Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Motovun Film Festival: gypsy bands, shoe-waving, corruption trials, prison cinemas

Everybody shoes up @MotovunFF opening to denounce corruption in Croatia ©@esubira yfrog.com/h4jq4olj
Two members of our team - Festival Director, David Gillam, and Executive Director, Naomi Vera-Sanso - are currently attending Motovun Film Festival in Croatia, following an Independent Cinema Office course on 'Developing Your Film Festival." It sounds as though they may come back with strange and wonderful ideas. Here are some of the short reports they have sent back so far:

Motovun is like a Croatian film Glastonbury. Thousands of young people come from all over to camp, watch films and party. The whole film fest infrastructure is built from scratch each year - toilets and all. A little medieval hill-top town transformed - amazing!

A test of endurance so not for everybody but if you can stay the course Bella Tarr's The Turin Horse is a film experience like no other. One that changes the way you see the natural world and our relationship to it. The final work from an uncompromising genius.

Opening ceremony: A gypsy band performed a specially written song to 'The Ragged and the Barefoot' and the audience were encouraged to take their shoes off and clap along - I did. The festival was officially opened by the two lawyers who are defending the assistant prime minister who is in jail awaiting trial on corruption charges. They have become Croatian celebs and it links to an 'In Prison' sidebar at the fest where you have to pay to get out of the screening. All very wild and mad.

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