First Festival of Tolerance Montenegro

1st Festival of tolerance Cetinje

(1 to 3 November 2014)

The idea of organizing a festival of tolerance in Montenegro started in 2013 during the visit of the festivals president Branko Lustig and festivals director Nataša Popović to Budva, Podgorica and Cetinje, and, after the intensification of contacts with the Ministry of Culture of Montenegro, at the beginning of 2014. The cooperation was agreed on this project. As the location of the Festival selected Cetinje, the seat of the Ministry of Culture, the capital and one of the main cultural centers in the country. Time Montenegro became the fifth country in which the organized program of the Festival of Tolerance.

Festival of Tolerance Cetinje consisted of a film program, that was held in the Royal theater “Zetski dom”, the oldest theater institution in Montenegro, and Educational Mornings, realized in the Ministry of Culture.


Press conference

The conference that announced the Festival was held on 31. October in the multimedia hall of Ministry of Culture. Dragica Milić, assistant to the Minister of Culture, Nataša Popović i Branko Lustig addressed the media. Mrs.Milić expressed her satisfaction that after Rijeka, Beograd, Sarajevo and Vienna the Festival is presented in Cetinje, while keeping in mind the cultural and historical significance of the fundamental human values that are in Cetinjes heritage. At the conference, for the first time abroad, a  Festivals promotional film titled “Why Festival of Tolerance” was shown, with which the need for these kind of manifestations was explained.


Film Program

The Festival of Tolerance has introduced itself to the Montenegro audience with 11 films, 4 of which were feature, 3 documentary and 4 shorts. In the selection process, special attention was given that all forms (there were 2 animated films screened as well), local and international production (two Croatian films: “Games” and “Some things shouldn’t be hidden” and a Slovenian film by a Croatian director “What we do”), awarded films (presented were films “Saving face” and “Lady in number 6” that won Oscars in 2012 and 2014 respectively) and to achieve a combination of highest rated films from the previous Festivals of Tolerance Zagreb and new films that the Association has not shown before. As such, two films have found themselves on the program that the audience in Zagreb will see in 2015: “Colette”, one of the most authentic film representations of Auschwitz, made after a novel by renowned Arnošt Lustig, who was imprisoned in the concentration camps himself, and “In search of a magician”, one of the 10 currently most popular films from Israeli production, which is made more interesting because the role of the Holocaust survivor is played by the Arab actor Makram Khoury, who won the Israeli film academy for it. The Association also claims rights for regional distribution for the film “In search of a magician” and is soon starting with its launch to cinemas throughout the region.


The Festival opened with “Sarah’s key”,  a film that won the audience award at Festival of Tolerance Zagreb 2012 and was just as well received in Cetine.

All visitors of the film program and Educational Mornings at editions of Festival of Tolerance were given ballots for grading the quality of the program. In total 306 visitor attended the film screenings in Zetski dom and have awarded high grades to all the films, with “Saving face” winning a flawless 5.0 and “Sarah’s key” only slightly behind with 4.92.


Educational Morning

Educational morning for the Cetinje youth was held on 3rd of November in the multimedia hall of the Ministry of culture. 150 students from 2 primary schools and 3 high-schools attended the program. The program consisted of screening of feature film “The boy in the striped pyjamas”, after a novel by the same name, of a boy Bruno, son of a concentration camp commander, who’s forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy from the other side of the camps fence will have unexpected consequences, followed by a lecture by Branko Lustig. Adding to the film, Lustig told the young about the inhuman conditions that the prisoners in the camps face, pointing out a few episodes that especially stayed in his memory. He gave them recommendations for other exceptional films that cover this subject and finished the lecture with a message that accepting differences is a key to a happy and quality coexistence and progress in todays society. The students followed the one hour lecture with interest and had an excellent reaction to the film which they graded with the average of 4.89.


About the partner

The Ministry of Culture as the competent authority of the Government of the Republic of Montenegro performs administrative functions relating to the development and improvement of culture and artistic creativity; securing the material basis for cultural activities; monitoring research in the field of culture; literature and translation, music and theater production; art and design; film making and creativity in areas of other audio-visual media; museum activities; protection of cultural assets and cultural heritage, upkeep and maintenance of monuments, memorials and administrative control in the areas covered by the Ministry of Culture. The Ministry of Culture of Montenegro first collaborated with the Association during the lecture of Branko Lustig in 2013 in Cetinje on the topic of Zagreb - Hollywood. Cooperation has expanded to the organization of the Festival of Tolerance.

The Ministry of Culture provided space, logistical and technical support for the implementation of the program, arrival, departure and internal transfers of members of the Association, accommodation, posters and flyer print, photo services, recording, press-clipping and a grand cocktail, and sent invitations to the schools to participate in Educational  Mornings program, as well as to guests for the grand opening of the Festival.

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