MORE THAN FIFTY FILMS PROMOTING TOLERANCE COMING SOON AT THE 7TH JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL IN ZAGREB!
For the seventh time in a row at the end of April Zagreb movie screens will be hosting films directed at promoting tolerance, dialogue and joint coexistence, accompanied by educational programmes on Jewish culture and the holocaust.
The Festival of Tolerance - 7th Zagreb Jewish Film Festival will be held from May 19th to 25th in the theatres Europa and Grič in Zagreb! For the first time the festival will overcome the city boundaries - the first part of the programme will take place from June 7th to 9th in Rijeka.
This year's focus re-emphasizes on raising tolerance and its influence on suffering, the strive for life in an atmosphere of peaceful coexistence. During these seven days the festival will feature more than fifty documentaries and short and feature films, of which all share the same goal to promote respect for diversity and to stress and defend social action.
30 documentary films will be on the agenda, including two Oscar winners! The film 'Inocente' by the duo Sean and Andre Nix Fine centers on the story of eighteen-year-old artist Inocente Izucar. Inocente was one among 1,8 million children without documents whose parents brought her illegally to the U.S.A., and until just recently also one of 1,5 million homeless adolescents living in the U.S.A. This film follows this talented artist during a time in which she slowly builds up her life, after she moved 30 times in 9 years. She practices art as therapy to deal with her difficult family past and the system she lives in. In addition to having been awarded an Oscar as Best Short Documentary 2012, 'Inocente' has won several prizes on festivals all around the globe.
Last year's Oscar winner of the same category is 'Saving Face', a film that penetrates today's Pakistani society, created by the award winning American filmmaker Daniel Junge and Pakistani director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. The pictures document brutal acid attacks, whose targets are mostly women. Most of the victims don't have access to reconstructive surgery, many do not report the attacks, whereas the perpetrators (often their own husbands) receive minimal sentence at court. The topic of 'Numbered' on the other hand are tattoos, 400 000 registration numbers, to be precise. They were used only in the extermination camp Auschwitz. The directors are Uriel Sinai and Dana Doron, winners of the best documentary award at Film festival Chicago. The film doesn't generalize, conversely throughout 30 testimonies 'Numbered' shows how every person deals with such a mark differently.
Among twenty feature-length movies in the programme is the german award-winning 'Combat Girls' by director David Wnendt. Wnendt portrays young rascist fascist in the bare socio-economic environment of today's East Germany. Marisa, the leading character, is a young member of a neo-nazi gang with firm and sturdy beliefs, which sway upon her encounter with a young afghan refugee. 'Combat Girls' won 20 different awards, including several in the category of best actress and the Prix Europa for best screenplay.
A similar topic is brought up in the serbian movie 'Skinning' by director Stevan Filipović. Filipović tells the story of young Belgrade high school student Novica, a talented mathematician who, fascinated by its charismatic leader Relja, gets sucked into the skinhead scene. The movie talks about exciting realizations, which through the encounter of teenage love, of friendship and betrayal – shaped by realities of growing up in today's Serbia – on one hand ask the question of personal responsibility of youngsters and of society, which pushes them into the hands of extremist ideologies, on the other hand.
In addition to the film programme, the Jewish Film Festival is hosting a broad range of events: the International Talent Workshop, an international educational film workshop, intended for young film students from around the world, this year from 16th to 25th May in Zagreb. During the workshop seven selected young filmmakers under the mentorship of international and local film professionals will shoot a short movie.
The Educational mornings will celebrate their fifth anniversary this year. These intend to inform the youth about the holocaust, to foster understanding and tolerance, which are fundamental principles of a functioning and healty socialization process. The history of the holocaust is powerful in promoting basic moral issues – in that way the pupils can understand the value of the need of protecting and nurturing democratic values. As a part of this year's educational mornings the internationally known designer and lecturer Mirko Ilić, who is also the author of the visual identity of the festival, will hold a muldimedia-presentation during which he will elaborate neofascist iconography omnipresent in public areas of territories of former Yugoslavia and beyond. The german short film 'Sein Kampf' by Jakob Zapf will be shown as an introduction.
Another movie screening on the educational agenda is the feature film 'Wunderkinder' by director Markus Rosenmüller, follwed by a lecture by Branko Lustig, the honorary president of the festival and two-time Oscar winner, who will share his own experiences from Nazi-concentration camps with the audience.
The festival programme embraces also an exhibition and music programme, more info will be published soon. Entry to film projections, workshops and exhibition is free.