Pula Film Festival 58th Edition programme

    PULA: The 58th Pula Film Festival (9-23 July 2011 www.pulafilmfestival.hr) brings together the best in international film and a national programme of new Croatian films in its National Programme (16-23 July). The Croatian programme will showcase 19 films, ten Croatian films and nine Croatian minority coproductions.

    This year for the first time the screenings in the famous Pula Roman era Arena will be digital The sponsor of the festival, the Zagreb-based company Audio Video Consulting, provided Barco's 2K projectors. The screenings in the Arena will also showcase the DP2K-32B projector, officially recognized by Guinness World Records as the brightest digital cinema projector in the world.

    Five of the films in the National Programme section are based on based on screenplays approved through Croatian Audio Visual Centre (HAVC http://www.havc.hr/). There are also five independent productions which were granted financial support by the HAVC. There are six debutant directors, Daniel Kušan, Tomislav Žaja, Biljana Čakić Veselič, Aldo Tardozzi, Stanislav Tomić and Irena Škorić, in the company with their more experienced colleagues Dalibor Matanić and Dan Oki, and veterans Tomislav Radić and Branko Ivanda.

    Three Croatian films star children - the historical Lea and Darija by Branko Ivanda, children's film featuring fantastic elements Koko and the Ghost by Danijel Kušan and Little Gipsy Witch by Tomislav Žaja. Then there are two dramas tackling the topics of love and family, Kotlovina by Tomislav Radić and Step by Step by Biljana Cakić-Veselič. We will also present three crime thrillers: Dalibor Matanić's psychological thriller Daddy, Dan Oki's noir Darkness and Aldo Tardozzi's Blurs, the war drama Josef by Stanislav Tomić and the comic erotic drama 7 seX 7 by Irena Škorić.

    This year's Festival will also showcase as many as 13 films from the region, out of which seven in the Minority Co-Productions Programme: the Slovenian Piran-Pirano by Goran Vojnović and Good Night, Missy by Metod Pevec, the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Belvedere by Ahmed Imamović, the Serbian The Enemy by Dejan Zečević, The White Lions by Lazar Ristovski and How I Was Stolen by the Germans by Miloš Mišo Radovanović, as well as the Montenegrin Local Vampire by Branko Baletić. Apart from the regional co-productions, there is also one with Denmark, Room 304 by Brigitte Staermose, and one with Germany, Max Schmelling by Uwe Boll.

    Five films from the region compete in the International Programme: the Macedonian Mothers by Milče Mančevski, the Slovenian Silent Sonata by Janez Burger, as well as the Serbian Montevideo, God Bless You by Dragan Bjelogrlić, Cinema Komunisto by Mila Turajlić and Skinning by Stevan Filipović. The Slovenian film Going Our Way by Miha Hočevar will screen as part of the Children's Film Programme.

    The are 20 films in the Short Films Programme that became competitive last year. Ten are by young female directors (Sonja Tarokić, Barbara Vekarić (2 films), Hana Jušić, Silva Ćapin, Kristina Vuković, Neda Radić (2), Ivana Škrabalo and Daina Oniunas Pusić), and ten by male directors (Jadran Puharić, Ivica Mušan, Neven Dužanec, Filip Mojzeš, David Kapac (2), Denis Lepur, Marko Stanić, Saša Dodik, Filip Šovagović and Josip Žuvan). Only two of the films have already been presented at the Days of Croatian Film. Most of the films tackle erotic themes and among them there is a group of short films produced by the Zagreb Academy of Dramatic Art and based on the short story by Tarik Kulenović entitled The Fucking Game that will be showcased together on the same night.

    Retrospective of James Ivory Films

    Following Pedro Almodóvar and Giuseppe Tornatore, the Pula Film Festival dedicates this year's retrospective in the set dedicated to renowned world film directors to American filmmaker James Ivory (Berkeley, California, 1928). The retrospective of this director of refined visual style, who has been working continuously and steadily for the last 58 years, and whose films are remembered for his detailed characters, perfectionist mizanscene and an impressive atmosphere, will include eleven films, representing his three most important phases of creation: the Indian, the British and the American phase. Together with Ismail Merchant, James Ivory founded the production company Merchant-Ivory in 1961. They were joined by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala as a screenwriter. James Ivory films won six Academy Awards and he won three Best Director nominations.

    The films will be screened at the Valli Cinema, with the exception of White Countess that will be showcased at Kastel, but also in Rijeka and Dubrovnik. Large number of films from this section will be screened also in Zagreb at the Metropolis Art House of the Museum of Contemporary Art

    Films from Pula in Rijeka, Dubrovnik, Split, Bol and Šibenik

    Films from the Pula Film Festival will be screened at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival and the Split Summer Festival this year once again. Films from the main section of the National Programme, as well as selected titles from the International Programme, will be showcased also as part of the Rijeka Summer Nights Festival and Bol Summer Festival. The Šibenik Summer Festival will select the films from the minority co-productions programme.

    New slogan and poster for the 58th Festival: Film under the stars

    The slogan of the 58th Pula Film Festival is Film Under the Stars. The poster for the Festival has also been presented. The author of the photography is Duško Marušić-Čiči, and the author of visual identity Dražen Tomić (KADAR Studio, Pula).
    The National Programme of the 58th Festival will run July 16-23 in the Arena and it will be announced at a press conference after the Pula Film Festival Council meeting in the second half of June. The International Programme will run July 9 - 23 and it will comprise 20 films selected from the most prestigious world festivals (Venice, Cannes, Berlin, Rome, etc.) to have their Croatian premiere in Pula.

    Films from Cannes, Venice and Rome at the Pula Film Festival

    The 58th Pula Film Festival International Programme will screen a number of films selected from major international film festivals, as well as some of the most successful films from the region. From the Cannes Film Festival comes Olivier Assayas' crime thriller Carlos, winner of the Golden Globe award as a miniseries. In Pula we will have an opportunity to see the 165-minute version of the true story of the world's most notorious terrorist called Carlos, the Jackal. From the last year's Cannes Film Festival comes The Housemaid (Hanyo), a South Korean erotic thriller by Im Sang-soo.

    Venice brings us Trophy Wife (Potiche), a French family comedy by François Ozon, starring Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu. Venice also brings us The Double Hour (La doppia ora) by Giuseppe Capotondi, starring Ksenia Rappaport, who also starred in Giuseppe Tornatore's The Unknown Woman. From the same festival also comes the German romantic drama Three (Drei) by Tom Tykwer (best known for his films Run Lola Run and Perfume) about a married couple who fall in love with the same person. Tilda Swinton stars in the Italian romantic drama I am Love (Io sono l'amore) by Luca Guadagnino, which also premiered in Venice.

    The American romantic drama Last Night by Massy Tadjedin, starring Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington and Eva Mendes, opened the last year's Rome Film Festival. The Rome Film Festival also brings us the Italian thriller A Quiet Life (Una vita tranquilla) by Claudio Cupellini about an Italian crook whose quiet family life in Germany under a false identity is disturbed by the arrival of his son.

    Another film coming from Italy is a romantic drama about adultery Come Undone (Cosa voglio di piu) by Silvio Soldini (well-known for his film Bread & Tulips), which premiered at last year's Berlinale. The Toronto Film Festival brings us Casino Jack, a Canadian crime comedy by George Hickenlooper, based on a true story about Jack Abramoff, a well-known American lobbyist who ended up behind bars.

    Serbia brings us the biggest blockbuster in that country - Montevideo - God Bless You! (Montevideo, Bog te video) by Dragan Bjelogrlić, centred on a Yugoslav football selection preparing for the football championship in Uruguay in 1930. That country brings us another blockbuster, the thriller Skinning (Šišanje) by Stevan Filipović, centred on the phenomenon of neonacism among young people, especially among football supporters.

    With this year's FEST critics' award and jury prize in hand comes the feature documentary film Mothers by Milcho Manchevski which screened at festivals in Toronto and Berlin. Slovenia brings us the winner of the Slovenian National Festival in Portorož Circus Fantasticus by Janez Burger, starring Leon Lučev.

    National Programme

    Croatian films and minority co-productions in 2011.

    The National Programme of the 58th Pula Film Festival will be held from 16 to 23 July 2011. The National Programme consists of Croatian feature films and minority cooproductions.

    We expect the following Croatian feature films supported by the Croatian Adioviusal Centre:
    1) Lea and Daria by Branko Ivanda
    2) Kotlovina by Tomislav Radic
    3) Koko and the Ghosts by Daniel Kusan
    4) The Little Gypsy Witch by Tomislav Zaja
    5) Step by Step by Biljana Cakic-Veselic
    and several independent productions.

    Films shall be presented in the ancient Roman Arena, that can host up to 5000 spectators, and in the Cinema Valli, named after Pula born diva Alida Valli.

    The Festival shall also screen the best Croatian shorts, pay tribute to the winners of Croatian film awards for life achievements, but also present excerpts from Croatian feature-length films in production (Work in Progress).

    Pula Film Festival, founded in 1954, is the oldest and the most popular Croatian film festival (more then 73 000 spectators at the 57th edition).