At this year’s 7th Student International Film Festival, the audience had the opportunity to watch 40 films that competed for the awards. In addition to films, as a part of STIFF, a rich accompanying program dedicated to sound was held: Sound occupations of the gallery, virtual, radio, and public spaces in Rijeka. Among the 40 titles that competed for the award for best fiction, documentary, and animated film, as well as the audience choice award, five films were awarded, and the jury also awarded three special mention awards in each category.

In the category of the best fiction film, a three-member jury consisting of French and Algerian director Azedina Kasri, Croatian director Nikica Zdunić and student Ervin Pavlaković, awarded the prize to the film Fragile directed by Tomislav Šoban with the explanation:

‘The skillfully executed internal focalization subtly suggests the state of the female protagonist who is in search of herself. This short dramatic achievement delves into a deeper existentialist theme and some general issues that we all face while giving the symbolism of life through the speech of poetics. The structure of the film is excellent, and the transitions from the fictional world to the real world of the protagonist are excellently made with the use of sound, which also achieves its additional purpose within the meaning of the film itself. The filming is carefully thought through and structured, beyond the expected range, and never completely predictable. As the protagonist, the camera is in constant search, so ‘Fragile’ is an excellent short film that implicitly opens many questions but does not remain unfinished. Although intimate, this is a film that almost anyone can identify with.’

Hungarian director Dániel Füzes received special mention for the feature film The Buzz: ‘Given the theme and how it is created, in terms of complexity and dramaturgy, we can say that the film is extremely skilfully executed because it gives the impression of a feature-length film. ‘The Buzz is based on classical dramaturgy, but the excellent performance gives it an indisputable quality, which is why it deserves this year’s special mention of the STIFF festival.’

Best fiction film, Fragile Tomislav Šoban

In the category of documentaries, a jury consisting of Croatian director Ivan Ramljak, Ivan Grgur, last year’s STIFF audience favorite and student Mihovil Burić awarded the main prize to the film All Cats Are Gray in the Dark by Lasse Linder:

‘Each frame in this film could be a separate work of art. But Linder doesn’t exhaust his expression in the beauty of his shots but visually tells a story which is at the same time warm, peculiar, and humane, leaving us with an emotion that will linger long after.’

Blank’s School of Documentary Film I Still Don’t Know by young director Bela Bračko-Milešević received special mention for its ‘innovative and imaginative visual approach, intimate poetic narration, interesting sound treatment… everything in this film exudes astonishing maturity, especially when we know that it is one of the first films by the 25-year-old author, made at home. ‘

Best documentary film, All Cats Are Grey In the Dark, Lasse Linder


This year’s best animated film was decided by independent animator Antonija Veljačić, last year’s STIFF winner, Czech animator Martin Smatana and student Karla Drašković. The jury awarded the prize for best animated film to  Zorg II by Auden Lincoln Vogel, as it is a ‘Rounded animated experience that combines numerous animation techniques. The playful story plays with our associations in a very clever way. The main character takes us through the surreal world on different levels of the subconscious. Thanks to all these aspects, we can happily get lost in this film’s story a hundred times.’

They decided to give a special mention to the French film To the Dusty Sea by Héloïse Ferlay ‘because of its visuals made of wool and felt. Although the film deals with a difficult topic, thanks to the soft materials and beautiful lighting, this delicate story becomes a warm experience.’

Best animated film, Zorg II, Auden Lincoln Vogel

This year’s Audience Choice Award, for the first time in the history of STIFF, is shared between two films: Ondine, a fiction film directed by Tomasz Sliwinski and documentary film For Your Sake directed by Ronja Hemm.

Sincere congratulations to all the winners!


Student International Film Festival (STIFF) was first organized in 2014 by Filmaktiv Association and Student Cultural Centre in Rijeka (SKC) with the goal of presenting the best of the recent world production of student and debutant film.

The festival is organized in partnership with Art-kino Croatia and Radio Roža, and is co-funded by the University of Rijeka, Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC), Croatian Film Directors Association (DHFR), European Capital of Culture Rijeka 2020, and Primorje-Gorski Kotar County.