Introductory note

Dear Cinephiles and Film Lovers,

The fifth edition of the History Film Festival is upon us, still the only festival in the world that exclusively screens and values historical documentary films. We received 123 films from 40 countries in the competition category, and I have selected 23 films that will compete for the festival awards. Decisions on this will be made by an international jury, this year chaired by the renowned Croatian film and theatre director Vinko Brešan.

What made me exceedingly happy is the fact that this year we’ll be watching excellent and interesting films that deal with historical themes and events following the Second World War. While the horrors of the war should by no means be forgotten, I think we need to turn to stories about people and events closer to our daily lives to better understand the world around us.

The stories of this year’s films will take you from the atrocities of the Korean War, the tensions of the Cold War, the bloody political and military games surrounding Afghanistan and Iraq, the emergence of ISIL, to racial conflicts and globalist phenomena. Watching these films will broaden your knowledge, clarify the people and events shrouded by the media to finally understand the causes and consequences of their occurrence.
Louis Armstrong plays trumpet in his dressing room before a show in New York
Part of this year’s competition program also brings stories of famous people who we more or less admired, loved to watch and listen to, and now the authors of these films will shed light on their personalities and lives. The legendary Louis Armstrong, the cult Sarajevo band Indexi, actors Louis de Funès and Oleg Vidov, director Elia Kazan and many others will remind you of their much admired songs and achievements.

This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the beginning of the Croatian War of Independence, the most significant event in the history of the Croatian nation, the victory in this inflicted war brought us an independent and free country, to which its inhabitants and generations of Croats aspired. We dedicated a special festival program to this event, as we firmly believe the culture of remembrance and memory is the key to building relationships with the past and the nation’s political identity. The 18 selected documentaries in the program will be shown for two days on a large LED screen (7 x 3 meters) set in Pavlinski trg in the very heart of Rijeka. I believe many people from Rijeka and passers-by will stop to watch the works of Croatian authors, that tell the stories of the sacrifice, courage and spirit of our nation.
Detail from the shooting of the documentary "Demo" about the Croatian war hero Miodrag Demi
This year is the European Year of Rail as declared by the European Union, so we have created a special festival program dedicated to the theme of railways. Films about trains and railways will be shown at the legendary Matulji train station, better known as Štacion. Filmologist Silvestar Mileta will talk us through the historical intertwining of film and rail, while the Kortil Gallery will host an exhibition by the Croatian Railway Museum.

I wish you a warm welcome and trust you will enjoy our program! 
Festival director
Voditelj programa i direktor BERNARDIN MODRIĆ
Photografije RINO GROPUZZO
Grafičko i web oblikovanje GRAFIK, Rijeka
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