About festival


Jewish Film Festival is a cultural event that advocates multicultural dialogue through all its segments and educates about the Jewish culture, Holocaust as well as tolerance and shared values, considering them to be the foundation of a happy coexistence in ethnically and religiously different environments.

What makes this festival unique in the world is the commitment to the subject of the Holocaust, as well as education of all generations, especially school children, through various lectures and workshops. The film program consists of feature, documentary and short films thematically related to Holocaust, while evening projections involve mostly films of newer Israeli production.

But, the Festival, besides the film program, offers numerous other contents. Educational mornings were launched in 2009 with the goal to introduce the tragedy of Holocaust to pupils and students and to teach them, through that prism, the value of tolerance and acceptance of diversity. Today, this educational program is organized even in cities outside Zagreb, and was, thus far, attended by more than 4000 young people. International Talent Workshop (ITW), launched in 2008, is an educational- practical workshop intended for young filmmakers from all around the world, who are taught about the secrets of film profession by the prominent Croatian and international lecturers.

Also, an exhibition is organized every year as a part of the Festival. Entrance to festival programs is free of charge for all visitors and participants. The Festival is organized by an independent non-profit organization, “Jewish Film Festival Zagreb”.

Every year, the Festival is dedicated to a certain subject, consequently, the theme of the third Jewish Film Festival was “Children – victims of the Holocaust and wars”, theme of the fourth was “Righteous among the Nations”, while theme of the fifth was “Women in Holocaust”. In accordance with the theme, we formed a film program and all the supporting facilities that followed the concept of the program.

Jewish Film Festival Zagreb was organized in Croatia for the first time in 2007. That year it lasted three days, while for next two editions it was expanded to five days. Public interest for the Festival constantly grew – first year we had 2000 visitors, in fourth edition that number grew to 7000, while in 2011 we recorded 8000 visitors and participants in program.

6th Zagreb Jewish Film Festival – FESTIVAL OF TOLERANCE

The sixth Jewish Film Festival will be held in Zagreb, in “Europa” cinema, from May 20 to May 26, 2012. The theme of the Festival is going to be “Tolerance” as it will be dedicated to the tolerance in the full sense of the word, the meaning of tolerance in terms of suffering and struggle for life and in terms of co-existence in the broadest sense. On the big screen of “Europa” cinema in Zagreb, during the seven days of the Festival, we will show more than fifty films of Croatian and foreign production in the categories of short, documentary and feature films. Most films from our program bear awards from renowned international festivals. In addition to the growth and attendance of the Festival, we believe that we will have the opportunity to host many distinguished representatives of the Seventh Art. We are also very proud of the fact that we have had the honour to host Mr. Steven Spielberg’s student at the fifth Jewish Film Festival. Apart from the film program, the Festival will be enriched by the international film workshop (very popular segment of the Festival, with numerous international participants), an educational program about the Holocaust for elementary and secondary school pupils and university students, round tables and a diverse music program, as well as the thematic exhibition.

Having such a unique festival, the City of Zagreb and the Republic of Croatia become the hosts of the only film festival in the world that focuses its activities on the education of youth, with special emphasis on the truth about the Holocaust, development of tolerance, democracy and the right of every individual to live a life.

Festival organizer

The Jewish Film Festival Zagreb Association (JFF Zagreb) is a non-profit, non-government association, established in 2008, that aims to perform all activities related to the program preparation and the organization of the Zagreb Jewish Film Festival. In addition to presenting high-quality films with Jewish subject matter, exchange of modern film achievements and cultural activities in general, the Association encourages multicultural dialogue, volunteer work and meeting of film lovers, both professionals and amateurs.

The Association is registered as legal entity at the City Office for General Administration. The Association is open to everyone and membership is voluntary. One can become a member according to Statute regulations, by signing the membership application form and paying the annual membership fee.

Who is who

(Osijek, 1932) Honorary President of the Festival
Branko Lustig is the most famous cultural ambassador of Croatia in the world and the winner of numerous awards for film production (including two Academy Awards, for the films Schindler’s List and Gladiator). For many years he has worked in Hollywood as a member of the Academy’s Commission for Oscar Nominations and Awards, and he actively participates in its work. He began his career as an assistant director at Jadran film, and participated in almost all foreign film productions in the former Republic of Yugoslavia. In the Unites States he has worked with prominent directors such as Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott and others. In June 2009, Mr Lustig received an honorary doctorate of the University of Zagreb for his outstanding contribution to film industry and worldwide promotion of Croatian film. Due to his outstanding expertise, and also his Jewish background and experiences in the most notorious Nazi concentration camps, he demonstrates a great interest and knowledge about Jewish film. He is engaged in Zagreb Jewish Film Festival as a volunteer, in the capacity of the president of the Festival.

(Zagreb, 1974) Director of the Festival
Nataša Popović graduated in design at the Faculty of Graphic Arts in Zagreb. She has actively worked in her profession for many years, but her love for film directed her to the organization of Jewish Film Festival. On the initiative and proposal of Mrs Vesna Domany Hardy in 2007, she accepted the invitation to run the first Zagreb Jewish Film Festival in collaboration with the UK Jewish Film Festival London. Since 2007, her actions have been entirely devoted to the organization and development of the film festival scene in Zagreb and beyond.

(Rijeka, 1977) Project manager
He finished elementary and secondary school in Rijeka. In Zagreb he enrolled at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, with majors in Hungarian and Philosophy, from which he graduated in 2002. In 2000 he started working at multimedia institute MAMA while having seasonal employment as a HBC tourist agency representative. He had been working for years at numerous renowned festivals (25 FPS, ZFF, HRFF, Mliječni zub) at hospitality office and as volunteer coordinator. In 2004, he passed the national exam for tourist guide for the City and County of Zagreb for Hungarian and German language. During the last few years, he had been working at marketing agencies as an account manager. In his spare time, he has regular DJ gigs (as DJ Itch).

(Split, 1969) Project manager of Talent Workshop.
After completing primary and secondary school in Split he comes to Zagreb to study film and TV editing at the Academy of Dramatic Arts. Until now, he edited 6 feature films and dozens of short documentaries and experimental films. For 15 years he has been active in the Theater Club Zagreb as a lecturer on film workshops and mentor to young filmmakers. He maintains numerous film workshops usually organized by the Croatian Film Association and the Agency for education. He held over a hundred film workshops until today. Since 2010 he has been actively involved in organizing the International Talent Workshops and becomes a project manager.

(Zagreb, 1982) Educational program coordinator
After finishing the high school, he continues his education at the Faculty of Political Science, the study of political science, from which he graduated in 2006. He begins his career in nonprofit organization GONG. In 2009 and 2010 he worked as a journalist for Poslovni dnevnik, and in April 2011 he joins the Jewish Film Festival Zagreb Association as Educational program coordinator. Thus far, he has successfully organized two Educational mornings during the 5th Zagreb Jewish Film Festival and three Educational mornings during the tour in September 2011 (Čakovec, Osijek, Vukovar).