The film All Against All by Luuk Bouwman, questioning whether fascism was a one-off historical phenomenon on the example of pre-war fascism in The Netherlands, and the panel Genesis of Evil focusing on the issues of fascism and racism the entire world is facing closed the 14th Festival of Tolerance at Bundek lake in Zagreb in its first open-air edition. This was one of the eleven exceptional films screened at the festival, which primarily focus on the endorsement of human rights and a care for a tolerant, progressive and solidary society.

“The open-air edition of the Festival of Tolerance was indeed ground-breaking in terms of weather – we had sun, rain, wind and lightning. Nevertheless, very good attendance and positive impressions of the audience showed us that we made a good decision with leaving the movie theatres in this Corona virus period. Bundek is a great still underused venue in Zagreb and my guess is that many might follow this idea. My thanks goes to all those who helped the first open-air Festival of Tolerance take place in these demanding conditions. A good team and amazing enthusiasm and effort on the part of both the organisers and the partners, especially the City of Zagreb, Croatian Audiovisual Centre, Orbic and Atlantic Group, resulted in a brilliant festival,” said Nataša Popović, the managing director of the Festival of Tolerance.

The festival guest, the Hungarian director László Illés presented his award-winning film The Shepherd, focusing on the Holocaust, and director Ognjen Sviličić spoke about the collaboration with a fellow filmmaker from Slovenia Damjan Kozole on the film Half-Sister, a story about a complex relationship between two half-sisters from the coastal town of Izola. Next to the Genesis of Evil, this year’s film-related Tolerance Talk opened another important social issue on the rights of women who suffered abuse. Unfortunately, the intriguing and award-winning film Incitement by Yaron Zilberman could not have its Croatian premiere due to bad weather at the open-air edition of the 14th Festival of Tolerance. The film will get a new date and a new venue.

“At Bundek we managed to organise around 20 per cent of what was planned for this year and I believe we introduced ourselves well to a new audience. We screened films which are both socially and artistically highly relevant, all Croatian premieres and for that reason I am particularly pleased by great attendance. We made no calculations, we stayed true to ourselves and it paid off. We can be proud of our efforts and the achieved results,” said Hrvoje Pukšec, film programme coordinator at the Festival of Tolerance.

Two brilliant exhibitions were also on display during the festival. In association with famous Croatian designers and UNHCR Croatia, public transportation in Dubrovnik, Osijek, Split, Zadar and Zagreb hosted ReD – an exhibition of custom-designed posters addressing the position of refugees in the world and Croatia. The exhibition Cross of Reconciliation by the engaged multimedia avant-garde artist Vera Fischer also conveyed the messages of reconciliation and tolerance.

Biom, Prava šapa, Inicijativa mladih za ljudska prava (YIHR), Zajednički put foundation and Domino are the associations that presented their work and programmes during the festival. And as the festival is known for is outstanding music line-up, this year the audience danced to the music of Porto Morto DJ Set, DJ Felver, DJ Alen S., The Bonebomb, SoulBeat, Nepenthe, Domaćigosti Chorus, Dora Škender and Juraj Krešo Lovrić.

The educational part of the 14th Festival of Tolerance is scheduled to take place in October and November and it will follow in the footsteps of Branko Lustig. The traditional Educational Matinees will focus on the importance of keeping the memories of the Holocaust alive thanks to survivors’ testimonies and lectures by international experts from France, Germany and Austria. Autumn also brings the Film and Discussion programme, which aims to creatively teach children about the issues refugees encounter during integration into the society and the importance of accepting differences.


Photographs by: Buga Cvjetanović and Luka Pešun

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