Packed House at the Opening of the 17 th Festival of Tolerance

Packed House at the Opening of the 17 th Festival of Tolerance

17th Festival of Tolerance

The 17th Festival of Tolerance opened last night at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb, drawing a capacity crowd. The opening ceremony witnessed the presence of eminent personalities, including ambassadors, city officials, representatives from public institutions, Homeland War veterans and the VeDRA Anti-fascist Association. Also in attendance were representatives from foreign cultural institutes, festival partners, directors, actors, media representatives and ardent film enthusiasts. The festival was opened by Deputy Mayor Luka Korlaet.

At the very beginning of the opening ceremony, the audience was welcomed by Nataša Popović, the director of the Festival of Tolerance: “The entire team behind the Festival of Tolerance has diligently worked over the past year to curate its 17th edition, which we proudly present to you over the next six days. Guided by our core values, we acknowledge the perpetual need for philanthropy and compassion. Through this festival, we would like to convey the message of “Open Up!” Open up to yourself, to your neighbour, to the other and different, which is the backbone of the entire film line-up of 40 top-notch titles.

I am especially grateful to Snježana Tribuson and Boško Picula, who curated a program to remember in cooperation with Dina Pokrajac. Each film will touch your heart and provide room for introspection, discussion and contribute to the understanding of a moment in history in which we are not merely passive observers, but active catalysts for change, "said Popović, thanking in particular the devoted audience of the Festival of Tolerance. "Each of you plays a vital role in the foundations of this special festival. Your reactions have been a constant source of inspiration, fuelling our boundless creativity and determination to persevere."

Nataša also announced the next edition of the Festival of Tolerance in Zadar coming September. “With a fresh venue, a new city and a whole new set of individuals, we expect a wave of inspiration and support. May this week be filled with peace and an abundance of empathy, if not in the world, then at least in the Museum of Contemporary Art and the DokuKino KiC cinema, our esteemed hosts for the next six days’, said the director of the Festival in conclusion.

The floor was next taken by Boško Picula, one of the Festival curators, pointing out that “by their very nature, festivals are events that celebrate an occasion or commemorate something unique.”

“For a staggering seventeen years in a row, the Festival of Tolerance has diligently fulfilled this purpose, paying homage to an indispensable facet of every civilization and the very essence of human nature: tolerance. It is a way of life that embraces diversity and fosters prosperity, while ensuring collective growth and enlightenment for all. However, the cultivation of tolerance is an ongoing process that spans across lifetimes and transcends countless generations. Even in the year 2024, when mankind may reach the zenith of technological advancement, the imperative to teach, experience, and promote tolerance remains resolute.”

There is no humanity without tolerance. The films selected for this year’s film festival talk about this in a very diverse way in terms of theme, style and approach: feature-length and short-length feature films, documentaries and animations, from all over the world, acclaimed by prestigious awards and ratings from both audiences and critics. Some of them competed or are competing for the Academy Award and the European Film Award. Some have gained recognition in Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Sundance, Toronto and Annecy.

We will be able to see the Croatian premieres of those films, and some will be first-class surprises in their view of tolerance and the daily struggle for it. We have just received the news that two films from our program have been nominated for this year’s Academy Award. May this year’s Festival of Tolerance serve as a beacon of hope in the ongoing struggle for acceptance and inclusivity. Let the films we showcase not only entertain and enlighten but also inspire real change in the world beyond the silver screen,” said Picula.

“Boško and I have watched a fair amount of recent and award-winning films from around the world, and the Festival will feature forty films that we consider to be the best. Since the topic of the Festival is tolerance, all the selected films promote tolerance, humanity and values that we would like to emphasize and support.

The films we have selected are very impressive and engage us emotionally, evoking empathy for their heroes and protagonists. We shall embark on a cinematic journey exploring the intricate dynamics between parents and children, the harrowing reality of peer violence, the struggles faced by immigrants, the quest for women’s rights, the pursuit of human rights, the futility of war, the haunting legacy of the Holocaust, and a collection of children’s films that delicately tackle similar topics in a child-friendly way,” said Tribuson.

Rada Borić, the delegate on behalf of the President of the Zagreb City Council, firmly believes that the Festival in Zadar will triumphantly carry on its mission of effecting social change.

“The fragility of our tolerance necessitates constant reminders, and films like these not only serve as cautionary tales but also instill in us a glimmer of hope for a brighter future, once we learn how to live with others and for others,” said Borić.

The festival was opened by Deputy Mayor Luka Korlaet, who warmly welcomed all in attendance. He extended his heartfelt congratulations to the organizers and wished them success in their new location, Zadar.

“I am convinced that within the carefully curated selection of forty titles, every individual will discover films that resonate deeply, leaving an indelible impression on the hearts and minds of viewers. In addition to an intriguing film program, the Festival offers a rich tapestry of events that sensitize us to the problems and difficulties of minority groups”, said Korlaet.

This year’s festival edition was opened by the films The Red Suitcase, a short feature film by director Cyrus Neshvad, an Academy Award nominee in 2023, and A Thousand and One, a feature film by director A.V. Rockwell, the Grand Jury Prize winner at the Sundance Film Festival in 2023.

To conclude the evening, the post-screening celebration was skillfully curated by the talented DJ Ivan Oberan.

Objavljeno: January 25th, 2024