Special programme of the 4th edition of History Film Festival titled RI-thinking History is dedicated to Rijeka, a place where different people and cultures meet, a city of extraordinary turbulent, almost filmic history.
Currently the only festival in the world dedicated exclusively to historical documentary films was created in a city that was part of eight different states in the last century. RI-thinking History programme is composed of two great exhibitions, film screenings and thematic discussions. It is also an hommage to Rijeka as the city of unique history and it is specially conceptualized for a year during which Rijeka bears the European Capital of Culture title.
The programme starts with the opening of a multimedia exhibition Little Chronicle - Classics of the Zagreb School of Cartoon Film, dedicated to famous works of art created within this institution, which has so far produced more than two thousand animated, documentary, educational and feature films, as well as commercials. This history includes the world-acknowledged phenomenon of the Zagreb School of Animated Film and more than 500 awards, among which a special place belongs to the prestigious American Academy Award, or the Oscar, for the best animated film, awarded in 1962 to Surogat (Ersatz) by Dušan Vukotić. The exhibition presents outstanding achievements by brilliant authors of the Zagreb School, Croatian artistic heritage of the highest level acknowledged by the whole world. Apart from films, the exhibition also showcases valuable archival materials of Zagreb Film, the Croatian State Archives as well as private collections – drawings, sketches, cels and authentic items – by setting them in the context of the time when they were created. The exhibition is introducing us to a magical world of animation which will bring a breath of nostalgia to older generations, while the youngest will meet and recognize widely familiar and dear characters, like, for instance, Professor Balthazar. The reason of success behind the famous series about a professor who helps his friends with his wisdom and unselfishness lies in a strong universal message of peace and friendship. It is also worth mentioning the claims according to which Balthazar City was inspired by Rijeka and its scenery. The exhibition in Rijeka is focused on the early stages of Zagreb School of Animation and pay tribute to one of Croatia’s greatest directors, Vatroslav Mimica.
In 2020 the whole world, including the City of Rijeka is celebrating the 100th birthday of a favourite movie genius, Federico Fellini. A programme dedicated to Fellini includes the exhibition of images At Table With Fellini, Remembering Artusi and film screenings. Two anniversaries of two distinguished Italians: Federico Fellini (centenary of the birth) and Pellegrino Artusi (bicentenary of the birth), joined in the savoury pair cinema and food. Fellini is one of the greatest directors in the history of cinematography, while Artusi, a gastronomer and writer, author of a famous cookbook Science in the Kitchen and The Art of Eating Well (1891). We pay a tribute to these great figures by means of the exhibition of images of films by the Maestro representing culinary and convivial scenes. The photographs show scenes and protagonists gathered around sumptuously laid tables (weddings, parties, as in Roma or La strada), around simple family tables (as in Amarcord or in 8 ½) or eating alone. And more, backstage photos of the crew members and director himself taking a break for food (for example on the set of La dolce vita) and of famous TV commercials directed by Fellini. Fellini’s world is immortalised from I Vitelloni (1953) all the way to Ginger & Fred (1986). There are also photografies from famous masterpieces, like La Strada (1954), La Dolce Vita (1960) , 8 ½(1963) and Amarcord (1973). These photos are shot by some of the most prominent photographers of the Italian film scene, provided by public archives and private collections. The exhibition is enriched with the screening of the commercial Alta società - Rigatoni, which Fellini (along with DoP Ennio Guarnieri) realized for Barilla in 1985, with the original film shot and Fellini’s voice-over. In addition to the exhibition, three amazing documentaries about Fellini's personal and professional life, by director Gideon Bachmann, will also be screened.
RI-thinking History will also premiere two episodes of a documentary series Fiume Black-Red Rijeka which reveals the beginning of totalitary ideologies and movements plundering Europe through the 20th century. These events marked the history of Rijeka in the last hundred years – from founding the first totalitary state, fascist occupation, Bolshevik movement, Nazi administration, Communist revolution and the downfall of socialist system, fight for Croatian independence, unfinished and/or missed transitional processes, Euro-Atlantic integrations, to the totalitary challenges of our time and Rijeka as the European Capital of Culture in 2020.
Film experts Daniel Rafaelić and Dejan Dabić will unveil another side of Tito, the one of a film buff, in a presentation called Tito On the Screen, enriched with rare archival footage provided by Filmske novosti (Belgrade).
RI-thinking History is part of Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture official programme.
Like sugar at the end, we end the Festival with the promotion of a book, that is, a monograph on the life of Milena Dravic. Monograph Milena Dravic or the key to dreams in seven chapters analytically and with a lot of interesting details and archival material presents the life and rich film, television and theater career of the favorite actress. The author of the monograph, Anita Panić, will talk about her life through a series of inserts from her films.
About the author
Anita Panić is a multi-award winning writer, screenwriter, director and editor born in Belgrade, where she graduated from the Faculty of Law. She started her career on the First Program of Radio Belgrade as an author of cultural shows, and after that she worked on Television Belgrade as an editor.
INCLUSIVE CINEMA is a film adaptation program for the visually and/or hearing impaired. Inclusive Cinema had its premiere in 2019 at the History Film Festival with the screening, as it later turned out to be the Grand-Prix Award winning film Love is Potatoes.
In cooperation with the Association of the Blind of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County and the Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, this year we adapted three great documentaries so that people with hearing and / or visual impairments can enjoy the film with all other audiences and go to the cinema with their family and friends. We adapted the following titles: The Forest, directed by Siniša Dragin, The Makavejev Case or Trial in a Movie Theater, directed by Goran Radovanović and Stalking Chernobyl: Exploration after Apocalypse, directed by Iara Lee.
According to available data, 12,748 people with hearing impairments, 17,428 people with visual impairments and 1,398 deafblind people are registered in Croatia. The Association of the Blind of the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County has 512 members, and the Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing of PGC has 250 members, but these numbers vary depending on the deceased and newly arrived members. In addition, as many as 50 percent of people over the age of 60 experience hearing and / or vision loss. Due to the inability to follow the film program and the cultural offer, which lacks content adapted to them, people with this type of disability often feel excluded from society and social events, deprived of the right to information and culture. Although the most common reason mentioned is the lack of financial resources, in fact the biggest obstacle in this process is the lack of awareness that everyone, without distinction, has equal rights to information and culture.
By adapting the film program for the hearing and visually impaired, our goal is to make the film accessible to people with this type of disability. One of the goals of this program is to include people with visual and / or hearing impairments, especially young people, in the activities of the Association of the Blind of PGC and the Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing of PGC, but also the life of the local community. We expect that this program will contribute to increasing the number and quality of cultural content (especially film) adapted for the visually and hearing impaired and stimulate interest in film art and culture in general for the blind and visually impaired, deaf and hard of hearing, and encourage other cultural organizations to launch similar initiatives.
The adaptation of the film program has an undeniable integrative and inclusive character. Namely, in today's world, film has become an indispensable part of everyday discourse, so for the social interaction and integration of the blind and visually impaired, deaf and hard of hearing, the possibility of involvement is invaluable. The goal we would like to achieve with this program is to promote filmmaking and equal opportunities.
Inclusive Cinema was realized in cooperation with the Association of the Blind of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County and the Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County and with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC) and Primorje-Gorski Kotar County.