The Festival screenings averaged 5000-5500 viewers with a total of 50,000 people.The first ever film to be screened in the Arena was the Italian Tri Intimne Priče (Three Intimate Stories), followed by the American film Great Caruso, the Japanese Rashomon, the French film We are all killers, the American film Operation Cicero, the Italian film Love and poisons and the American film Underwater heroes and Captain Horatio. Due to the great success of the event, the screenings were continued for two more days when they screened the Slovenian film Life in Kajžar and, on the last evening, nine short animated films.
The Festival was attended by a total of 37 000 viewers and broke a federal record when, for the first time, 10,000 people attended a film screening.The Festival Jury (except film critics) is not created yet; the vote is given by the audience only. The largest number of votes (818) was given to the film Vesna by František Čap. The first Yugoslavian featured film directed by a woman was screened, Sumnjivo lice (A Suspicious Character) directed by Soja Jovanovic, but also the first documentary film in colour, Okroglica (Our Documents) by Milan Kumar. An initiative to move the Festival to Dubrovnik the following 1955 was launched.
The Festival was attended by a total of 107,000 viewers.For the first time the Festival Jury was formed and the regulations written. According to the regulations, the organisers were the City of Pula and the Journal on Wednesday, it was also decided that the Festival would permanently stay in Pula. For the first time the sponsor was the President of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito, who attended the closing and the award ceremony. During the final evening, the film Three coins in the fountain, and the next day the film Bad Day at Black Rock were the first two films ever shown in cinemascope technique in Yugoslavia. The screen was twenty metres wide. Preceding these, the first animated film in colour Crvenkapica (Little Red Riding Hood) by Nikola Kostelac was screened. The Golden Arena Medal was awarded to the film Trenuci Odluke (Moments of Decision) by František Čap.
The Festival was attended by a total of 130,000 viewers with a peak of 12,000 at the opening for the screenings of the film Ne okreći se sine (Don't turn around son) and Dolina mira (The Valley of Peace).The Jury decided that no female role was worthy of the award so two main and two supporting male roles were awarded. Foreign films screened in the Arena were not subtitled but simultaneously translated by microphone. Ne okreći se sine (Don't turn around son) by Branko Bauer was the first film that used domestic film produced by Zagreb Photochemical in the production process. The award for best film was not assigned in any form.
85 local journalists and about 1000 film guests from the region and abroad attended the Festival. The presence of the composer and honoured guest Ivo Tijardovic was specially followed.During the Festival, the first issue of one of the most influential film magazine in Yugoslavia – Filmska Kultura was issued. From 1957 to 1960 The Festival Jury ranks the three best Festival films without assigning official awards. The three best films in 1957 were: Pop Ćira i pop Spira (Priests Cira and Spira) by Soja Jovanovic, Svoga tela gospodar (Master of His Own Body) by Fedor Hanzekovic and Subotom uveče (Saturday Night) by Vladimir Pogacic.
The opening of the Festival was attended by 14,000 people.The lack of foreign films led to the inclusion of amateur films produced in the cinema clubs across the country. The best three films in 1958 were: H-8 by Nikola Tanhofer, Cesta duga godinu dana (The Road a Year Long) by Giuseppe de Santis and Kroz granje nebo (SS Strike at Dawn) by Stole Jankovic. With no explanation, the award for Best Actress was not assigned.
The Festival is followed by about fifty local journalists and critics, hundreds of film professionals and many guests from nineteen countries. Guest of the Festival was the eighty year old Milton Manaki, a cinema pioneer in the Balkans.The Festival marked the anniversary of the Ilinden Uprising with the screening of Mis Ston (Miss Stone) - the first feature film shot in Yugoslavia in colour and cinemascope. The three best films in 1959 were: Vlak bez voznog reda (Train Without a Timetable) by Veljko Bulajić; Tri cetvrtine sonca (Three Quarters of a Sun) by Joze Babic and Pet minuta raja (Five Minutes of Paradise) by Igor Pretnar.
The Festival opening was at risk due to torrential rain, the Arena was literally flooded. Two special guests were the Russian Director Ljev Kulidžanov and the French film historian and critic Georges Sadoul.It was agreed that the Golden Arena award would be assigned for Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay as well as Best Male and Best Female lead roles. This year insurance cover for accidents during the Festival was introduced. The three best films in 1959 were: Deveti Krug (The Ninth Circle) by Franc Stiglic; Rat (Atomic War Bride) by Veljko Bulajic and Tri Ane (Three Girls Named Anna) by Branko Bauer.
Between 1961 and 1968 the Great Golden Arena was awarded to the Best Film along with another prize called Great Silver Arena and third prize called Silver Arena.The selection of fiction films is introduced, both for the competition and the informative programmes. The members of the Ljubljana Cinema Club 61 decided to award the worst film with a "cokula", a local wooden clog. The main prize was awarded equally to the film Balada o trombeti in oblaku (Ballad About a Trumpet and a Cloud) by Franc Stiglic and Uzavreli grad (Boom Town) by Veljko Bulajić. The Great Silver Arena was awarded to Veselica (The Party) by Joze Babic and the Silver Arena to the film Pesma (The Poem) by Rados Novakovic.
The Festival screenings were seen by around 40,000 viewers and were followed by 107 local and foreign journalists and thirty guests.On the 30th of July the hundredth screening of local film Družinski dnevnik (Family Diary) by Jože Gale was projected. The Great Golden Arena award was received by the film Kozara by Veljko Bulajic. The Great Silver Arena went to the film Saša by Radenko Ostojic while the Silver Arena to the film Prekobrojna by Branko Bauer.
The screenings were followed by journalists of 65 local editing companies and guests from the Netherlands, Germany, France, England, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Poland, Hungary, Russia, Cuba, Iran, Czechoslovakia, Italy ...The Festival has been postponed for two days because of the disastrous earthquake in Skopje with the declaration of a public day of mourning, and was opened without fireworks. The Great Golden Arena went to the film Licem u lice (Face to Face) by Branko Bauer. The Great Silver Arena went to the film Radopolje by Stole Jankovic while the Silver Arena to the film Samorastniki (Wild Growth) by Igor Pretnar.
All the numbered and standing places in the Arena (around 7500) were sold out ten days preceding the Festival.The Festival Bulletin was translated into Russian, English and German, and the films were simultaneously translated in Russian, English, German, French and Czech. The Great Golden Arena went to the film Službeni položaj (Official Position) by Fadil Hadzic. The Great Silver Arena went to the film Marš na Drinu (March on the Drina) by Zivorad (Zika) Mitrovic while the Silver Arena to the film Ne joči Peter (Don't Cry Peter) by Franc Stiglic.
Eight days before the beginning of the Festival, all the tickets for the Arena were sold out. The Festival was attended by 89 local and 56 foreign journalists and film critics.In Pula's cinema Beograd, the American film Bambi and the Soviet film Happy days synchronized to Croatian-Serbian, was screened as an introduction to a dispute about synchronizing foreign films. The Great Golden Arena was awarded equally to the film Prometej s otoka Viševice (Prometheus of the Viševica Island) by Vatroslav Mimica and Tri (Three) by Aleksandar Petrovic. The Great Silver Arena was not assigned and the Silver Arena went to the film Doći i ostati (To Arrive and to Stay) by Branko Bauer.
Festival de Cannes Director Mr Favre le Bret attends Pula Film Festival as honoured guest. The Festival is over shadowed by the conflict between Jadran Film's General Director, Ivo Vrhovac and the Director of the Yugoslavian Film Archive and member of the Jury Vladimir Pogacic. The latter stated that all films awarded in Pula get bad reviews at international festivals in the world.A football match between the team Yugoslavia film and guests from the socialist countries was performed in the woods of Šijana, in Pula. The Great Gold Arena went to Ponedjeljak ili utorak (Monday or Tuesday) by Vatroslav Mimica. The Great Silver Arena was equally shared between the film Štićenik (The Climber) by Vladan Slijepcevic and Rondo by Zvonimir Berkovic while the Silver Arena went to the film San (The Dream) by Purisa Djordjevic.
The Jelen Award was assigned by an audience jury composed of several representatives instead of the votes of the whole audience.The editor of the magazine Film Culture, P. Adams Sitney from New York, presented 47 American avant-garde films in two projections. The Great Golden Arena went to the film Skupljači perja (I Even Met Happy Gypsies) by Aleksandar Petrović. The Great Silver Arena went to the film Jutro (The Morning) by Purisa Djordjevic while the Silver Arena was equally shared by the films Breza (The Birch Tree) by Ante Babaja and Na papirnatih avionih (Paper Planes) by Matjaz Klopčič.
The Festival was followed by foreign journalists, critics, film professionals and guests as: Guido Aristarco, Mino Argentieri, Peter Cowie, Pavel Branko, Michel Ciment, Gyorgy Fenyves, Miloš Fiala, Gordon Hitchens, Antonin Liehm, Gene Moskowitz, Henrich Zielinsky ...The Festival's opening ceremony was directed by Anton Marty and a new Festival promo was animated by Dušan Vukotić. The Film Institute from Belgrade proposes the introduction of the Winner Award based on the American Academy Awards, under the motto “Film professionals select the best film creations.” The Great Golden Arena was won by the film Kad budem mrtav i beo (When I Am Pale and Dead) by Živojin Pavlović. The Great Silver Arena went to the film Podne (Noon) by Purisa Djordjevic while the Silver Arena went to the film Imam dvije mame i dva tate (I Have Two Mothers and Two Fathers) by Krešo Golik.
Screenings were followed by approximately 120 local journalists and film critics.The Jury for the Worse Festival Film Award was created. From 1969 to 1980 the third prize was named Great Bronze Arena. Fadil Hadzic writes in the first bulletin: "The Yugoslavian Film Festival opens in a week which will remain written in the textbooks of future generations as a historical date of the first human contact of our planet with another planet of the solar system, the Moon". The Great Golden Arena was awarded to the film Nizvodno od sunca (Downstream From the Sun) by Fedor Skubonja. The Great Silver Arena went to the film Događaj (An Event) by Vatroslav Mimica and the Great Bronze Arena to the film Biće skoro propast sveta (It Rains in My Village) by Aleksandar Petrović.
The Festival is followed by approximately 220 local journalists and critics, 46 foreign journalists and approximately 150 foreign guests.Pula City Council decided to introduce a new award, The Golden Gate of Pula for Best Director. The film Bitka na Neretvi (The Battle of Neretva) directed by Veljko Bulajic opens the Festival in the presence of President Josip Broz Tito and his guest Sophia Loren, but does not participate in the competition. The Great Golden Arena was awarded to the film Lisice (Handcuffs) by Krsto Papic. The Great Silver Arena went to the film Biciklisti (The Cyclists) by Purisa Djordjevic while the Great Bronze Arena to the film Bube u glavi (This Crazy World of Ours) by Miloš Radivojević.
Great dissatisfaction was caused by the re-introduction of the films from the informative section into the competition.On the 2nd of August, President Josip Broz Tito, accompanied by Richard Burton and his wife Elizabeth Taylor arrive to attend the Festival. Vatroslav Mimica donated his salary as a member of the Jury for the constructing of the Ucka Tunnel, as did the Festival Director Peter Volk and the Festival Institution members. The Great Golden Arena was awarded to the film Rdeče klasje (Red Wheat) by Živojin Pavlović. The Great Silver Arena went to the film U gori raste zelenbor (The Pine Tree in the Mountain) by Antun Vrdoljak and the Great Bronze Arena to the film Opklada (The Bet) by Zdravko Randić.
The Polish Director Jirzy Kawalerowicz is a guest of the Festival. The Festival is followed by more than two hundred local journalists and critics.Max Factor, one of the main Festival sponsors, held an exhibition. Two films marked the beginning of a new sort: the film Teher, the first Yugoslavian film in Hungarian and the film Si t? vdiset (How to Die) which marked the beginning of the Kosovo cinematography. The Great Golden Arena was awarded to the film Majstor i Margarita (The master and Margaret) by Aleksandar Petrović. The Great Silver Arena went to the film Vuk Samotnjak (Lone Wolf) by Obrad Gluščevic and the Great Bronze Arena to the film Si te vdiset (How to Die) by Miomir Stamenković.
31,722 tickets were sold. The decision was made that the host city of Pula would become the organiser of the Festival of the Yugoslavian Fiction film.All films were simultaneously translated into English, German and Russian and viewers could listen on headphones. Ceremony dedicated to the work of France Stiglitz. The Great Golden Arena was awarded to the film Sutjeska (The Battle of Sutjeska) by Stipe Delić. The Great Silver Arena went to the film Bombaši (Bombers) by Predrag Golubovic and the Great Bronze Arena to the film Živjeti od ljubavi (To Live on Love) by Krešo Golik.
Ranko Munitic called this year's Festival the worst in history. The tension and excitement around the awards and winners was absent following indiscretion leading to the names of winners being leaked out.The Ceremony was dedicated to Žika Ristić. Rajko’s Grlic film Kud puklo da puklo (If It Kills Me) was booed in the Arena during the screening. The Great Golden Arena was awarded to the film Uzicka Republika (Guns Of War) by Živorad Mitrović. The Great Silver Arena went to the film Derviš i smrt (The Dervish and Death) by Zdravko Velimirovic and the Great Bronze Arena to the film Crveni udar (Red Strike) by Predrag Golubović.
The management and the headquarters of the Festival are moved completely to Pula.Nedeljko Dragic creates the new Festival’s opening trailer. Press conferences are held by Saša Zelepugin. During a press conference, the Festival’s jury was strongly criticised for not including certain films into the competition. The first edition of the Zagreb Film magazine was presented. The Great Golden Arena was awarded to the film Kuća (The House) by Bogdana Žižić. The Great Silver Arena went to the film Zimovanje u Jakobsfeldu (Wintering in Jakobsfeld) by Branko Bauer and the Great Bronze Arena to the film Povest o dobrih ljudeh (Story of Good People) by Franc Štiglić.
The first number of the film magazine Filmograf was presented and the tenth anniversary of the publication of Sarajevo Sineast was celebrated.As a guest of Jadran Film, Pula was visited by the American Director Sam Peckinpah and the actor James Coburn, who were shooting the film The cross of iron in Istria. At a press conference Sam Peckinpah stated that he cried three times during the screening of the film Vlak u snijegu (Train in the Snow), "twice because of the stories in the film, and the third time due to bad visual effects". The Great Golden Arena was awarded to the film Idealist by Igor Pretnar. The Great Silver Arena went to the film Najdolgiot pat (The Longest Journey) by Branko Gapo and the Great Bronze Arena to the film Seljačka buna (Revolt) by Vatroslav Mimica.
The Jelen Audience Award was assigned by all viewers through their tickets. Rain regularly disrupted the screenings and voting.The Popular show Radio Jadran broadcasted every day a special Festival chronicle. Jasmina Nikic was the presenter of the programme in the Arena. The Great Golden Arena was awarded to the film Ne naginji se van (Don’t Lean Out the Window) by Bogdan Žižić. The Great Silver Arena went to the film Akcija Stadion (Operation Stadium) by Dušan Vukotic and the Great Bronze Arena to the film Ljubavni život Budimira Trajkovića (Beloved Love) by Dejan Karaklaić.
49,173 spectators, 305 domestic journalists and critics and hundreds of foreign tourists and journalists, followed the Festival.In a retrospective programme, 28 films were shown with a total of 803 viewers, an average of 28 cinephiles per film. The Great Golden Arena was awarded to the film Okupacija od 26 slika (Occupation in 26 Pictures) by Lordan Zafranović. The Great Silver Arena went to the film Bravo maestro by Rajko Grlicand the Great Bronze Arena to the film Pas koji je volio vozove (The Dog Who Loved Trains) by Goran Paskaljević.
The screenings in the Arena were followed by 47,790 viewers. A total of 98 foreign guests were invited but only 43 attended. There were 282 local journalists and 30 photographers from 133 different editors.Strong dissatisfaction was caused by the changes in the selection of the nominated films. The new regulation stated that the Jury selects in advance the films that are eligible to compete for the first three production awards, the Great Golden, Silver and Bronze Arenas. All the other films can be awarded in the remaining categories. The Great Golden Arena was awarded to the film Trofej (Trophy) by Karolj Viček. The Great Silver Arena went to the film Usijanje (Heat) by Boro Draškovic and the Grand Bronze Arena to the film Zemaljski dani teku (These Earthly Days Go Rolling By) by Goran Paskaljević.
35,740 were the viewers in the Arena, 2,118 in cinema Belgrade, while 4,100 in the Festival Centre. The events were followed by forty foreign guests and 234 accredited local journalists.During the Festival, Vjekoslav Afric, director of the first post-war Yugoslavian film Slavica, died in Belgrade. In the Arena a minute of silence was observed as a tribute to him. To the great dissatisfaction of the professionals, the number of awards was reduced. The Great Golden Arena was awarded to the film Petrijin venac (Petria's Wreath) by Srđan Karanović. The Great Silver Arena went to the film Tajna Nikole Tesle (The Secret of Nicola Tesla) by Krsto Papić and the Great Bronze Arena to the film Ko to tamo peva (Who's That Singing Over There) by Slobodan Šijan.
The Festival programme was followed by 64,177 viewers. There were 246 accredited local journalists from 129 editors and 59 foreign guests.The number of awards was reduced again, the Best Director award was cancelled, and the selection of the films and the prolonged duration of the Festival were abolished. Rain interrupted the projection on the first day, so the Festival was extended by one day. The jury suggested that in addition to the existing awards Best Director, Best Debutant and Best Supporting Role should be introduced. The Great Golden Arena is awarded to the film Pad Italije (The Fall of Italy) by Lordan Zafranović while the second and third prizes are not awarded.
The Festival screenings were followed by a total of 80 102 viewers at all locations. There were 50 foreign guests and 247 accredited journalists.As part of the so-called information centre, 10 typewriters, 2 telex machines and two telephone booths were available to the journalists. The Great Golden Arena was not assigned.
In the Arena, the Festival Centre and the rerun evenings in Labin, Pazin and Poreč, there were a total of 74 425 viewers.A new official audience award Doors of Pula was introduced, it was assigned each year to the film based on the vote of the audience in the Arena (the former Jelen award remains as the award assigned by the Jury of the weekly magazine Studio). ''Due to known saving measures, no trip, picnic or a similar form of organised gathering of guests and participants was prepared during the Festival... '' The Great Golden Arena was awarded to the film Zadah Tela (Body Scent) by Živojin Pavlović.
Jelena Lužina-Sladonja took over the editorial duty for the Festival Bulletin that belonged to Marija Marinčić since 1957 up to this festival.The 40th anniversary of the Yugoslavian Film Festival was celebrated modestly. Despite the opposition of the author and producer of Marjan Film, the film Ujed anđela (Angel’s Bite) by Lordan Zafranović was shown in the Festival’s informative section. The producer Marjan Film announced a complaint would be filed as the answer print was screened. The Great Golden Arena was awarded to the film Balkanski špijun (Balkan Spy) by Dušan Kovačević and Božidar Nikolić.
40,694 Festival tickets were sold. 68 posters of Yugoslavian war films were exhibited in the Festival Centre.Numerous Festival reporters and newspaper readers started complaining that the domestic film was "drawing in the language of the street", but also that the Festival bulletin was released only in Croatian-Serbian and English. On this occasion we learn that the film Marš na Drinu (March on the Drina) was the first domestic film in which they swore. The Great Golden Arena was awarded to the film Otac na službenom putu (When Father Was Away on Business) by Emir Kusturica.
Guest of the Festival was the Director Miloš Forman. At the press conference, he especially praised the Cannes winner Emir Kusturica (Forman was chairman of the Jury).During the second phase of reconstruction and revitalisation of the Arena, more spaces were created to provide information, sales and presentation points. The Great Golden Arena was awarded to the film Sretna nova ’49 (Happy New Year '49) by Stole Popov.
Guest of the Festival was Menahem Golan, Director and President of the film company Cannon.The Festival programme was rerun only in Labin. All the press conferences and business meetings were broadcasted via internal close circuit television in all the other rooms of the Festival Centre. Everything was filmed, transmitted and could be followed on satellite channels and in the evening was shown in the city centre. Particularly noteworthy was the press conference with the crew of the film Oficir s ružom (Officer With a Rose) as Zarko’s Laušević local fans filled the Festival centre completely. The Great Golden Arena was awarded to the film Već viđeno (Reflections) by Goran Marković.
The Festival was attended by 193 local journalists, photographers and institution representatives, 47 foreign journalists and guests and 27 389 viewers.Actress Ena Begović refused to receive the Golden Arena for Best Supporting Actress for her role of Baroness Castelli which was the main female character. Newspapers openly wrote about compromises, pressures and the jury’s decisions. Although this was the Festival with definitely the most films in history, the work and decisions of the jury cast a shadow on the event itself. The Great Golden Arena was awarded to the film Život sa stricem (My Uncle’s Legacy) by Krsto Papić.
The downward trend in the declining number of viewers drastically continued as only 13,031 tickets were sold. With the addition of 5960 protocol entrances and around 2000 informal entries, a total of around 21,000 visitors was reached.The local population expressed great discontent when the Festival dates were changed many times. The questionnaire for film professionals, journalists, critics and Festival guests about the improvements for the Yugoslavian Film Festival produced the following suggestions: clearer choice of repertoire in the Arena, richer supporting contents, improved technical screening in the Arena, less official awards, biannual occurrence of the Festival, more professionals for each field, move the Festival dates back to the end of June/beginning of July, start of the internationalisation of the Festival... The Great Golden Arena was awarded to the film Sabirni centar (The Meeting Point) by Goran Marković.
Since the very beginning, The Festival was marked by technical faults that peaked during the projection of the film Karneval, anđeo i prah (Carnival, Angel and Dust) by Antun Vrdoljak. During the transition between the first and the second story of the film, the audio went missing, then the lights in the Arena came on, then the presenter tried to apologize but her microphone was not working either...The academic Pavletić asked the Festival organisers to put up the Croatian flag or to take down the Yugoslavian and leave only the Festival one. However, due to strong winds the Yugoslavian flag was removed as the noise from it was disrupting the screenings, they explained. The films Vreme čuda (Time of Miracles) by Goran Paskaljević, which premiered at Cannes and Atoski vrtovi – Preobraženje by Stojan Stojčić were withdrawn from the Festival. Ethnic tensions were increasingly prominent, which makes the victory of the film Gluvi barut (Silent Gunpowder) by Bato Čengić, even more symbolic as last laureates of the federal Yugoslavian Film Festival in Pula.
The Festival had officially started with its supporting events first: the opening of a large retrospective exhibition of Jadran Film posters and an art exhibition for the interior of the Croatia Insurance building. Then the midday press screening of Krhotina (Fragments: Chronicle of a Vanishing) by Zrinko Ogresta started and during this the Pula Film Festival Council decided:“In the present circumstances of the insanity of an imposed war, the Pula Film Festival Council has decided that the Festival should not take place in protest against the violence. This act of cancellation of the Festival, whose programme has been fully completed, it is our call to all filmmakers and professionals in the field of culture to raise their voice against the violence on the spirit, on all the achievements of culture and civilisation and on the values on which the filmmakers have always based their work upon. This Festival is officially cancelled.” The Grand Golden Arena was however assigned to John Malkovich, who spoke about his Croatian origins on that occasion.
Pula Film Festival was re-launched. The Award categories and their names have not been changed, but the selection was narrowed down to Croatian films only excluding films from the rest of the former state.The Festival was held, for the first time, under the patronage of President Franjo Tuđman, who didn’t come to the Festival. In his name, the Festival was opened by Vesna Girardi Jurkić. No firework display was organised for the opening of the Festival. The Festival hosted Oja Kodar who announced the beginning of the shooting of her film Vrijeme za… (Time for…) and held a press conference during which she talked about her own artistic path and the life with Orson Welles. The Golden Arena for Best Director was given to Krsto Papić for the film Priča iz Hrvatske (Story from Croatia).
The opening the Festival passed without fireworks, only three Croatian films were screened in the main programme.An ethnic controversy erupted over Rade Serbedzija and his role in the film Kontesa Dora (Countess Dora). Although the Festival Council stated that Rade Serbedzija could be awarded just like all the other actors, the prize was not awarded. The rudimental technical nature of the Festival entertained the viewers of the Polish-French film Kiedy rozum spi (When Reason Sleeps). The film was shown without Croatian subtitles so Dr. Kruno Simon simultaneously translated the dialogues by standing in front of the screen and literally yelling. The film Kontesa Dora (Countess Dora) by Zvonimir Berković won the Golden Arena for Best Film.
The awarding ceremony was cancelled as only one Croatian film had been made in the past 12 months Cijena života (The Price of Life) by Bogdan Žižić.The Festival was held in spite of it, but the national competition programme was replaced by a retrospective of animated films produced by the Zagreb School of Animation and a selection of documentaries. The main programme included premieres of six popular American films (Willy, My Girl 2, The Pelican Brief, Pet Detective, Striking and The Age of Innocence).
The Festival changed name to 1st Croatian Film Festival.Guest of the Festival was the Italian actress Silvana Pampanini who recalled her work on the film Road a Year Long, recorded in Croatia, at the press conference. The Producer Branko Lustig introduced Pula audience to film directors Dan Curtis and Philip Noyce, special interest was created by the actors Ralph Fiennes, Chaim Topol and Ben Kingsley, Schindler's List by Stephen Spielberg stars (produced by Lustig). The screenings in the Arena were regularly half empty. However, the film Gospa (Lady) by Jakov Sedlar managed to fill the Arena. The film Isprani (Washed Out) by Zrinko Ogresta won the Golden Arena for Best Film.
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of cinema, a concert of film music took place during the opening of the Festival.The decision that the award for best film would not be granted caused great controversy. Another problem was the fate of the film Izgubljeno blago (The Lost Treasure) by Darko Vernić- Bundi. The film was screened out of the competition since the original version of the film was in English. The film Kako je počeo rat na mom otoku (How the War Started on My Island) by Vinko Brešan won the Golden Arena for Best Film and set the absolute record for the most viewers in 1996 and subsequent years.
The concert of Croatian film music was performed during the opening ceremony by Maja Blagdan and the Symphony Orchestra of HRT (Croatian Radio Television).A touch of Festival glamour was provided by Ena Begovic while Arsen Dedic celebrates his 59th birthday during the Festival. Controversy was sparked by the decision of the selector Mate Kukuljica that the film Kalvarija (Calvary) by Zvonimir Maycug should not be accepted at the Festival as, according to him, it did not meet the basic aesthetic and professional level. Also, it was decided that the film Mondo Bobo by Goran Rušinović would be the only Festival film to be displayed in the Istrian National Theatre. Despite being made for 250,000 DM with a borrowed camera, this film won four Golden Arena awards and the Audience Award.
After 20 years the old projection screen was changed with a new one that arrived from London. The screen was also highly permeable so for the first time the speakers were placed behind the screen enabling better sound quality throughout the Arena.In accordance with the new telecom achievements, the Festival got its first website. The address was then www.tel.hr/istra/fhfp98/ The Golden Arena for Best Director was awarded to Krsto Papić for the film Kad mrtvi zapjevaju (When the Dead Start Singing).
After three years, the award for Best Film was reintroduced.The parallel launch of the Motovun Film Festival, at the same time, finally created healthy competition and helped Pula to be profiled as one of the most important film festivals in the country. The audience and guests were particularly amused by the fact that on the opening day there was a sun eclipse. The association of Fallen Croatian soldiers’ Parents, Association of Croatian War Volunteers and War Veterans Association sought a ban on the film Dubrovnik suton (Dubrovnik Twilight) by Željko Senečić because they stated it was mocking the dead friends and comrades. The Festival selector Arsen Oremovic explained that the ban on the film can not be considered. The film Bogorodica (Madonna) by Neven Hitrec won the Golden Arena for Best Film.
After 24 years the country's President Stipe Mesić was present at the opening.The Festival Director Armando Debeljuh announced that the Festival Council had decided that this year the Golden Arena for Best Film would be assigned to the Director and not the Producer which caused a lot of media attention and protests from the film community. In the supporting, informative part of the programme two private production fiction films were shown and programme of short films was screened at the Kaštel (castle). The film Maršal (Marshall Tito’s Spirit) by Vinko Brešan won the Golden Arena for Best Film.
Certainly one of the worst organised Festivals in history. Mistakes were so great that not even the local people of Pula, on the day of the opening ceremony, knew that the Festival had started, said the papers.Foreign guests of the Festival were the Polish producer Ewa Grabowska, Sarajevo director Bato Čengić, Elma Tataragić and Medžida Buljubašić from Sarajevo Film Festival, Polish producer Jerzy Michaluk, Cottbus Film Festival selector Bernd Buder, a famous Polish actor Daniel Olbrychski, Andrew James Horton culture editor for Central Europe Review from London, Serbian actor and Director Ljubiša Samardzić, Dutch Director Jan Van de Velde, Nick Holdsworth ... 10 European films were shown in a special programme. The Croatian Society of Film Critics did not assign the Octavian award as no film received a rating higher than 3,5. The film Polagana predaja (Slow Surrender) by Bruno Gamulin won the Golden Arena for Best Film.
A bad edition of the Festival again. Poor organisation, lack of audience and once again the survival of the Festival was directly questioned.Gideon Bachmann, who was supposed to be a Jury member cancelled his arrival to Pula due to illness. His role was taken by Bernd Buder. For the first time the Festival began offering film screenings at the Kaštel (Castle), where the regional programme Toplo-hladno (Hot-cold) was held, while European films in competition were shown in the Arena and in INK (Istrian National Theatre). The film Fine mrtve djevojke (Fine Dead Girls) by Dalibor Matanić won the Golden Arena for Best Film.
The 50th Jubilee of the Festival. Marijan Rotar, one of the founders of the Festival, died the same year.Pula Film Festival Public institution was established. The first Director of the Institution and Artistic Director of the 50th Festival was Tedi Lušetić. The selection of European films under the name Music was done by Mike Downey, one of the founders of Motovun Film Festival. For the first time, it was agreed that the film which would win in Pula, would be shown at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival. The film Tu (Here) by Zrinko Ogresta won the Golden Arena for Best Film.
After many years the Festival Centre was moved from the House of Croatian defenders to the Italian Community - Circolo. That is where the press screenings of Croatian films, Slovenian programmes and documentary films were shown.After the European programme, the International programme was introduced and the foreign films are shown in the Arena after the Croatian films. Film selectors were Branka Sömen and Zlatko Vidačković. The Arena was completely filled during the screenings of three films, Duga mračna noć (Long Dark Night) by Antun Vrdoljak, La mala educación (Bad Education) by Pedro Almodovar and Fahrenheit 9/11 by Michael Moore. The latter attracting 7500 viewers. The film Duga mračna noć (Long Dark Night) by Antun Vrdoljak won the Golden Arena for Best Film.
Despite of last year's success, the screenings in the Arena and the Time Machine which showed restored Croatian classics failed to draw a significant number of viewers.The new programmes Europolis-Meridians (in the Italian Community building) and the PoPular Programme (in the Arena) were started. The international jury for foreign films returned and was chaired by Ronald Bergan. The Festival’s Director provokes protests among the professionals and the audience in the Arena as he denied the guests Lazar Ristovski and Goran Paskaljević the opportunity to take a bow before the audience after the screening of their film San zimske noći (Midwinter Night's Dream). Što je Iva snimila 21. listopada 2003. (What Iva Recorded on October 21st 2003) by Tomislav Radić won the Golden Arena for Best Film.
The central theme of this year’s supporting events was the celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of Jadran film. The film Ne okreći se sine (Don't Turn Around Son) by Branko Bauer from 1956 was presented from the first double edition of the announced DVD series of Croatian film classics.The Film Trešeta (Tressette) by Dražen Žarković had problems at the Festival. First, the screening was postponed due to the delays of the copy, and then it was announced that the film will not, after the Festival, go to cinema distribution. Similar treatment befell the film Volim te (I Love You) by Dalibor Matanić which was shown on television seven months before the Festival. However, the biggest problem with the Festival took place before the start when Arsen Dedićć resigned after Jurica Pavičić questioned the expertise of individual members of the jury. His position was taken by Davorin Gecl. The film Sve džaba (All For Free) by Antonio Nuić won the Golden Arena for Best Film.
For the first time since 1990, the ticket sales for film screenings in the Arena doubled. The Festival was followed by a total of 29 840 viewers.A new Programme had been introduced under the name Adriatic programme in which a screening of the film Belle Epoque (The Last Waltz in Sarajevo) was shown. This film was the last film that originated in former Yugoslavia which was scheduled to be completed in Sarajevo in 1991 but due to the outbreak of war in Croatia and then in Bosnia, its finalisation waited until 2007. During the Festival Ante Peterlić died aged 72. Pula Film Festival organised his In memoriam celebration at the Italian Circolo. The International Programme Europolis-Meridians moves its three day pre-festival programme to the Kaštel (castle). Screenings are held also in the Italian Community building. The programme at the Kaštel was opened by Greta Scacchi and the Golden Arena for Best Foreign Director is personally received by Jiri Menzel. The film Živi i mrtvi (The Living and the Dead) by Kristijan Milić won the Golden Arena for Best Film.
Cinema Valli was opened after renovation and from that moment it became an integral part of the Festival locations. The cinema belongs to the chain Europa Cinemas and the first film screened was the British Flawless by Michael Radford. Screenings at the Kaštel were extended to a week prior the opening of the Festival.A Special Golden Arena award for great contribution to film arts was awarded to Christopher Lee who also held a master class in Cinema Valli. Due to the media paying too little attention to the actors and actresses, the 55th Pula Festival was dedicated to them. The practice of making large-scale photographic portraits of the actors from the films in the national programme with associated autographs was introduced. The film Ničiji sin (No one's son) by Arsen Anton Ostojić won the Golden Arena for Best Film.
The first Croatian Film Focus was held, it enabled Croatian and foreign guests to see all the films in the National Programme, as well as the films selected from the Best of the Croatian Film Day, the Short Film Programme and the programme Work in Progress.Due to the large rush on tickets, the film Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince was shown three times. The premiere was attended in the Arena by over 6500 viewers, as was the Croatian film U zemlji čudesa (In Wonderland) which preceded it. The film Metastaze (Metastases) by Branko Schmidt won the Golden Arena for Best Film.
The number of viewers of the International program Europolis-Meridians at Pula Castle was doubled and the total number of viewers reached a record of 73 555. This is the largest number of viewers and Festival guest appearances since the declaration of Croatian independence.For the first time the Festival introduces the competitive section of minority co-productions. Also, the Programme Croatian Short Film becomes competitive. Special media attention was caused by the arrival of Sylvia Krystel. The film Neka ostane među nama (Just Between Us) by Rajko Grlić won the Golden Arena for Best Film.
In Arena there were a total 57,680 viewers, in Cinema Valli 8,830, at the Kaštel (castle) 4,880, at Portarata 1,500, and at the Solar Cinema 720.Within the European tour CosyMOva, the concept of solar cinema powered by solar energy was presented at the Festival. The greatest media interest was caused by the presence of the honoured guest James Ivory in Pula, who attended the screening of his film The White Countess at the Kaštel and received a Special Golden Arena award at the opening night. The Festival moved to digital projections and the DCP format was established as standard. The film Kotlovina by Tomislav Radić won the Golden Arena for Best Film.
A World record was set by the screening of the film Slučajni prolaznik seen in the Arena with 3D glasses by 5920 viewers, the largest 3D projection in the world. A record number of 78,300 viewers was also achieved, making it the largest number of viewers in independent Croatia. A record number of twelve Croatian films was screened, two of which were outside the competition.Among the foreign guests, UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon was particularly prominent. However a lot of attention was generated in Pula and among Croatian media by the arrival and longer stay of the actor and Director Ralph Fiennes. The screenings of his film Coriolanus were followed with great interest. The film Pismo ćaći (Letter to My Father) by Damir Čučić won the Golden Arena for Best Film.
Besides for the award-winning film titles, the Festival will be remembered for the record number of films that were shown as part of the National Programme. There was also a spectacular opening ceremony with a 3D mapping on the walls of the Arena and a large number of guests from the film world who have created the history of the Festival. Great attendance, extremely rich entertainment programmes, a record number of exhibitions on and around the film and the new Camp RED workshop, all contributed to the festive atmosphere of the Festival.Transformed into figures it looked like this: 15 DAYS OF FESTIVAL // 19 FESTIVAL LOCATIONS // 128 FILMS (IN THE NATIONAL PROGRAMME 14 CROATIAN FILMS AND 10 MINORITY CO-PRODUCTIONS) // 71,751 VIEWERS // 14 CONCERTS // 6 EXHIBITIONS // 3 WORKSHOPS WITH A TOTAL OF 67 PARTICIPANTS AND 14 REALISED FILMS. The film Obrana i zaštita (A Stranger) by Bobo Jelčić won the Golden Arena for Best Film.
163 films in 15 locations across 9 different film programmes were shown during the Festival. 9 professional lectures, 4 thematic exhibitions and 10 concerts were organised.The Arts Director function was replaced by a three-member Arts Council. A new programme for young people - Crane, was introduced as well as the Archive Programme with the greatest films from the Pula Golden Age selected this year by Rajko Grlić. The film Broj 55 (Number 55) by Kristijan Milić won the Golden Arena for Best Film.