Lightning start of the 8th STIFF!

After the last year’s dual festival edition – offline and online – yesterday evening the festival got back to the traditional live opening at Rijeka’s Art-kino cinema. A large audience enjoyed live student and debut film treats from around the world.

This year’s edition was opened by Sendi Bakotić, host and selector of STIFF. The Rector of the University of Rijeka Snježana Prijić Samaržija pointed out that STIFF is a unique phenomenon that has been built by students and professionals since the very beginning, and its importance is shown by a large number of applications from students and debutants from all around the world. Mr. sc. Sonja Šišić, Head of the Administrative Department for Culture, Sports and Technical Culture of Primorje-Gorski kotar County, praised the impact of STIFF on encouraging young people to be creative and added that the Primorje-Gorski kotar County gives its full support. Ivan Šarar, Head of the Department of Culture of the City of Rijeka, pointed out that STIFF is not a random festival, and alongside other Rijeka’s audiovisual institutions and programs, it continuously develops audiovisual literacy and participates in the development of the Rijeka film ecosystem. Director of Art Cinema Slobodanka Mišković pointed out how proud the Art-cinema is to have the opportunity to host such a unique festival, how it is necessary to support youth film education, and how STIFF serves as an inspiration for young people to find their future business and creative niche in film. In conclusion, the Executive Director of STIFF, Petra Čargonja opened the festival and announced the program that will follow in the extended film weekend.

Program slot Lightning started the festival as fast as lightning. In the words of the artistic director Maša Drndić and program selectors Sendi Bakotić and Marta Ban Just like natural disasters, social and beurocratic systems block our paths. Sheer willpower allows one to find the light that brings hope in lightning and to dampen the roar of thunder with loud cries, song, and laughter. 

The audience had the opportunity to watch playful interaction of language and the visuals in the experimental film by Bela Bračko Milešević, All The Things I’ll Never Tell You and observe how collage of old photographs, imagined memories and the examination of the emotions brought about by the lack of communication amid generations enables the author to reconstruct the pater familias. Maja Novaković‘s observation documentary, Then Comes The Evening, took us high into the slopes of the mountains of eastern Bosnia, and immersed us in the haiku of everyday life. This poetic documentary provides us with a slice of the quiet life led by two elderly women, a life spent in dedication to coexistence with nature. Cockpera, an animated film by Kate Gugić inspired by the tales of Aesopus, witty animation took us to an opera male competition in which the more cunning will be celebrated, while in the documentary Open Your Mouth by Tamara Mamon we observed coming of age story of three boys set in the rift between the Arabic and Jewish cultures. The school quire and the camaraderie pave the way towards new horizons for the trio.

Today’s program will be rich – two program slots in competition Amnesia at 18:00 and Glitch at 20:00. The evening closes at 21:30 at the SKC Gallery (Palach, Kružna ulica 8) with the opening of the international exhibition In Transmission, curated by Elena Apostolovski.

Saturday starts with two programs: at 14:00 – discursive program Stitches, which will host local animators in the foyer of Art-cinema – Kata Gugić (animated film Cockpera), Sunčana Brkulj (animated film The Tower) and Natko Stipaničeva (animated film Arka) with whom we are talking about a vicious circle of human vanity. For the first time STIFF presents a program suitable for children called Sprint. This is followed by the program slots Little Chances at 16:00, Stretching at 18:00 and Strobe Light at 20:00. We close the day as we started – talking about the film through Stitches. At 21:30 in the foyer of the Art-cinema with Anja Koprivšek (documentary Between Summers), Bojan Radanović (feature film Letters) and Sara Grgurić from Rijeka (feature film In The Woods) we talk about the experience of being closed within four walls, questioning ourselves and others and the pressure created by the lack of the outside world.

Sunday, the last day of the 8th STIFF opens at 15:00 with the last Stitches, a discursive program dedicated to the documentary and the director’s relationship with his protagonists, about which documentary filmmakers Jasmina Beširević and her protagonist Irena (documentary Now I Am Irena) as well as Nikola Stojanović (documentary Cornelian Cherries) will talk about in the Art-kino foyer. Festival will be closed by the last 3 program slots, Shifting at 17:00, Traces at 18:30 and Loops at 20:00 when we will find out the winners of this year’s edition of STIFF. The closing of the festival and the celebration of another edition will follow at 21:30 in the Book Caffe Dnevni Boravak.