The Zagreb Festival unveils the rich program, film and industry side, of its 19th edition

– This year’s program, which mainly brings together award-winning titles, promises to delight the public; the calendar of industry activities should appeal to local professionals

This article is available in French.

Judging by the film titles, the 19th edition of the Zagreb Film Festival, unspooling physically at several venues from 14-21 November, as well as online on the platforms kinoeuropa.hr and croatian.film, will be extremely audience-friendly. The main competition program, consisting of first and second features, opens with this year’s threefold winner of the Sundance World Cinema Dramatic Competition, Blerta Basholli‘s Hive [+lire aussi :
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interview : Blerta Basholli
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, and it also features Palme d’Or- and Golden Lion-winning titles: Julia ducourneau‘s Titanium [+lire aussi :
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interview : Julia Ducournau, Vincent L…
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and Audrey Diwan‘s Happening [+lire aussi :
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, respectively. The Karlovy Vary Crystal Globe winner As Far as I Can Walk [+lire aussi :
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interview : Stefan Arsenijević
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, directed by Stefan Arsenijević, will also be screened, along with the Sarajevo and Viennale winner, Sebastian meise‘s Great Freedom [+lire aussi :
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interview : Sebastian Meise
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, and other reputed festival titles such as Juho kuosmanen‘s Compartment No. 6 [+lire aussi :
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interview : Juho Kuosmanen
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, Valdimar Jóhannsson‘s Lamb [+lire aussi :
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interview : Valdimar Jóhannsson
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and the Oscar nominee The Man Who Sold His Skin [+lire aussi :
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interview : Kaouther Ben Hania
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, written and directed by Kaouther Ben Hania.

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The headliner of the second competition program, Together Again, which features films by some of the previous laureates of the festival, will be Radu Jude’s Golden Bear-winning Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn [+lire aussi :
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interview : Radu Jude
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. Among the other films in the competition, viewers will also find the newest outings by Asghar Farhadi (A Hero [+lire aussi :
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interview : Asghar Farhadi
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), Jonas Carpignano (In Chiara [+lire aussi :
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interview : Jonas Carpignano
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) and Joachim Trier (The Worst Person in the World [+lire aussi :
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interview : Joachim Trier
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). There are also two competitive selections of shorts, one international and one national (titled Checkers), which will screen a range of carefully selected titles.

Among the non-competitive sections, The Big Five, held in collaboration with the network of European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC Croatia), will feature six films from the five largest cinematic countries in Europe (the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy), while six will be screened as part of the program of the Network of Festivals in the Adriatic Region ( see the news). The initiative, launched this spring, combines four festivals from as many countries – the Sarajevo Film Festival (Bosnia and Herzegovina), the Author Film Festival (Serbia), the Herceg Novi Film Festival (Montenegro) and the Zagreb Film Festival (Croatia). Other partner festivals, such as Locarno, Sofia, Clermont-Ferrand, Tampere and Ljubljana, have selected programs that will be featured in the Festivals in the Spotlight section. The film program is rounded off by two sections for younger audiences, Focus (for teenagers and secondary-school students) and Kinokino (for younger, elementary-school children), and the Icebreakers retrospective will be dedicated to pioneering female filmmakers from Eastern Europe.

The industry section of the Zagreb Film Festival is also rich and diverse, content-wise. As in previous years, new forms of cinema-related creativity, such as TV series and video games, will also be represented. The traditional My First Script workshop will be held under the mentorship of seasoned regional scriptwriters Antonio Nuić and Pjer Žalica, who will be joined by veteran script consultant, screenwriting teacher and BAFTA member David pope. Tea Industry Youth! program is back this year with six projects from the six film academies in the countries of the former Yugoslavia, which will also be presented at the pitching forum. Three master classes will be held by actress Katia Pescariu, of Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn fame director Stefan Arsenijević (who helmed As Far as I Can Walk) and award-winning cinematographer Vanja Černjul. Finally, the Spotlight Italy panel will also take place, with the aim being to further strengthen the collaboration between Italian and Croatian cinema.

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The Zagreb Festival unveils the rich program, film and industry side, of its 19th edition

Hank Gilbert