Ahead of the world premiere of Branko Schmidt’s Once We Were Good for You, a press conference has been held at Valli Cinema with director Branko Schmidt, screenwriter Sandra Antolić, actors Rene Bitorajac and Slaven Knezović, DOP Dario Hacek, and editor Hrvoje Mršić.
Branko Schmidt said that the very fact the film has been made amid the pandemic is due to the excellent film crew. He said the film does speak about war veterans, but can be translated into any surroundings, both domestic and international, as it critiques a system favouring the suitable, and not the excellent, and can be universally applied. He believes the film will have a good festival life, even though in these uncertain times it is too soon to make predictions.
The second day of Pula Film Festival, saw the presentation of Nenad Polimac’s book Život u filmu 1. (Life in Film 1). As the moderator of the event Daniel Rafaelić said, the book is composed of key texts of Croatian film writing that Polimac published regularly for five decades. The key texts, Rafaelić said, were those that (re)-valorise the Croatian film corpus and that are still fresh today primarily due to their encyclopedic nature and superior interest from the author. Nenad Polimac spoke in particular about his own analysis of films he wrote about a long time ago, which will now see new light. “One needs to watch the same films again”, he said and added that writing about film in Croatia, even though only by a few authors, does really make sense because it transfers and keeps knowledge about film. The moderator closed the presentation by announcing that the next two editions of Pula Film Festival will see a presentation of the second and third books by Polimac.
The exhibition Cinemaniac by curator Branka Benčić was presented at the Antun Motika Gallery. It is a multi-annual research platform that challenges the relationships between film, moving images, and contemporary art. This year’s edition is designed as a documentary exhibition at the Pula City Gallery and will look back on previous experiences and thoughts on various thematic concepts – researching the heritage of alternative, experimental, and amateur film and video at of the 1960s and 1970s in the former Yugoslavia. The exhibition will run until 29 July.
Before the screening of the film Once We Were Good for You at the Arena, Milan Stanišić, film crew supervisor and unit manager who spent his whole life on film sets on many Croatian and global productions, was presented with the Dragutin Nusshol Award for lifetime contribution to film. TheFilmmakers Association of Croatia set up this award on the occasion of their 70th anniversary, which it will present annually to a member of the Association who has indebted Croatian, but also world film, primarily to professions working behind the camera. This year’s, the first, award was presented to Milan Stanišić by director Ivan Goran Vitez.
In the International Programme, the second screening at the Arena was the political comedy The Campaign by Romanian director Marian Cirsan. The film tells the story of Viorel, a quiet tractor driver from a small Romanian town, who meets Mocanu, a politician campaigning for a set in the European Parliament. In a turn of events, Viorel and his wife welcome the politician in their humble home, which Mocanu uses to improve his public image.
At Kaštel, the visitors will be able to watch the Croatian premiere of the award-winning Austrian film Why Not You by Evi Romen. Tickets for this screening have already been sold out. The film tells the story of a troubled young dancer Mario from a small town in South Tirol faces additional disapproval from his surroundings when Lenz, his best friend and upright young man, is killed in a terrorist attack on a gay club.
On the third day of Pula Film Festival, the International Programme at the Arena will be “an evening of adrenaline”: first, at 9.30 p.m., the sold-out screening of Miloš Avramović’s South Wind 2: Speed Up, and later the Austrian film Fox in a Whole. The film Games People Play will be screened at Kaštel.
In the Special Screenings Programme, visitors will be able to see the film Eden with Lana Barić in the lead role at 4 p.m. at the Istrian National Theatre.
In the Croatian Programme visitors will be able to watch the film Manhattan Odyssey by Mario Vrbančić at 7 p.m. at the Istrian National Theatre, while the Dizalica and Pulica Programme offers the screening of the British film A Brixton Tale at 11.30 p.m. at Kaštel.
At the Amfiteatar Gallery at 7 p.m., visitors will be able to attend the opening of the exhibition Cinematheque, jointly organised by the Cerebral Paralysis Association of Istria County and the Archeological Museum of Istria.