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FESTIVALS Croatia

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Motovun returns to radical roots

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- The 17th Motovun Film Festival (26 Jul-1 Aug) will screen 21 films in the main programme and feature a “Jury in Exile”

Motovun returns to radical roots

The Motovun Film Festival has announced the programme for its 17th edition and a return to its activist roots with a radical programming reboot.

Established in 1999 as a reaction to the right-wing mainstream policies of the Croatian government, the Motovun Film Festival was the first to challenge the post-communist official cultural stance. This year’s edition sees a return to its radical roots, with an overtly socially engaged selection and sidebar events intended to celebrate commitment in filmmaking.

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“If last year was the year we ‘cheered up’ our selection, by taking back more ‘crowd pleasers’ into the Main Square,” says festival president Mike Downey, “having gone down a depressing ‘post-communist angst’ route in previous years, this year we have gone for films and sidebars that are not only entertaining but are also socially engaged – and many have a strong human-rights element. Film can be an agent for change – and so can a film festival, and this is the route we have taken this year.”

This also includes a radical approach to the jury. For the first time, the festival will have a “Jury in Exile”, made up of people who, by virtue of their beliefs, live in exile, are under house arrest or are unable to be in Motovun because they are not free to travel: FEMEN’s Inna Schevchenko; Natalia Kaliada and Nicolai Khalezin of the Belarus Free Theatre; Syria’s Ala’a Basatneh, better known as #chicagogirl; and Queer Belgrade’s Majda Puača will all be present in Motovun. One absent jury member will be the Ukraine’s Oleg Sentsov, currently in Lefortovo prison on trumped-up terrorism charges. His absence will be highlighted by an Empty Chair campaign to draw attention to his case and is the first in a series of projected empty chairs at the upcoming summer/autumn festivals, initiated by the European Film Academy.

The festival will continue its tradition of having a partner country – this year the honour goes to Turkey, and a number of Turkish filmmakers, led by Yesim Ustaoglu, will be presenting their films.

The honorary Motovun Maverick Award will be given to Andrei Zvyagintsev. Meanwhile, another innovation is Buzz@teen, expanding the festival to the neighbouring hill – the town of Buzet.

Out of the 21 films in the main programme, 12 will be competing for the Propeller Award:

Barbarians [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Ivan Ikic
film profile
]
, Ivan Ikić (Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia)
Force Majeure [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Ruben Östlund
film profile
]
, Ruben Ostlund (Sweden, France, Denmark, Norway)
Kelly & Victor [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Kieran Evans (UK, Ireland)
Paris of the North [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson (Iceland, France, Denmark)
Human Capital [+see also:
trailer
interview: Paolo Virzì
film profile
]
, Paolo Virzi (Italy, France)
Children of Transition, Matija Vukšić (Croatia)
Bad Hair [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mariana Rondón
film profile
]
, Mariana Rondón (Peru, Venezuela, Argentina, Germany)
The Tribe [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Myroslav Slaboshpytshiy (Ukraine)
Stratos [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Yannis Economides
film profile
]
, Yannis Economides (Greece, Germany, Cyprus)
Ana Ana [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Corinne van Egeraat, Peter Lom (Norway, Netherlands, Canada, Egypt)
The Police Officer's Wife [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Philip Gröning
film profile
]
, Philip Gröning (Germany)
Ida [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Pawel Pawlikowski
interview: Pawel Pawlikowski
film profile
]
, Pawel Pawlikowski (Poland)

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