Specifics and Perspectives

in 15th Ljubljana International Film Festival

by Maya Dimitrova

The film festival that just ended at the Slovenian capital Ljubljana realized the potential of its specifics and gave the audiences the opportunity to see films from South Eastern Europe and the countries from the former Yugoslavia in particular. With 16 films in the section called perspectives, the festival exhibits the yearly international cinema scope from the America to Europe , Asia and Australia . It was the 15 th edition of the Ljubljana Film Festival parallel with the national revival of the Slovenian state and the first time a Fipresci jury was installed. The Czech film Czech Dreams (Cesky Sen) directed by Vit Klusak and Filip Remunda received the Fipresci award.

The Fipresci jury had the opportunity to see the most interesting examples from the Slovenian film production as the national film festival just ended at the beginning of the international festival. This concept defined by the experienced programmer Jelka Stergel proves to be fruitful as a warming up for the audience who kept occupying the five festival film theatres for all projections. The audience award was given to the French-Swiss-German co-production The Choruses (Les choristes) by Christophe Barratier.

The rest of the awards were distributed among the films that were conspicuously notable among the motley panorama from all over the world. The main award, the Kingfisher Award, was given by the festival jury to the Australian film Somersault directed by Cate Shortland. And the Taiwanese film The Missing (Bu Jian) directed by Lee Kang-Sheng received a special mention. The stylistic palette of the awarded films attracted the attention of the spectators in Ljubljana . An extreme of this artistic parabola is the document-style concept of Czech Dreams luring with the striking metaphor of the newly discovered mentality of hyper consuming in the EU. The opposite of the artistic parabola are the naturalistic elements of the Taiwanese film The Missing evoking the charm of a colored neo-neorealism. Somewhere in the peak of the parabola curve of anticipated qualities is Somersault, giving the European viewers the chance to see the Australian winter landscape without overexploiting the continental exotics. Young actress Abbie Cornish is the discovery of the film. In the alteration of its specifics the Ljubljana Film Festival finds its future perspectives.

Maya Dimitrova