91 films selected for the competition programs of YFF and FRFF!

The latest editions of festivals dedicated to high school film, the 15th Youth Film Festival and the 3rd Four River Film Festival, will be held 9 – 12 September 2010 in the town on four rivers, Karlovac! The Youth Film Festival is the national revue of high school film and as such represents a central place for Croatian high school filmmaking. For the fourth consecutive year it is organized jointly by the Cinema Club Karlovac and the Croatian Film Clubs’ Association. Since 2008, it also includes an international component, the Four River Film Festival, a festival devoted to high school film, unique not only in Croatia but in the entire region since the only criterion for the application of films is the high school status of the filmmakers!
Since, together with the Cinema Club Karlovac, we have taken over the organization of the Youth Film Festival four years ago, our wish was to conceptualize the festival as a platform for high school film – not only for Croatia but also in a much wider context. With that intention in mind, we started the Four River Film Festival which has most assuredly found its place on the world map of high school film considering the number of this year’s entries, pointed out Vera Robić Škarica, Secretary of the Croatian Film Clubs' Association.

Two months prior to the festival, the selection jury, comprised of film critic Boško Picula and award winning animator Vjekoslav Živković, has decided which films will make up this year's YFF and FRFF programs. Out of the 73 titles submitted for the Youth Film Festival, 39 have been chosen to compete in the official program, while 52 have been selected for the Four River Film Festival competition, out of the 128 submitted, therefore, a total of 91 films made by high school students will be screened during the four festival days!

Few tasks are both as demanding and as inspiring as selecting the films whose authors are young aficionados of the moving image. Considering there were over two hundred entries for this year's festivals, selecting the films was a real challenge, especially considering the quality and the diversity of the subject matter and artistic approaches – ranging from masterfully animated films and complexly layered documentaries to real 10-to-15-minute thrillers. My colleague, director Vjekosav Živković and I tried to include as many titles that differ both thematically and in sentiment, all of which would best reflect the production of high school film within one year in Croatia and abroad, whereas many of the films legitimately measure up to films by adult and established authors. And some even surpass them. Karlovac is obviously gradually becoming the Cannes of high school film and a new trade mark of Croatia in the world of cinematic art, and I would like to sincerely congratulate the organizers on that, said one of the selection jury members Boško Picula.

The submitted films were pouring in from all over Croatia: apart from the bigger cities such as Zagreb, Rijeka, Split and Osijek, this year we also have films from Zadar, Karlovac, Varaždin, Krapina, Slavonski Brod, Pazin, Marija Bistrica, Bjelovar, etc., which only demonstrates the complexness of Croatian high school students and their interest in making films. “Studio kreativnih ideja Gunja”, the group „Enthusia Planck“ from Samobor and the Cinema Club Karlovac are represented in the competition with the highest number of films.
The international program, on the other, hand includes films from a great number of countries: the UK is represented with the biggest number of films, followed by Turkey, Slovenia, Belgium, Slovakia and Denmark. If we combine this with films from South Korea, Germany, Italy, China and many other countries, it is clear that the Four River Film Festival is recognized around the world as an important event of high school film.

Considering YFF and FRFF are growing in size and popularity, this year in addition to important innovations, our wish is to place high school filmmaking in a wider social context. A new, eleventh award is introduced at YFF and FRFF, the Yellow Flag, an award for the contribution to non-violence on film. This recognition will be awarded by three high school students who excel in different fields. They are: Buga Marija Šimić, a third grade student of the Diocesan Classical Gymnasium in Zagreb, a successful actress from the earliest age both in theater and film. Ivana Paljug is a third grade high school student of the Karlovac Gymnasium, involved in civil society related activities and winner of “School – Friend of the Community“ award in a competition organized by the National Foundation for Civil Society Development. By introducing this award we wish to point to the perception of violence within the framework of the creative work of high school students. Therefore, in addition to the award itself, a forum will be held on the same topic with the participation of many experts in the field.  The forum will be moderated by one of this year's selection jury members and long time critic of high school works, Boško Picula, explained Marija Ratković.
In addition to the main competition divided in seven screening blocks, this year’s edition of the Youth Film Festival also includes side programs: “Film 5+” a special program aimed at the primary school audience, “Dubovac Open Air” including outdoor screenings at the old town of Dubovac (this year we screen two films shown at the Pula Film Festival) and a program entitled “High School Kids For High School Kids” consisting of presentations of similar peer festivals.

One person is extremely important, not only for YFF and FRFF or for the Cinema Club Karlovac and the Film Clubs’ Association, but also for the development of cinematic culture of high school kids in general. This person was Vedran Šamanović who, in addition to having many wonderful qualities, was the driving force of cinematic activity in many schools and clubs around Croatia, and Karlovac is no exception. There Vedran was a member of the jury in the first two ‘Karlovac’ editions of YFF and one of last year’s selection jury members. Given his sudden and unjustly early demise, this year’s edition of the festival will be dedicated precisely to him – and not only formally but also in the program. And it is only a small fragment of what Vedran truly deserves, added Marija Ratković in the end.

13. 7. 2010

Third festival day: adventures of Lapitch and Svilicic’s film at Dubovac!
Second festival day: several workshops and screening of Grlic’s film!
First day of YFF and FRFF: Films, education and fun!
Still no cinema but plenty of film
Side program for all generations: children film classics and new titles by Grlić and Sviličić
91 films selected for the competition programs of YFF and FRFF!
Official 15th YFF and 3rd FRFF program selected!