Five, six, thirty...

It is interesting and important to hear the questions and comments of the children's jury towards their peers, authors of films that have been shown for town days at the Rijeka Art-cinema Croatia within 53rd Croatian Children's Film Festival. They are sitting right in front of me at the screenings, in the first four rows so I can witness constant talking and deciding, lighting of little lights or cell phones, all several times bigger than their palms, in the attempt of seeing their catalogues in the dark to grade films. They are serious about the ideas of filming this particular movie, way of filming it, techniques white animating it and other tricks.. They want to know everything. They want to know what happened after the film was done. Did the characters stay together. They ask everything.

Two members of international jury of children came from Hungary, four from Macedonia and Serbia, five from Slovenia, fifteen from elementary schools in Rijeka. They temporary teacher is a professor Ana Đordić.

Situation with the professional jury is a bit more complicated. It is consisting of Maja Flego, Čejen Černić, Boris Poljak, Slaven Zečević, Simon Bogojević Narath and their sixth member Aleš Suk, director, filmmaker, editor and producer from Czech republic that came to Rijeka for love and is now working here. Čejen was active with the selection of films for the Festival and was delegated to divide selected films in to seven screenings. She couldn't come to Rijeka for personal reasons so Aleš stepped in. He will, together with other five (six) members decide about the awards.

Jury impressions of this year’s production are quite different. While Simon Bogojević Narath, painter, digital animator, director, set designer and designer thinks that the general quality of submitted work is drastically lower than past years (but that there are some really good films), film editor and expert in Croatian film history, Slaven Zečević thinks that the production year was average. This might be because of the generational exchange because just when students start to catch on they leave elementary schools and their film groups and new ones arrive that have to be taught.

During three screenings we saw 41 film, making it 55 all together from the competition and we will see 39 of them on Friday. First set of workshops were held in the afternoon. Judging by the applying of participants, most are interested in one minute film lead by Jura Troje and film in one shot by Leo Vitasović. Optical toys by Marija Markezić and film criticism by Diana Nenadić were a bit less interesting to young filmmakers.

Workbook Media Challenges by professor Marina Zlatarić, mentor of the school film group at Bartol Kašić elementary school was presented. Day ended by the screening of Mama, I love you by editor from Latvia Jānis Nords, made in 2013.

All of this happened on Oktavijan Miletić's birthday. He was born in 1902 and is one of the first and the biggest film creators in our history as well as the founder of Kinoklub Zagreb.

Duško Popović