While devising this year’s program for the upcoming 9th Jewish Film Festival – the Festival of Tolerance 2015, we were again driven by the idea of acceptance, diversity and encouragement for the youngest to go through life with open-mindedness and tolerance.
Nine years ago we started what was considered a small festival venture with a modest number of only 12 films. We never assumed it would spread its wings and expand to such an extent.
So today, the quality of the JFF and its exclusive film material go hand in hand with prominent European film festivals. In addition to exclusive premieres (last year’s Night Will Fall, directed by Andre Singer ) and director’s screenings (Radical Evil, directed by Stefan Ruzowitzki), we are presenting a considerable number of 82 feature films, documentaries and animated films.
During the past nine years of a dedicated festival engagement, we have projected some rather devastating history facts onto the screen, as we remembered Children – Victims of the Holocaust and Wars, The Righteous Among the Nations, Women in the Holocaust, systematic extermination of the Roma during World War II (Broken Silence, directed by Bob Enthrop) – but we also continue to follow recent challenges affecting modern society, such as: homophobia, xenophobia, or growing issues of asylum seekers and refugees in pursuit for a better life.
This year we are announcing three films from the retrospective of the famous Hungarian filmmaker and Oscar winner Istvan Szabo who is coming to Zagreb as a festival guest: Mempisto, a classic from the 1981. The Door, an immaculately directed feature film praised by critics, masterfully telling the story of a special relationship between two women standing on the opposite poles of society, with the legendary Hellen Mirren in the leading role,and Taking sides from the 2001. story of a controversial Berlin conductor Wilhem Furtwangler.
In the category of short feature films, we are announcing this year‘s Academy Award-winning film The Phone Call, directed by Mat Kikby and James Lucas – a story of a telephone call that changes the lives of its participants, and the absolutely magnetic documentary film The Salt of the Earth, directed by Juliano Ribeiro Saldago and the German director Wim Wenders, depicting the life and work of Sebastiano Saldago, a master of monumental photojournalism in black and white.
This is a man who has boldly spent most of his professional life on the road, daring to record both misery and magnificence of human lives on Earth, as well as the most unapproachable points of this planet – actively pointing out what can and must be preserved as a valuable resource- the Earth and its ecosystem.
Following the last year’s theme of alienation of art (the round table “Looted Art – The Monuments Men“ ), we will soon announce some of the interesting documentaries and feature films of this season.
The program selection is conducted by the Festival President Mr. Branko Lustig and Festival Director Ms. Nataša Popović. High criteria and the quality of our festival have been regularly confirmed by our Zagreb audience, with an average mark of 4.6.
The film program will be announced ten days before the festival.