First Look at 15th 25 FPS Festival Competition Programme

The 15th, semi-anniversary, edition of the festival of independent and non-commercial films which innovatively explore the possibilities of cinematic language and narrative, 25 FPS, is scheduled to take place 26 to 29 September in Zagreb at the premises of the Student Centre, after which a part of its programme will visit Rijeka (1 and 2 October, Art Cinema Croatia) and Ljubljana (4 October, Slovenian Cinematheque). In addition to the competition, the 25 FPS Festival screens sections specially curated by Jury members, expanded cinema performances, and a selection from the latest production of innovative Croatian films in the Reflexes section.

Croatian Filmmakers Focus on Shipbuilding Workers, Agrokor Corporation Crisis and Tourism

The festival programmers Mario Kozina, Marina Kožul and Branka Valjin have selected 23 films for the competition, including three new titles by Croatian filmmakers. In his latest film Vacant Hours the winner of the Green DCP Award at the 2017 edition of the festival, Mate Ugrin, continues to chart the coordinates of longing and loneliness, this time delving into the intimacy of hired workers at a Croatian shipyard, spending their moments of relaxation and leisure in a singles’ hotel in the Adriatic. Silvestar Kolbas’s The Tower focuses on the vertigo caused by the crisis of the Agrokor corporation, making the late socialist architecture classic a symbol of success and failure of Croatian economy. Socialist heritage is also in the focus of Renata Poljak’s new film Yet Another Departure, in which the author focused on the transformation of modernist ideas into a tourist sight, on the example of the former Yugoslav navy admiral ship Vis, which sank near Brioni and became a diving attraction.

Virtual Lives, Fluid Identities and Socially Engaged Topics Dominate Competition

Socially engaged topics are in the focus of many other titles in the 25 FPS competition. The Italian multimedia artist collective Flatform in their work That Which Is to Come Is Just a Promise take us to the pre-Apocalyptic landscapes of an island in Tuvalu archipelago, sinking for years due to rising sea levels. Austrian filmmaker Albert Sackl examines the motif of work in a very particular way in his provocative title stiffness 1-3/7, taking his own manhood as artistic material.

Virtually upgraded physical reality is a recurring motif among the entries and the selected titles in terms of procedures and motifs. Next to the already mentioned Vacant Hours, the works by Ismaël Joffroy Chandoutis Swatted and Lucas Azémar Life on Earth, two intriguing hybrids that combine different genres to talk about blurring boundaries between our online and offline identities.

Fluid identities – gender, ethnic, national and historical – is another topic haunting a series of entries, including Two Sisters Who Are Not Sisters by British filmmaker Beatrice Gibson, based on the motifs of Gertrude Stein’s screenplay of the same name.

New Works by Previous 25 FPS Award Winners

The alumni include new works by the last year’s winner, Australian filmmaker Pia Borg (Silica – Grand Prix 2018), who is focusing on the analysis of the media hysteria in her latest film Demonic, caused by the so-called ‘Satanist panic’ that shook the American society in the late ‘70s. Past Perfect by Portuguese author Jorge Jácome (Flores – Grand Prix 2017), a dark poetic meditation about nostalgia as a personal and political phenomenon, and Ceuta’s Gate, a fascinatingly choreographed re-enactment of people’s migrations and smuggling goods at the gate to Europe, is another confirmation of French-Moroccan author Randa Maroufi (The Park, 2015) as a stunning visual stylist.

American author Deborah Stratman, a 2016 festival jury member, is presenting her new film Vever (for Barbara), based on an abandoned joint film project by the great masters of cinema Maya Deren and Barbara Hammer, who passed away this year.

STILLS: Swatted, That Which Is to Come Is Just a Promise, Yet Another Departure, Vacant Hours, Demonic