During the past decade, film festivals have become a meeting place for film professionals and local citizens as well as for visitors from abroad. We have selected a few of the best ones for you.
Croatia is a country of 1000 islands and a similar number of film festivals! With the arrival of summer, they decamp from inland Croatia to the coast. At the end of June before the migration to the seaside, between 27th June and 5th July to be precise, the Fantastic Zagreb Film Festival takes place.
The sylvan surroundings of the Tuškanac summer cinema are an ideal location for the Fantastic Film Festival, not only because of the mystical atmosphere but also for the pleasant temperature, at a time when normally it will be beginning to become sweltering on the city streets.
A few days later, from 12th to 26th July, film lovers can welcome the Pula Film Festival, a national film event incorporating an international programme. This is the oldest film festival in Croatia, now enjoying cult status, and the main screenings take place in the unique atmosphere of the Pula amphitheatre. The opening of this festival is one of the major national cultural events, heralding as it does the presentation of the entire annual feature film output of Croatia.
In the centre of the 'Terra Magica' of Istria lies the town of Motovun, home of its eponymous film festival. Given the relaxed atmosphere during the period that film makers and the public occupy Motovun and the selection of independent film productions on offer, this festival is Croatia's answer to the popular Sundance Festival. If you happen to be in Istria between 26th and 30th July you must pay it a visit!
If you would like to experience something very special, reserve the first days of August and visit the Starigrad Paklenica Film Festival from 2nd to 7th August. It is staged in the magical surroundings of the Paklenica National Park, where you will be able to enjoy music and film in synergy with each other. That is to say, this festival screens nothing but musical films.
And just like the final icing on the cake, at the very end of the summer there are two cinematic treats in store. The first one is in Zadar, where between 23rd and 27th of August the ever more popular Adventure Film Festival is held. The other is the Vukovar Film Festival, which takes place in the extreme east of the country between 28th August and 1st September and offers a selection of films produced by the countries of the Danube. As the only Croatian port on the Danube, during this period Vukovar becomes the gathering point for film professionals from the heart of Europe and guarantees excellent movies and even better entertainment along with regional cuisine and fine wine.
Apart from attracting our attention to football, especially this year as host of the football World Cup, Brazil also attracts film lovers, offering as it does some of the most interesting cinematography in the world. And what would be our recommendation? 'Kiss of the Spider Woman' by Hector Babenco, 'Central Station' by Walter Salles or 'City of God' by Fernando Meirelles. Or maybe one of the more recent titles such as 'If I Were You 2' by Daniel Filho, 'Man From The Future' by Claudio Torres, 'Cristina Wants to Marry' by Luiz Villaça or 'In Therapy' by José Alvarenga Jr. Zagrebians had the opportunity this spring to see all of these films in the Tuškanac Cinema during the 'Brazilian Film Cycle'.
Apart from film festivals, over the past few years the summer music festival scene has also been experiencing a real boom in Croatia. Sun, sea and music stars from around the world are ideal prerequisites for good entertainment and an unforgettable summer. First on the list is the young FOR Festival, at which from 19th to 22nd June locals and visitors to Hvar will be entertained by the likes of Mark Ronson, Klaxons, Neneh Cherry and others. The most popular Zagreb festival, Inmusic, will bring some real musical treats, starting with The Black Keys, through Pixies to Foals and a host of other home-grown and foreign performers. The scene then moves on to Pag, Zrće and the ever more popular Hideout Festival with its glittering line-up! From 30th June to 3rd July you will be able to dance to the music of Disclosure, Rudimental, Joy Orbison, Jamie Jones......
The long-established Garden festival has relocated to the island of Murter and there, during the first week of July, you will be entertained by Axel Boman, Ben UFO, Craig Richards, Bicep and Derrick May. Last year Šibenikians said goodbye to the Terraneo music festival but this year from 3rd to 5th August they will welcome a new festival called Super Uho, which will take place on the new Banj beach and where The National, Black Lips and numerous other lesser known artists will be performing.
Near Pula from 27th to 31st August the Dimension Festival will open its doors and visitors will be able to enjoy a rich musical programme. Caribou, Darkside, Jon Hopkins, Moodymann, Theo Parrish, Juan Atkins & Moritz von Oswald, Gilles Peterson are just some of the performers, whose music will take you through until dawn. From 3rd to 9th September, in the same venue of the Punta Christo fortress, the Outlook Festival will take place, which is the largest bass music and sound system culture festival in Europe. These are just some of the names who will be appearing this year: Busta Rhymes, Barrington Levy, Andy C, Mala in Cuba and Submotion. We will leave it up to you to decide which music festival you will visit but feel free to incorporate some samba movements into your dancing.