UNITED STATES

SEPTEMBER 15 2007 19:36h

Croatian Film Festival Opens in New York

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Croatian Film Festival is organized by The Doors Art Foundation and supported by the Croatian Ministry of Culture and other sponsors.

Croatian Film Festival opened in New York on Thursday with the screening of the feature A Wonderful Night in Split (Ta divna splitska noc) and will last for three days. About 20 recent Croatian feature, documentary and animated films and a video art retrospective of leading Croatian artists will be presented to the American audience. 

Croatian Film Festival in New York is organized by The Doors Art Foundation, supported by Croatian Ministry of Culture and a series of sponsors, including Jana, the cities Zagreb, Rijeka and Split, Croatian Radio-Television (HRT), TV Nova, portal Net.hr, the Croatian Chronicle, and others.

Screenings at Tribeca Cinemas 

The films will be screened at Tribeca Cinemas and at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York. Rock band Svadbas, known for contributing music to films among other other things, had a concert at the Knitting Factory on the opening night of the Festival.

Along with Ostojic’s movie, films screened on the first day were Simon Bogojevic Narath’s animated film Levijatan, Hrvoje Hribar’s documentary There Was Once (Bilo jednom), Ante Babaja’s Good Morning (Dobro jutro), Branko Schmidt’s Bad Blue Boys, Nikola Strasek’s I’ll Kill Ya! (Ubil bum te!) and Snjezana Tribuson’s short Three Love Stories (Tri ljubavne price).

There was quite a number of visitors at the Tribeca Cinemas theatres on the first night of the Croatian film event. They were mostly young people, including third and fourth generation American Croats. About 200,000 American Croats live in New York, New Jersey and in the vicinity. 

Tickets sold out 

The fact that the tickets for the first evening were sold out also testifies to the interest of the audience, including interest for the movie A Wonderful Night in Split, which had already been screened in New York. 

Danijela Urem from The Doors Art Foundation told news agency Hina that, in the last three years, Croatian films have been screened in New York and recently also in Boston, and that this is the first annual Croatian Film Festival, which is expected to become a tradition and consequently be able to count on financial support of the city as a Croatian community event in New York. 

She emphasized that the festival has established cooperation with distributors of independent and foreign films in the U.S., which will make it easier for Croatian films to reach both American theatres and film festivals. 

Pavicic – Festival selector 

Film critic Jurica Pavicic is the Festival’s selector. On opening night, he said that the goal of his selection was to show the rebirth of Croatian cinema in the last five or six years. 

He pointed out that he was limited by two factors while deciding on the movies. First, some of them were already famous enough not to warrant a rerun and, second, some of them did not yet have their world premiere. 

“The selected movies can correspond with any audience in the world, including the American (audience), and they also have quality,” said Pavicic, voicing confidence that the leap of Croatian film will continue in the future because a number of Croatian filmmakers are in their most creative years. 

Feature films in the program   

Other films included in the program of the New York event are Branko Schmidt’s The Melon Route (Put lubenica), Dalibor Matanic’s I Love You (Volim te), Zrinko Ogresta’s Here (Tu), Ognjen Svilicic’s Armin, Dean Acimovic’s I Have to Sleep, My Angel (Moram spavat’, andjele), Matija Klukovic’s Slow Days (Ajde, dan… prodji) and about a dozen short, documentary and animated films. 

A video art retrospective will take place at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York on Sunday. It will feature works of Dalibor Martinis, Sanja Ivekovic, Lada Sega, Alen Floricic, Tomislav Brajnovic, Nemanja Cvijanovic and David Maljkovic, and cover almost 40 years of Croatian video art.

The works were selected by Branko Franceschi, director of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rijeka.