The 21st edition of the Festival of Slovenian Film opened last night in Portorož, Slovenia, with the presentation of the 2018 Metod Badjura Lifetime Achievement Award. Introduced to honour lifetime achievement in filmmaking in 1995, the award was presented to this year’s recipient, screenwriter and director Tugo Štiglic, by Nataša Bučar, Director of the Slovenian Film Centre. The 21st FSF runs until Saturday 15 September.
Last night’s gala opening in the Main Hall of Avditorij Portorož featured premiere screenings of Versopolis, a short film by Jan Cvitkovič, and My Last Year as a Loser, a feature film by Urša Menart.
Opening addresses were given by the Mayor of the Piran Municipality, Peter Bossman, and the Director of the festival, Jelka Stergel.
Hosted by Jure Longyka, the ceremony also saw a performance by young dancers of the Impress Dance Studio, aged 9 to 15. Their dance number to the music from Štiglic’s feature Summer in a Sea-Shell was prepared especially for this occasion under the supervision of their mentors, Romana Fičur and Eva Tancer. The night continued in the Timber Hall of the Monfort Exhibition Space with a concert by Tonja Princess Trio.
Over a little less than a week, the main film event in Slovenia offers an overview of what Slovenian cinema has produced in the past year, which includes fiction, documentary and animated films of all lengths. The programme, all sections included, is composed of 111 films. The official Competition programme consists of 16 features, 6 medium-length films, 17 shorts, 10 student films and 3 minority co-productions. In total, 52 films of various categories and genres are in competition for the official festival Vesna Awards. Meanwhile, the Panorama programme includes 38 films, of which 5 features, 8 medium-length films, 13 shorts, 9 student films and 3 minority co-productions. 16 feature films are in the running for the Audience Award.
Films in competition are screened in the Main Hall of Avditorij Portorož, whereas the Monfort Exhibition Space is hosting the screenings of the Panorama programme, co-productions, and Tribute section, as well as the daily evening programme with a series of concerts. In Ljubljana, the Komuna cinema is screening a selection of 10 documentary films, as well as screenings of the winning films on Sunday 16 September and Monday 17 September. This year's festival is again supplemented with events for film professionals, whose contents will undoubtedly be of interest to a wider audience.
The festival poster features a jellyfish, its tentacles reaching for the passer-by. As it was emphasised at the opening ceremony and during festival preparations: “What Slovenian cinema and our symbol for this edition share, is resilience. Having existed for at least 600 million years and endured numerous changes to the environment, jellyfish have an astonishing capacity for self-renewal. We should follow their example – also in terms of stinging others with our edgy creations when they deserve it.”