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Re-energized Pula Film Festival Adds Sections, Beefs Up Industry Component

MUNICH – Chris Miller and Phil Lord’s “22 Jump Street,” Jon Favreau’s “Chef” and Mike Cahill’s “I Origins” play out of competition as part of the Intl. Program at Croatia’s 61st Pula Film
Festival, whose lineup was unveiled Wednesday in Zagreb.

Among competish titles are Jessica Hausner’s “Amour Fou,” Tudor Cristian Jurgiu’s “Japanese Dog,” Ken Loach’s “Jimmy’s Hall,” Xavier Dolan’s “Tom at the Farm,” Anthony Chen’s “Ilo Ilo,” Ralph Fiennes’ “The Invisible Woman” and “Bridges of Sarajevo,” which has multiple directors.

The Intl. Program jury comprises Icelandic director-producer Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, who is the subject of a retrospective, director Stanislav Tomic, and Variety journalist Leo Barraclough.

The Croatian program includes Darko Lungulov’s “Monument to Michael Jackson,” Branko Istvancic’s “The Bridge at the End of the World,” Darko Suvak’s “Happy Endings,” Filip Peruzovic’s “Walk the Dog,” and Peter Kerekes, Pavol Pekarcik and Ivan Ostrochovsky’s “Velvet Terrorists.”

The Croatian program was selected by the artistic board, comprising Hrvoje Puksec, Mike Downey and Tanja Milicic.

Other fest sections include Pulica, the children’s program, and Dizalica, aimed at cinephiles ages 16 to 21.

In addition, the Pula Pro Industry section includes master classes from Charles Macdonald on festival PR and positioning; John Durie of Strategic Film Marketing on marketing and distribution strategies; film sound expert Ray Gillon of G-Minor; and Nik Powell of the U.K.’s National Film and Television School.

The fest has introduced a number of changes and innovations since the artistic team of Downey, Puksec and Milicic took over in April.

For the first year, the fest is collaborating with the European Film Academy for their short program – and this will be presented by deputy chairmen of the academy, Antonio Saura and Downey. This will be the first of an increased collaboration with the academy.

Director Rajko Grlic will be the guest selector of the new Pula Cinematheque, which looks at films that played at the festival in 1965.

Guests at the fest include Roger Michell (“Notting Hill,” “Le Week-End”), Savage Films’ Conor Barry, Loic Magneron (Wide), Hungarian director Gyorgi Palfi, helmer Cahill, “Alienation” director Milko Lazarov and Giurgiu, producer of “Japanese Dog.”

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