Posted by: viewfromtheriva | September 15, 2012

17th Annual Split International Film Festival begins!


The 17th Annual Split International Festival of New Film, the country’s oldest, begins today with opening ceremonies scheduled for 10PM tonight.

This year’s theme is “Resistance” and the showcase of films from around the world all focus on some aspect of the human struggle.  In addition to short films, there is also a full suite of feature length films, all of which are Croatian premieres.

Starting off the Festival is a tribute to Roman Polanski by UK film-maker Laurent Bouzerau.

What distinguishes the Split Festival from an explosion of  “festivals” around the country over the past few years is that it is supremely focused on the artistic, experimental and avante garde.  It’s really a showcase for the kind of film-making that needs to be encouraged but will rarely seen in mainstream cinemas.

It’s a risky business as well as a labor of love  because without an A-list director or film-maker or star to spice up the event, the audience is not as large, and getting the funding to mount a professional, juried festival is very difficult.

With new festivals in Motuvun, a dreamy hamlet in Istria drawing 10 times its population (mostly backpackers who come to drink and have a great time) and the Mediterranean Film Festival here in Split (a non-juried affair of less than a dozen films) ,  such aesthetic venues as the Split International are becoming even rarer.

Despite the lack of money, the founders, film-makers and film devotees here spend hundreds of hours screening entries (this year more than 500), doing subtitling, promotion, and a myriad of other things that always make this Festival something special.

The program runs from Sept.15-22nd…a full of week of visual bliss, from the exquisitely subtle to the experimentally weird.

I can’t wait!









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