19th Motovun Film Festival
Croatia, July 26 - July 30 2016
The first Motovun Film Festival started in the summer of 1999. Elevated 277 meters above sea level, in a small medieval city in the heart of Istria, the festival’s program from its start was dedicated to movies that went against mainstream Hollywood production, which is still omnipresent in European movie theaters to this day. In its first couple of years, the festival rapidly grew and even became overwhelming at times – at the peak of its popularity it was hosting around 40 thousand people in a village that usually has around one thousand habitants. After that initial period of extreme popularity, especially amongst the younger attendants, today Motovun has fewer visitors but still holds the reputation to attract filmmakers from around the globe. Its scenery is sometimes reminiscent of a fairy tale, in particular when all the lights go out and evening projections with a glass of wine start on the main city square. Mythology and tales do play an important part in Motovun’s history but Motovun’s charm doesn’t have anything to do with a myth. It’s impressive to look at the list of directors and actors that the festival hosted during its 18 years of existence: Paul Thomas Anderson, Ken Russell, István Szabó, Andrej Zvjagintsev, Ulrich Seidl, Terence Davies, Bibi Andersson and many others.
Each year, the Motovun Film Festival ends by giving away five awards – Motovun’s Propeller (main award for feature film), Motovun Shorts, Maverick Award (“given to authors whose personality, free spirit and innovation have expanded the horizons of the art of film”), 50 years award (“for individuals who have worked in film for more than half a century, and left a strong impact and an indelible mark in the development of film art”) and, of course, the FIPRESCI award. (Vladimir Seput, edited by Steven Yates)