The International Student Film Festival STIFF is Open for Culture Lovers

The 5th International Student Film Festival STIFF, which will feature 44 animated, documentary and feature films from 22 countries of the world, premiered last night and will be with us until Sunday, October 21st in “Art kino” in Rijeka. STIFF’s goal is to promote student film as such and to open the possibilities for the future of film because here we feature great achievements of the upcoming authors and filmmakers. However, the aim within the festival is to actively involve the student population in all segments of the festival organization, which makes STIFF unique not only within the Croatian but also among international festivals.

We were reminded of this at the opening of the festival by STIFF’s Executive Director Maša Drndić, Zoran Baljak, a representative for the Student Culture Center, University of Rijeka, who have, together with Filmaktiv, organized the festival; and together with the designers of the special selection titled “Backwards”, Sendi Bakotić and Marta Ban. Zoran Baljak expressed being “really grateful to a number of volunteers – students” without whom, he stated, the festival would not have happened; and Maša Drndić pointed out that this year they have gone further in entrusting the creation of a part of the programme to students who have so far been working with STIFF for a long time, Sendi Bakotić and Marta Ban.

This year’s festival is dedicated to dreams, so the program is divided into ten selection titles that deal with dreams from a variety of perspectives. “It seems to me that dreams are really needed in this time. Inspired by dreams we are, through the program, aiming to encourage people to think about how much time we have for dreaming and how much space is there left for a dreamer” Drndic commented. The festival opened last night with the selection title Forbidden Days, which answers questions such as “what is it that constitutes our privacy in this Internet era of new relationships?” – a question posed by films Silencio (Tuuli Teelahti, documentary, Finland), Deep (Michelle Verhoeks, animated, Netherlands), Majda’s Poses (Dora Šustić, fiction, Czech Republic) and Bubble Gummed Girl (Anja Gurres, fiction, Germany).

The selection title called Tales of Postmodernity was designed by the selectors Maša Drndić and Sanja Marjanović to inspire us to question of the authentic experience and the possibility of its realization in the world that bombards us with information and mediated realities. Within this selection title the following films will be shown: Watching Others (Dennis Stormer, documentary, Romania), I’m Not a Robot (Lina Tsivian, animated, Israel), Fuckin Drama (Michael Podogil, fiction, Austria) and Two for Two (Jelena Oroz, animated, Croatia). After the screenings, the first STIFF’s discussion panel entitled Dreamcatcher will begin. The panel moderators, Natalija Stefanović and Petar Bezjak, will introduce the topic of whether we have time for a break and any sort of authentic experience, with dr. sc. Hajrudin Hromadžić, an associate professor at the Department for Cultural Studies (University of Rijeka, Faculty of Philosophy), whose field of interest includes cultural and media studies, critical social theory, and theoretical sociology.


Friday at STIFF

On Friday, the film program begins at 7 PM with the selection title Balance featuring: The Great Wall of China (Aleksandra Odić, fiction, Germany), Last Two Weeks (Tjaša Kosar, Marc Steck, documentary, Slovenia), Very Close (Lee Oz, Eliška Habartová, Israel), Auuuna (Lina Šuková, animated, Slovakia) and Sara (Tamara Ivry, animated, Israel). From 8.30 PM and within the selection title Round Corners we will be showing: Nothing New under the Sun (Damian Kocur, fiction, Poland), Hebrew Kisses (Manya Lozovskaya, documentary, Israel) and Consequences of Work (Inesa Antić, documentary, Croatia); and afterwards holding the second Dreamcatcher – this time, the topic will be  self-determination, which will be discussed with Manya Lozovskaya, the author and the protagonist of the film Hebrew Kisses, and with Martina Gramca, a journalist and an activist for women’s and LGBT+ rights.