Get Your Head out of the Sand: STIFF Opens Under the Banner of Confrontation with Current Social Problems

The opening of 6th Student International Film Festival will take place at Art-kino in Rijeka this Thursday 17 October at 7PM. The privilege to open the festival this year goes to the winners of Diversions International Short Film Festival from Sv. Ivan Zelina.

STIFF 2018

People of the Wasteland directed by Heba Khaled from Syria won Pax Diversity, awarded to films that present stories and voices of communities from all over the world, shows different perspectives of humanity, and strongly emphasises protection of human rights and freedoms. This film was awarded by Diversions Festival jury because it fiercely penetrates into the abyss of war and the madness it brings, leaving us speechless. The film was shot with GoPro cameras, giving the audience an eerie feeling of watching a video game, thus questioning our perception of war.

Niko Radas was awarded the best director for his animated film The Unusual Bath of Mister Otmar, ‘a playful and very subtle animation that challenges perception of mental health. The powerful voice of the world where colours rule over limiting shackles of monochrome. The film was made with the help of over 70 inmates of the Zagreb Psychiatric Hospital, telling a story inspired by Otmar P, a patient of the hospital in the Fifties.

Finally, Grand Prix was awarded to Corina Schwingruber Ilić for her documentary All Inclusive which brings a vision of our contemporary, Metropolis like society. ‘In a very precise way this film shows the nature of the masses, documenting the dystopian anxiety in all of us‘, said the jury.

After the out-of-competition guest programme, the first slot in this year’s competition is titled The Pack – exploring boundaries between individuality and collectivity, between us and them, and between the need to belong and to be alone. How far are we willing to go for the sense of belonging? Together we are safer. We are stronger and better in a pack. We doesn’t put up with weakness, it represses insecurities, it is a part of majority, of tradition, nation, race, religion, ideology. Because We is always better than Them. We always looks for the enemy, looks for someone to tie us together, the hatred of whom can bring us closer, whose otherness is obvious – because belonging is also uncompromising.

A group of boys abandons the adult world principles, creating a dangerous game which tests the limits of courage and loyalty in The Vine (Ivan Đurović, fiction, Serbia, 2018). The animated I am not Playing Anymore (Matej Babic, animated, Slovakia, 2018) warns us about the consequences of the desire to win, while the protagonist of the captivating and controversial documentary The Blackgod (Grzegorz Paprzycki, documentary, Poland, 2018) leads a nationalist organisation in the west Ukraine while creating ideologically suitable youth for the fight against the enemy and the better future of the nation. Hounds (Ido Shapira / Amita Cohen, animated, Israel, 2018) is an animated metaphor depicting a life of a dog taught to act as a human, and how his life changes when a pack of wild dogs gathers around his house.

After the screening join us in atrium of Art-kino for Hot Topicsopen discussions with the audience and our guests, Nebojša Zelič, philosopher; Jelena Pranić, producer of The Vine, Antigoni Papantoni, artistic director of Diversions Film Festival, and Bruno Lovrenčić, cinematographer and animator. Also joining us via Skype will be directors Niko Radas, Grzegorz Paprzycki, and Ivan Đurović.