STIFF brings an abundant discursive programme – “Dreamcatchers”

As a part of the Student International Film Festival or the STIFF, which will be taking place between Oct 18th – Oct 21st 2018 in “Art kino in Rijeka”, we will be able to see the screenings of 44 student films from all genres (fiction, documentary, animation, experimental, hybrid) and coming from 22 countries worldwide, as well as to take part in the many discursive programmes within the festival.

The late-night conversations about the films featured and the topics that they deal with are called “Dreamcatchers”, and come after the selection programmes “Tales of Postmodernity” (Oct 18th), “Round Corners” (Oct 19th), and “Mind the Gap!” (Oct 20th) which were thematically designed and moderated by Greta Grakalić-Rački, Petra Bezjak, and Natalija Stefanović.

As a part of the selection programme “Tales of Postmodernity”, STIFF’s selectors and organizers Maša Drndić and Sanja Marjanović have designed an approach to a problem the authenticity of our individual experiences and the possibility of realizing them in the world that is constantly bombarding us with information and mediated realities. Therefore, open discussions will function to practically challenge how we perceived the films screened and set forth a question of – have we got any time within this contemporary world, to pause and experience a feeling authentically and what is really left to us as “an authentic experience” to have today. The guest speaker will be dr. sc. Hajrudin Hromadžić, an associate professor at the Faculty of Philosophy, Department for Cultural studies, University of Rijeka, whose fields of interest include cultural and media studies, critical theory of society and theoretical sociology as such.

The second day of the festival, following the selection title “Round Corners” which is designed to connect the films dealing with the inability of an individual to define him or herself, the discussions will inspire the opening of the following topics: how do we bend the “round corners” of the identity we are creating, and – is it more important to communicate what is happening within us or to give feedback on what we get from other people, as well as why we are so honestly afraid of all of this. The discussions will introduce Manya Lozovskaya, the author and the main protagonist of the movie “Hebrew Kisses”, featured within the “Round Corners” selection; and with Martina Gramca, a journalist and activist for women and LGBT+ rights.

The final evening discussion within the festival will regard the third selection title “Mind the Gap”, which addresses the relationship between personal and social responsibility. The social institutions today are often unable to fulfill their primary purpose which is to help citizens, who are consequently left in a context of irrepressible and illogical rules in which an individual must find a solution alone. This absence of social instances that can be relied upon will be discussed together with Azgan Qenaj, the owner of the “Romaja” bakery at Trešnjevka from Zagreb, a man who has on several occasions been detained because he did not throw away the food he did not sell – instead, he donated it; also with Bruna Nedoklan, a psychologist and an activist professionally active at the Center for Social Welfare and the Child and Youth Training Center in Rijeka; and also with Luka Rodela, a member of the Food Not Bombs (FNB) movement, and the head of the Center for Reuse, in  Rijeka.

The discursive programme started as a part of the last year’s expansion of the festival called the The STIFF Film Circle whose activities have included On-the-Field Education (including students in the organization of the festival through educating them on its various segments), the Film Critic Workshop, and the international tour of the movies featured on the STIFF or STIFF ON the Road. The goal of all of these programs is to open a public space for dialogue outside the institutions, or outside the “safe zone” of the University, and to create a fresh, neutral space for learning through practices of communication and collaboration. As a result of this endeavor, this year, the selection of one selection titles was left to those students who have been active in participating and helping around former festival editions – Marta Ban and Sendi Bakotić. The two students have together created a selection title and entitled it “Backwards”. In order of opening the space to those films exceeding their own genre “boundaries”, the selection titled “Backwards” encompasses a variety of (five) titles featuring an innovative film language. We will be watching them on the last day of the festival, October 21st, at 6 PM.