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59th Pula Film Festival presents eleven films in the National Programme
20 July 2012
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Eleven feature films are competing this year for Golden Arenas as part of the National Selection of the 59th Pula Film Festival, which takes place during the second week of the festival running from 14-28 July. The national programme opened on 21sth July with Vlatka Vorkapic΄s feature debut, Sonja and the Bull. Pula Film Festival is an annual event which traditionally presents most of Croatian feature film production. The festival’s national selection is organised as a competition, and this year seven of the entries were made with the financial support of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre. Out of four independently made films, two were backed by HAVC in the post-production phase.

The complete list of national competition films follows:
Flower Square, recently selected in the official competition of the Montreal World Film Festival. The film’s director Krsto Papic is a veteran of Croatian cinema who often receives international acclaim.
Zagreb Stories Vol. 2, a sequel of the eponymous omnibus from 2009, in which nine young talented directors told seven urban tales about different aspects of life in the Croatian capital. This time six directors tell six stories about different aspects of love: parental, family and, ofcourse, romantic love. 
Halima΄s Path by Arsen Anton Ostojic who was nominated for the European Film Academy’s European Discovery of the Year award in 2004 for his feature debut A Wonderful Night in Split, while his last film No One’s Son won the Golden Arena in Pula in 2008 for best film, best director, best music and best special effects. 
Children of the Fall about a man waiting for his missing wife, feature debut for Goran Rukavina
Also, two films that were made by the financial support of HAVC, but already have been distributed in Croatian cinemas: Vegetarian Cannibal by Branko Schmidt, which was hailed by the critics, especially the performance by the leading actor Rene Bitorajac and Night Boats, a feature live action debut by Igor Mirkovic, known for his feature documentary about the new wave in Croatian music, Happy Child, which was a box office success in 2003. 
One of the two independently produced films that were later financially backed by HAVC to cover for post-production costs is A Letter to My Father, a feature debut by acclaimed Croatian editor, documentarian and avant-garde filmmaker Damir Cucic. The second title is Hives, an ambitious project presenting a collaboration between several European film academies: Academy of Dramatic Art from Croatia, NFTS from the UK, Sam Spiegel Film and television School from Israel, FAMU from Czech Republic and IFS from Germany. No Laughing Allowed by Davor Zmegac and Accidental Passer-by, a directing debut by the prolific Croatian independent producer Jozo Patljak. The film has been filmed in 3D, and it could also be the first Croatian feature to be screened in Pula in 3D.
The festival’s official selection also includes a section of minority co-productions, presenting two co-productions with Serbia – A Practical Guide to Belgrade with Singing and Crying by Bojan Vuletic and Parade by Srdan Dragojevic. Parade also has the best Croatian box office score, with about 160,000 viewers. At this year’s Berlinale it was screened in the Panorama selection, winning two awards, including the Audience Award.
A special screening of Sofia’s Last Ambulance, directed by Ilian Metev, will also take place outside of the official selection. This documentary film was screened at this year’s Cannes Film Festival’s Critics Week, where it won the France 4 Visionary Award, and it recently received the Grand Prix for best documentary film at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

Films from the official selection compete for Golden Arenas in the following categories: best film, director, screenplay, leading and supporting actor and actress, camera, editing, set design, costumes, as well as special Golden Arenas for make-up, sound and special effects. The awards in all categories are decided by a jury. In the minority co-production section three Golden Arenas can be awarded, in the same categories as the national selection.

More information about the festival and the selection is available on the Pula Film Festival website.
  Practical Guide to Belgrade with Singing and Crying
  Sofia`s Last Ambulance
  Night Boats
  Vegetarian Cannibal
  Flower Square
  A Wonderful Night in Split
  No one`s son
  Sonja and the Bull
  A Letter to My Father
  Halima`s Path
  Accidental Passer-by
  Children of the Fall
  No Laughing Allowed
  Rene Bitorajac
  Branko Schmidt
  Srdjan Dragojevic
  Bojan Vuletic
  Vlatka Vorkapic
  Ilian Metev
  Igor Mirkovic
  Jozo Patljak
  Krsto Papic
  Arsen Anton Ostojic
  Damir Cucic
  Goran Rukavina
  Davor Zmegac
  Croatian Audiovisual Center (HAVC)
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