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Motovun Film Festival Set to Open on Film Hill

Motovun Film Festival starts this week (Photo: Julien Duval)

The jubilee edition of Motovun Film Festival will be taking place from 25-29 July. The eighteen latest films to be shown include the stories from Georgian mountains, Argentine backwater, and French high society; there will be a western taking place in Bulgarian forests and even a film made at Motovun Film Festival itself – the first one ever.

The twentieth festival edition opens with The Distinguished Citizen – one of the highest-grossing Argentine films in last year – a comedy about art, fame and small-town envy. This winner of Goya Award for Best Foreign Film and Best Actor Award at the prestigious Venice Film Festival, directed by Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat, will make a great festival intro at 277 meters above reality!

Some of the films were hits of the season in their respective countries, like Spanish crime story The Fury of a Patient Man by Raúl Arévalo, that scooped the most important national awards, or Heartstone by Guðmundur A. Guðmundsson, considered one of the best debuts of the Icelandic cinema. All the films in the main program (except one Croatian film) will have their Croatian premieres.

The first film ever to be made at our festival – A Brief Excursion – will also be shown: Igor Bezinović shot a good part of his film in the authentic festival situations. It premiered at the acclaimed Rotterdam Film Festival.

As always, MFF’s main program is an optimal blend of attractions from major festivals, like Ruben Ostlund’s The Square, the Golden Palm winner from Cannes, and “small”, almost obscure but great films like A Date for Mad Marry by Darren Thornton or Amok by Polish director Kasia Adamik.

Louder than Guns, a film about Croatian patriotic songs from the days of Homeland War, directed by the awarded author Miroslav Sikavica, will have its world premiere at Motovun Film Festival. Produced by FACTUM, it analyzes the Croatian music of the ‘90s and includes interviews with its performers and witnesses of the time.

(Photo credit: Julien Duval)

A fresh breeze from the north will chill the Mediterranean climate of Istria because Iceland is our partner country this year. This most sparsely populated country in Europe is unique for many things, one of which being its very impressive cinematography which keeps winning acclaim regardless of its modest annual production of only ten films or so. The special program, dubbed Icetria (Iceland + Istria), will present a selection of the most important Icelandic films; numerous Icelandic directors, actors, and musicians will be out guests on Film Hill.

Another side program, Degenerate Art 2.0, tackles the latest trends of constraining the freedom of artistic expression and the attempts of authoritarian regimes and extreme conservatives to impose their criteria for deciding which art is “acceptable” and which is not. The program includes some ten films about imprisoned artists, banned artists, resisting artists and a round table with participants from twelve countries, including the neighboring countries, Hungary, Poland, and Albania.

For the first time in MFF’s twenty-year-long history, the town’s main square will become the center of the musical part of the festival. The mustached rockers of Let 3 band will open the musical program on Tuesday night and Slovenian avant-garde band Laibach will wrap it up on Saturday, 29 July.

Damir Martinović Mrle of Let 3 and Ivanka Mazurkijević are coming to Film Hill with a special musical mission. Accompanied by a numerous band, they will perform during the screening of one of the festival’s earliest hits – Tuvalu. This contemporary silent film, an homage to motion picture pioneers, was screened in Motovun in 2000.

This time, marking the festival’s 20th anniversary, it will be shown in a special way. The screening takes place on Friday, 28 July at midnight.

For the first time, the iconic DJ Felver from Zagreb will be joining us in the streets of Motovun. He takes over the DJ desk on Wednesday, 26 July, at 1:30am. DJ Filip Motovunski, another well-known festival name, will perform after the Laibach concert on Saturday, 29 July.

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