25 jubilee European film festival Palić official selection announced

Italian film Happy as Lazzaro by Alice Rohrwacher, the Best Scenario laureate at this year’s Cannes Festival, will open 25 Jubilee European Film Festival Palić on 14 July and Touch Me Not, a controversial Romanian piece by Adina Pintilie, Berlinale Golden Bear laureate, will close the Festival on the 20 July, announced Official Selection programmer Nenad Dukić at today’s press conference at Kombank Hall in Belgrade.

EFF director Radoslav Zelenović hopped that this year’s edition will be remembered as an encounter of most significant works of European cinema at the moment.

“We have more than hundred films in twelve programs. We haven’t announced Official Selection before because we waited Karlovy Vary Festival to end, which brought us some fresh works. We also expect about hundred guests since we’ve made an effort, as always, to ensure at least one of the crew members to present each film”, said Zelenović.

“We have audience and guests, professionals and media on our side. What we miss is official recognition. We have always had better reception abroad than here. We are proud of the award for the Best European Festival and another support by Creative Europe’s program Media of 46 000 euros”, said Zelenović, concluding that this year’s Festival edition has better financial conditions.

He also announced that Aleksandar Lifka Award laureates Rade Šerbedžija and Brian Cox come to Palić on 15 July. Šerbedžija will have a show, while Cox press conference and talk with audience. Exhibition dedicated to Milena Dravić will be opened on 17 July.

Programmer Nenad Dukić underlined that the Official Selection (one film on the opening and one on the closing screenings out of competition and 12 films in the competition) represents European cinema of the first half of this year, marked by variety and engagement.

“Variety concerns directorial method, theme choice and diverse cinemas – great like French and German, but also smaller ones and almost non-existing or at least unknown to us”, said Dukić, pointing to a Belarus film.

He highlighted that a principal selection criteria were cinematic values, and it turned out that the majority of selected films are seriously engaged. “European authors obviously feel responsibility to thematize important topics for today’s Europe, starting with migrant crisis, then social crisis, in both transitional and developed societies, and value crisis of the liberal capitalism”.

Competition starts with German film Styx by Wolfgang Fischer. Dukić was very pleased with the fact that EFF presents five of ten films nominated for the European LUX Prize announced at Karlovy Vary, mentioning Belgian piece Girl by Lukas Dhont, Gold Camera winner at Cannes Festival, and Belarus Crystal Swan by Darya Zhuk, that premiered at Karlovy Vary Festival.

Festival jury members for the Official Selection are Hungarian director Ildiko Enyedi, French actor Ibrahim Coma, Lithuanian producer Ieva Norvilienė, Dutch director Marinus Groothof and Serbian actress Nataša Ninković.

FIPRESCI jury will be operating too, with Nina Sputnisakaya (Russia), Massimo Lechi (Italy) and Tonči Valentić (Croatia).

EFF program director Miroslav Mogorović commented earlier announced competition program Parallels and Encounters, he selected together with Neil Young, and Young Spirit of Europe program.

New thing is that there are two documentaries in Parallels and Encounters. Mogorović mentioned Romanian film Dead Nation by Radu Jude, then multiply awarded Georgian work Scary Mother by Ana Urushadze, and Blossom Valley by László Csuja freshly awarded at Karlovy Vary. Serbian representative in the program is Bandits in Search of Mom by Kosta Ristić.

Awards for this program will be assigned by FEDORA jury with Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi (Italy), Dr. Maja Bogojević (Montenegro) and Pavlina Jeleva (Bulgaria).

The EFF executive producer – Open University in Subotica’s director Ilija Tatić reminded on pre-festival program Palić Winers, Aleksandar lifka Laureates’ Homage program and Best of Europe program.

“All Festival programs are important to us, entertaining and educational” said Tatić pointing to young critics’ workshop with Victor Paz, and cooperation with Zsigmond Vilmos Festival in Szeged, Hungary, as a film school for 20 students from Subotica and Szeged.

Tatić also announced gathering of Linz, Seville, Vilnius and Cottbus film festival representatives with similar concept and goals as EFF, since there is opportunity for networking and further development.

Jubilee EFF will also present revised edition of Touch of Eternity, the book about Aleksandar Lifka Aawrd laureates. The first edition was written by the late Nebojša Popović. Ivan Aranđelović wrote about last five years’ laureates.

Tatić added that this year’s budget is 24,5 million dinars and expressed gratitude to Serbian Ministry of Culture, Provincial Secretary of Culture and Municipality of Subotica, then Creative Europe program Media, and Festival friends: GIZ organization, Gorki List, Serbian Film Centre, Auto Company Tasić and Legend company.

Bus lines for audiences from Belgrade and Novi Sad to Palić and vice versa will be operating from 15 to 20 July.