17th Annual Motovun Film Festival

Held in the small Croatian village of Motovun, the Motovun Film Festival has announced the lineup for its 17th annual celebration. This year’s outing aims to return to the event’s activist roots.

“This year we have gone for films and sidebars which are not only entertaining but also socially engaged and many with a strong human rights element,” said festival president Mike Downey. “Film can be an agent for change – and so can a film festival, and this is the route we have taken this year.”

The main program will consist of 21 films selected by Mike Downey, Igor Mirkovic, and journalists Jurica Pavičić, Milena Zajović and Inja Korać. Their picks aim to celebrate commitment in film making, with a mix of major festival hits and smaller independent pictures.

Included in the lineup are several festival selections that have already gained traction, including “Frank,” “Ida,” “Boyhood” and “All Is Lost.” Three films chosen, “The Police Officer’s Wife,” “Stratos” and “The Tribe,” are over three hours in length. Two countries, Venezuela and Cyprus, will also be represented at the festival for the first time.

In addition to regular shorts and documentary program, this year’s Motovun Film Festival will feature a special “Jury in Exile,” consisting of jury members who either live in exile, are under house arrest, or are otherwise unable to attend the event. This includes Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian man currently held in Russian prison on charges of terrorism by the Russian FSB.

New-partner country Turkey will be featured in an eight film selection by filmmaker Yesim Ustaoglu. This year’s Maverick Award winner, Russian director Andrei Zvyagintsev, will guest host viewings of three of his films. The 50 Years Award, given to an individual with at least half a century of film work, will go to composer Arsen Dedić.

The 17th annual Motovun Film Festival will be held from July 26 through July 30.

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