The 26th Youth Film Festival and the 14th Four River Film Festival were opened on Tuesday, September 7 with the screening of Murina, a directorial debut of director Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović which swam to the Korana River from Cannes where it was awarded the Camera d’Or.
The 26th Youth Film Festival and the 14th Four River Film Festival are being held from September 7th to 11th, 2021 in Karlovac, co-organized by the Croatian Film Association and Cinema Club Karlovac.
The opening was attended by many important guests that addressed the visitors. The audience was greeted by Ivana Fočić, Deputy Mayor of Karlovac, Dubravka Brezak Stamać, Director of the Education and Teacher Training Agency, Christopher Marchich, Director of the Croatian Audiovisual Center, Marina Burić, Director of the Tourist Board of Karlovac and Suzana Šnajder and Mladen Horvatin from the Technical Culture Community of the City of Karlovac and Karlovac County.
Ivana Fočić, Deputy Mayor of the City of Karlovac, greeted those present and expressed satisfaction for being a part of the festival once again this year: “Congratulations to all those who participated in this festival from the beginning and who helped organize it. Congratulations from the bottom of my heart to the young filmmakers who applied for the Festival, and especially to those whose films were selected. Congratulations to the jury who are here with us tonight and who have a difficult task ahead of them, and thank you for holding the opening screening in the most beautiful place in the world, on the banks of our beautiful river, here in Karlovac.”
Christopher Marchich, director of the Croatian Audiovisual Center, greeted everyone on behalf of the Minister of Culture Nina Obuljen Kožinek: “I appreciate these evenings, I was here last year and I was happy to come again. I think that these Festivals are really commendable and sometimes meetings like this produce unexpected results. Last year, at the opening of the Four River Film Festival and the Youth Film Festival, we started discussing a contract we later carried out between the Croatian Audiovisual Center and the Education and Teacher Training Agency on film education and film literacy. And now I would like to brag a little, that is, I would like to praise our filmmakers who have achieved success at international festivals, which we could only hope for last year. We have also received awards from international festivals and we will watch one of the award-winning films tonight. Of course, these Festivals are about high school projects, but I think that emphasis should be placed on education and literacy in primary school as well, in order to create new generations of high school students who will be involved in film. We will dedicate ourselves more systematically to this in the coming years with the Agency and professional associations in order to do it in a planned and efficient manner. “
The audience was also greeted by Dubravka Brezak Stamać, director of the Education and Teacher Training Agency, who presented their work and stated: “Film should definitely be supported, especially as an extracurricular activity, which is most often in school film groups. It is necessary to use as many opportunities as possible to introduce it in teaching. Some teachers sporadically introduce it into Croatian language classes, history, English, or foreign language classes, but the goal should be, and that will be our ultimate goal, to put the film on a pedestal as one of the helpful tools in teaching. In that sense, on behalf of the Education and Teacher Training Agency, I came to support this admirable festival, which has grown from volunteer work into a prestigious festival that gathers a significant number of films, not only from Croatia but from around the world, which Karlovac can be proud of.”
At the opening, the professional jury was introduced, which will decide on the Festivals’ awards, consisting of Matea Milić, the producer of the World Festival of Animated Film – Animafest Zagreb, film editor Hrvoje Mršić and film director Nemanja Ćeranić. Besides them, the awards will be decided on by the youth jury, i.e. the high school jury consisting of: Lucija Marketin, Lucija Skočić, Ivana Salečić, Tia Radunović, Vida Novosel, Luka Mihael Zelić, Izidor Bistrović, Noa Barić, Lucija Čurjak, Korina Rajčević, Katarina Katić, Mihaela Tek, Bruno Ivančić, Nika Bučar, Ema Bianca Kovačić and Iva Božić.
You can watch the recording of the opening here: https://frff.com.hr/screening-schedule/
On Wednesday, September 8, at 8:30 pm on the Korana River at Foginovo Beach, we are watching this year’s most sought-after Croatian documentary “Love Around the World” by Angela and Davor Rostuhar, which shows 33 different stories about love and marriage, challenges and struggles, highs and lows, creating one big love story that reminds us how love can never be simple, but at the same time how few things on Earth are as simple as love. The Rostuhars made the documentary on their one-year trip, during which they visited 33 countries on six continents and interviewed more than 200 people about love. Before this documentary, in “the Yellow Spotlight” program, we introduce the film A School that (Doesn’t) Exist, directed by Karlo Gagulić. The film is a story about the unusual workings of a private school in Zagreb.
On Thursday, September 9th, we will move to the city beach in Ozalj, where the film “Loan Shark” directed by Nemanja Ćeranić will be shown at 8:30 p.m. Nemanja Ćerenić is a young director who will present the film about a loan shark in a small Serbian town, along with the film’s producer, Aljoša Ćeranić. The loan shark, a former old school boxer, realizes the times have changed and that the money lending business is not what it used to be. Before the screening of the film, we will watch the film “Bambiland” directed by Danilo Stanimirović in “the Yellow Spotlight” program. Danilo toured numerous festivals with Bambiland and won the hearts of many audiences, and the film speaks of the remains of the amusement park of Slobodan Milošević’s son.
The last screening is on Friday, September 10th at 8:30 pm on the Mrežnica River, in the Living Room on Mrežnica, and the film “Trust” will be shown, a feature film directed by Matija Benić, which premiered at the Pula Film Festival. The film shows Varaždin in 2025 during the great strike of Čistoća. We follow the main character, Krsto, who works at the mysterious Agency, an organization where you can hire people to listen to you. At one of these listening sessions, Krsto learns that a man is holding a girl trapped in his basement, and he decides to save her. In “the Yellow Spotlight” program, we are watching Matija’s film “Anticorruption Atom“. How many students copied their homework from someone? How many of them helped a colleague during an exam? How many are willing to try to cheat on their final exams? Answers to these and various other interesting questions can be found in “Anticorruption Atom”.
Our goals are what makes us happy and keeps us motivated to do better. Be they short-term or long-term, it’s important to “score” goals – and 84 young filmmakers just did, out of the grand total of 1415 applicants to this year’s Four River Film Festival and the Youth Film Festival who tried to do just that.
The selection committee, made up of Ana Đordić, PhD, professional cinematographer Dinka Radonić, and Boško Picula, PhD, has done a great job and selected 84 titles which will be shown this year, out of a total of 1415 applications. The daily schedule is filled with the screenings of the competition program and workshops, and all details can be found here: https://frff.com.hr/screening-schedule/
We also invite you to vote for your favorite film online, in order for it to compete for the Audience Award.
We are especially fond of the cooperation we have achieved this year with the City Library “Ivan Goran Kovačić” Karlovac, where we are organizing a photography exhibition called “Love Around the World“, and a book of the same name will be presented as part of the exhibition. “Love Around the World” is a project by Davor and Anđela Rostuharwho traveled around the world for a year and interviewed 120 couples in 30 countries on all continents. The project resulted in a documentary film and a book that achieved great success immediately after their release. The book “Love Around the World” is the best-selling book in Croatia this year, and Davor and Anđela will join us in person in Karlovac.
The number of submissions (1,415 films in total), which grows from year to year despite the unfavorable events and crises in the world, testifies to the great interest of young filmmakers for these film events, both in our region and internationally. Understanding them as important platforms for the work, encouragement and further motivation of young filmmakers is becoming more important than ever.
This year’s films have arrived from more than 50 countries around the world, and with these modern fairy tales, imaginative music videos and films dealing with topics that occupy young people every day, we will once again be convinced that the creativity of the youth can really achieve anything!
Don’t miss out on the festival(emony) treats over the next five days in Karlovac and don’t forget, when life gives you lemons – come with us and toast with the irresistible festival lemonades!