac and the Holocaust and that we generally lag behind in dealing with the past. We should, he says, learn about that on scientific and technical basis. The Ministry expects the new curriculum to open more space for this topic, but they also remind us that since 2005 Holocaustis more intensively taught. " (Source: 13.4.2016. Večernji list,
Since 2012 the Association is warning the local and state government about the lack of a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust in Zagreb and has on its own initiative, in cooperation with German artist of Japanese decent Seiji Kimoto, given the city of Zagreb its design proposal for this issue. More about the project in a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGMXDMCTaZI .
In July 2015. The President of Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar Kitarović in her speech in Jerusalem (Israel) announced the initiative to build a monument to all victims of the Holocaust in Zagreb, and has called on the Holocaust museum Yad Vashem for cooperation, as well as expressed her own belief that we will soon reveal a monument where we will be able to deeply bow to the victims. "I take this chance to condemn every totalitarian regime - Nazism, fascism, communism" stated the President and pointed out education as the strongest weapon against all forms of radical ideology, divide, hate and racism. "We must tell the truth because in this place we are laid bare, we have no official function. We are here as human beings. We as people, as parents, sisters and brothers have a responsibility to continue the fight for truth", said the President (Source 22.07.2015.: http://predsjednica.hr/objava/1/1/435 )
Even tough culture was listed as one of ten political priorities of the Eurpean comission, in Croatia, at state level, its status is far less. In fact, here today
only 0.49% of the state budget is allocated for culture(for comparison, Slovenia allocates three times more, or 1.52%, and Austria 2.4%). Source: ( http://www.express.hr/artis/cini-mi-se-kao-da-u-hrvatskoj-nema-volje-da-se-ide-naprijed-3859 )
In the Report of the Committee of the Croatian Parliament for Education, Science and Culture on the Proposal of the State budget of Croatia for 2016 and projections for 2017 and 2018, in the debate on the budget of the Ministry of Culture, pointed out is the opinion of the Committee members that with the decrease in assets the development of audio-visual activities and the protection of Cultural Monuments were negatively affected.
- To encourage active interaction and interpenetration of culture, education and social awareness in order to achieve a developed democratic and multicultural society that is based on the principles of accountability, active inclusion and respect for diversity.
- To become the leading platform in the region for education about the Holocaust and tolerance by developing the culture of dialogue. By transferring the experience of the past with the aid of the values of contemporary creativity reach as many users with the support and partnership of relevant institutions, media and international organizations and civil society organizations.
- To educate and encourage the public to identify, prevent and condemn discrimination, Racism, homophobia, xenophobia and general violations of the rights of minority groups as well as timely, clearly and decisively respond to those occurrences. Point out the possibility of active action against hate speech and prejudice through systematic education and encouragement of active participation of target groups. Conduct developed education programs that including innovative methods in accordance with the spirit of modern times.
- To encourage development of culture, pluralism and innovative creativity, keeping in mind the needs of society and encouraging the public to social engagement. Maintain the availability of the program to all social groups, without charging the ticket. To encourage bilateral and multilateral cooperation with numerous artists, associations, cultural and national institutions from Croatia, Europe and world. To encourage the exchange of contemporary culture by exhibiting works of art and educational exhibitions with thematic content close the festival.
- To encourage the exchange of world cinema and domestic Croatian production. Keep the achieved status within the cultural and film offer of Zagreb and the region through the preservation of high quality film program and showing premiere and directors screenings.
- To encourage volunteer work with intent to exchange experiences, competencies and skillsbetween members of different ages, religious, social and other groups.
Compliance with strategic documents
The project is relevant in regards to the "Strategy for International Cultural Relations" which was adopted by the European Commission in June 2016.
Since the first edition in 2007, when it was founded as the Jewish Film Festival, the Festival of Tolerance has become a platform that brings together different audiences and nurtures different preferences and beliefs. A place in which to stimulate thinking about different positions and develop a culture of dialogue. The Festival of Tolerance today has become a globaly interesting and its often called the Festival of Universal Tolerance by the public, opinion leaders, partners, politicians and visitors.
The goal is to educate young people and the public, to show that we are not all the same, but that we need to know how to accept our differences, openly talk about them and thus achieve a successful coexistence.
Programs carried out as part of the project permeate different fields of cultural, artistic (from conventional all the way to progressive) and social action. Festival of Tolerance is directed towards social engagement, promotion of intercultural dialogue, encouraging civil society to active participation and development of local community, by following the social, political and socio-economic trends, both at local and national and international level.
Through the project a constant achievement of sectoral and intersectoral cooperation with organizations of various types with which the Association shares its mission, goals and vision.
Each year, participating in the project as contractors and partners of the program are individuals and institutions from more than 15 countries, mainly from the EU, but also from the region, the US and Israel, using cultural cooperation to fight stereotypes and prejudice, fostering dialogue, openness, dignity and mutual respect. The project, through discussions, round tables and workshops, opposes hate speech, working to ensure that every such incident is clearly and timely condemned by the public and relevant institutions.
The project is fully in line with the Strategy of cultural and creative development of the City of Zagreb 2015 to 2022, adopted in February 2015.
Compliance (according to p. 33): with regard to the loss of social ethics and deeper plunge in economic uncertainty, high unemployment, emigration of a large number of citizens, especially young people, a question of financing culture is raised.
Receiving subsidies on an annual basis with advanced dates of publication of the results by state and local governments as well as generating income from ticket sales are definitely one of the main problems that systematically sweeped under the carpet. Its the ticket prices at film festivals (20-35 kn) that become a problem and cause deeper divisions in society. The question is whether state and local governments monitor how available is subsidized culture to their citizens of different socioeconomic status. This question can be extended to all branches of cultural subsidy since there is no way of determining the ratio of the amount of subsidies to certain projects and their actual consumption / use of subsidized culture. Coinciding with one of the objectives of the Strategy (p. 33) the Festival of Tolerance offers their programs to the end user for free, including the different citizens in the implementation of the program, giving them a public space for raising awareness of their problems (such as the issue of integration and acceptance of the Roma, asylum seekers, refugees, rights of the disabled, questions of influence and power of culture and art in raising awareness of the problems of individuals in the community and such), (p. 39). The project compliance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is in coalition with the general goal of 3rd Strategie, is the foundation for the programs and activities that its make it up - the programs are inclusive, public, well advertised and free for their users. They advocate human rights and freedoms, tolerance and they stand out, and not only with their artistic value, but also with the message they send using new ideas and techniques, building on existing possibilities and potentials and by including various individuals from Zagreb, Croatia, Europe and the world.
In the introduction on page 5 of the Strategy highlighted is cooperation and mobility of artists and introduction of different cultures and arts so to provide the citizens with a unique cultural experience. The project is focused on cooperation with urban subcultural groups and organizations that focus on the idea of acceptance, right to be different, art and education, considering the public space an excellent platform for communication with citizens. The Association also recognized the chance to educate the citizens about the lack of memorial for the victims of the Holocaust and has acted since 2012 to correct that injustice to the victims, trying to put Zagreb on the map of almost all European, and even world capitals that have such memorials or monuments.
According to the City of Zagreb strategy, as part of fine arts on page 17 its highlighted that programs of independent exhibitions with content innovation are supported, and the Festival of Tolerance has so far set up 3 major exhibitions in Gallery Karas, Gallery Klovićevi dvori and French pavilion, dedicated to the Holocaust remembrance and an number of minor exhibitions that were set up in the various city locales (such as Europa cinema, Tuškanac cinema, Italian cultural institute, Gallery Lauba, HDLU, Bačva hall and so on), as well as on public spaces (such as City light - photo exhibition by Tarik Samarah titled "1945 - 1995 - 2015" in the passage to Varšavska street in the Center Cvjetni) which contributed to better visibility and easier communication with the public. The programs were free of charge for the visitors, and as part of the exhibitions workshops were held (for the elementary school students on the subject of suffering of children in NDH), expert guidance, exhibition guidance by the Holocaust survivor as well as expert guidance by the author. Through the offered fine art programs Zagreb has put itself on the map of European art metropolis.
The project coincides with the relevant national sector documents. According to the Ministry of culture Strategic plan 2015 - 2017, one of the special goals of the Ministry is offering support to artistic creation, entrepreneurship and participation in culture, which will "in accordance to the EU guidelines (...) encourage the production of socially engaged and inclusive culture programs with the purpose of contributing to the prevention and reduction of poverty and social exclusion as well as prevention and conflict transformation. " Offering its programs free of charge to the public and enabling accessibility of its cultural and educational programs, the Association encourages social inclusion and cohesion, and through cultural participation contributes to social progress, tolerance, respect of differences and increase in the quality of life of users, achieving also interaction of culture and socially vulnerable and marginalized groups. The Association has detected, as especially important areas, the areas of special state care, that contains 15% of the total Croatian population, and which lags behind in the economic, social, demographic and general development compared with the rest of Croatia. Unfortunately such areas are often not able to offer cultural and educational programs available in other regions to its residents, especially the youth. Therefore, it is extremely important to the Association to enrich the offer in these very areas through distribution of educational films on the Holocaust and tolerance (with the recommendation of the Ministry of Science, Education and Culture) to more than 300 schools.
The program contents of the project are largely aligned with the Stockholm Declaration of the International Forum on the Holocaust, the supreme document of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance - IHRA, whose member Croatia is a since 2005). The Alliance is composed of representatives of governments and non-governmental organizations with the goal to encourage activities on Holocaust education, remembrance and research in member countries and other interest countries and in giving political support to the activities in national and international contexts. Informing and educating pupils, students and young in general about the ideologies of exclusive way of thinking that led to the Holocaust, seventy years later, it becomes even more important so that it would not become only fiction to they younger and coming generations - so as part of the Festival offered are innovative Programs such as the Educational morning, exhibitions, workshops, round tables and distribution of educational films dealing with the Holocaust and the emergence of Nazism and Nazi iconography in today. Through discussion and exchanging opinions, the students can realize the importance of tolerance as well as how its absence and indifference towards the suffering of others bringing about the unimaginable consequences that the society can never again allow. During the decade of its existance the Association built an extensive and quality network of contacts with schools (more then 800 elementary and highschools), its educational programs have long been recognised by the meritorious institution in Croatia and have become an indispensable part of the institutional and non-formal education, as well as the official school curriculum of many educational institutions. Students from 390 schools across the Croatia and the region directly participated in educational programs about the Holocaust, specifically, their number reaches 20.000. A special value is added to the Project by the testemony of a Holocaust survivor Branko Lustig, as well as other living witnesses from the region and abroad. Taking part in the programs as beneficiaries are cadeds of the Police academie (almost 200 cadets so far), students of Faculty of Political Science of Zagreb University (over 350 students) cadets of GNK Dinamo and NK Zagreb and representatives of other institutions and sports associations.
Association with its programs marks the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust, 27th January. On that occasion, in 2016 it prepared one of the most media notable programs in Croatia, the exhibition "Drawing against oblivion" by Manfred Bockelmann at the French pavilion, which IHRA highlighted on its official website. The aim of this Association's activity is to contribute with programs of exceptional quality and modern concept to marking this day in Zagreb and Croatia, which is by virtue of a resolution of the General Assembly United Nations celebrated since 2005.
The target groups of the project can be classified into three basic groups associated with Project segments: education, culture and volunteering.
Within the segment of the cultural program of the project, included are film programs, workshops and industry, exhibitions, street art program and music programs. The target group are professionals, young people, minorities, the general population. Expected number of participants: 15,000.
In the area of education, the target group consists of: students from 7th and 8th grade primary school students, high school students and teachers. During the project 3 Educational mornings will be held in Zagreb and about 1,300 participants are expected.
Included in the education segment of the program are discussions, lectures and panel discussions on various social topics, thus the project in this segment reaches members of national, religious, sexual and other minorities, asylum seekers, film and cultural workers, students, journalists, pensioners, members of cultural and educational institutions, intellectual and political elite and the general population. Expected number of participants: 950.
Continuous activities of the Association and the project for collection and affirmation of volunteers is one of the long-term strategic goals of the Association and the volunteers differ in geographical, age, gender and religious diversity. The association also encourages involvement of people with disabilities. The expected number of volunteers: around 120th
BRANKO LUSTIG (Osijek, 1932), Festival president
One of the most famous cultural workers of the Republic of Croatia in the world and
International awards winning producer (Oscar winner and BAFTA for movies "Schindler's List" and "Gladiator" and one Emmy). As part of the 8th edition of the Festival, 2014. year, received a high French medal - Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters (Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres). For many years he worked in Hollywood, where as a member Academy's Commission for candidacy of films for Oscar he participated in its work. He began his career as head of recording in Jadran film and as the main organizer and Director of the film participated in almost all foreign films productions in the former Yugoslavia, like "Sophie's choice" by Alan J. Pakula and "Tin Drum" by Volker Schlöndorff. In the United States he worked closely with prominent directors like Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott and others. Along Steven Spielberg, he is one of the initiators of the Shoa Foundation in Los Angeles. He has worked on numerous well-known films such as "Black Hawk Down", "Hannibal", "The Peacemaker", "Kingdom of Heaven" and "American Gangster" and
series "The Winds of War" and "War and Remembrance". In June 2009 he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Zagreb for outstanding contribution to film and the promotion of Croatian Film worldwide. Because of his expertise, but also Jewish origin and experience from the most notorious Nazi camps, he is engaged as a volunteer in the function of the President of the Festival of Tolerance. He is the main selector of the film program, a lecturer at the Educational mornings and film workshops, as well as a consultant for exhibitions, discussions and other programs.
NATAŠA POPOVIĆ (Zagreb, 1974), Festival founder and executive director
Graduated from Faculty of Graphic Arts in 2000. She has worked for over 20 year in her field as a graphics designer and art director in established PR agencies and companies. For a long time she was also a graphics designer of numerous cultural and minority magazines. Her primary responsibility is to create a vision for all segments of the Association and the Festival and to communicate that vision with the colleagues, cultural industries, media and public. She directs different departments and implements new programs while improving the development of existing ones at both local and regional level. Other responsibilities include producing the festival, monitoring activities of the program and projects and communicating with partners, sponsors and donators. She determines key factors required for success of all programs. She is permanently employed on the project.
Festival of tolerance – JFF Zagreb
Adress: Vojnovićeva 15, 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia
Tel./Fax: + 385 1 48 136 58
Registration number: 2447452