The 7th Star Film Fest in Sisak started on September 3, 2020, and in many ways remained remembered as special. The first edition of Star Film Fest was held in parallel at the location of Theater 21 and in online form. This time, the International Film Festival in the heart of Sisak-Moslavina County visited the screens of the audience who could follow live broadcasts and stream films in real time via the Internet. This year’s edition is in preparation at the moment, while applications for the competitive programme are already opened.
President Milanović’s support is an additional motivation for the organizers. Milanović has expressed best wishes to the Star Film Fest team, while recognizing challenging circumstances under which the festival is being planned.
As a reminder of a successful last year’s edition we bring you an overview of the 7th Star Film Fest.
Preparations for the 7th edition began as early as the end of 2019, while on Friday, August 28, 2020, an official press conference was held ahead of the 7th Star Film Fest. All the effort and work of the young people involved in this project culminated the day before the start of the festival, on September 2nd. The organizers gathered that morning in front of Theater 21 and determined the work plan for the upcoming, hard but exciting festival days. Preparations for the space have begun, and some equipment has been installed as volunteers walk the streets of the host city in the company of the festival’s mascot, now a well-known “star”. At 7 pm, the first live broadcast via the official website www.sfilmfest.com followed, followed by the first rehearsal. Everyone stepped in anticipation into the three days of the festival, full of film, fun but also dedicated work.
Thursday, September 3 began dynamically, with a meeting of the organizers at 8 am at the location of Theater 21. All gathered together determined the protocol points for Thursday and readily stepped into the final preparations of the first day of the festival. The guest office welcomed the members of the jury, Ana Đordić and Igor Jelinović, while the host and cameraman arranged the live inclusion of the jury member Ana Trebša, who participated in the 7th edition of the festival from Slovenia. The guest office and the volunteer leader welcomed the volunteers who were then handed out promotional packages. With the help of volunteers, the technical service set up the screen, installations, cameras, sound system with the rest of the equipment, and thus the preparations for the outdoor screenings were completed, as well as the preparations for the live broadcast. This was followed by the filming and editing of the festival chronicles, and there was more than enough material because the cameras of the Star Film Fest recorded the last day of preparations. After a joint lunch, all organizers and volunteers put festival bracelets on their wrists, while an info desk and a red carpet were set up in front of Theater 21, and soon festival leaders Martina Werft and Saša Tadić arrived with translator Roberta Končar. The information about the arrival of Goran Grgić in Sisak caused special enthusiasm. Editing, technical service, photographers, cameramen and the media sector continued to perform their duties in turn, and the sunset marked the approaching start of the Star Film Fest. The excitement grew and the diligent hands of the organizers and volunteers started working a little faster. At 7 pm, followers of the Facebook profile and the official Star Film Fest page saw a promotional video and the face of the host of the live part of the Domagoj Topic program, which started the first such, parallel and in many ways challenging Star Film Fest. After the conversation with the selector Martina Mladenović, Domagoj talked to the members of the jury Ana Đordić and Igor Jelinović, and later followed the conversation with the member of the jury Ana Trebša, who contacted the audience from Slovenia. Viewers who watched the live broadcast could also see the presentation of Mima Juračak and her illustrations exhibited in front of Theater 21, and as for the music segment of Star Film Fest, there was also film music performed by Alen Bakrić, Sven Tomanić and Matej Smiljanić. The honor of the opening ceremony of the 7th Star Film Fest went to the hosts Martina Werft and Saša Tadić, with whom Roberta Končar was also present on stage and live, so that the program of the first evening of the festival could be followed by foreign audiences and competitors. The audience was addressed and thanked by the director of the festival Matija Holjevac. Matija told the audience that he was enjoying the program at the end of the address and the beginning of an interesting festival evening, and thus the Star Film Fest was officially opened, after which the long-awaited screenings of the competition screenings began. The first evening of the Star Film Fest was enjoyed by numerous online visitors as well as visitors to the location of Theater 21, in compliance with the recommended measures of epidemiological services. Socializing in the open air, with music and conversation about the film continued long into the night, to the delight of the citizens of Sisak and other visitors.
The second day of the festival, Friday, September 4, began with a meeting of the organizers and the establishment of protocols with the division of tasks by sectors. Shortly afterwards, at 9 am, viewers and online visitors were able to watch the screenings of competition films and live coverage from the festival studio. During this time, the organizers and volunteers prepared photographs, video chronicles, written chronicles, equipment in parallel, mastering all the technical challenges. Diligent volunteers fulfilled every idea of the head of the host Klara Krmpotić, while the guests of the festival announced their arrival to the head of the guest office, Lucija Ćeškić. The Stream Star Film Fest was constantly active, and everyone who got involved could hear and see the conversation about women in journalism. The sun then illuminated the space in front of Theater 21, and the shadow of the pines created the perfect lighting for the filming of the Acoustic jam session which all viewers could follow online on the official Star Film Fest page as well as on Facebook. Then, the screening of competition films continued on the stream, while the ambience of Theater 21 began to be arranged for the arrival of guests. The lenses then pointed towards the beginning of the red carpet and the audience began to arrive. The torches lit up, and there was the Star Film Fest mascot, a “star” who smiled at each guest. Jury members Ana Đordić and Igor Jelinović joined the organizers and then Arsen Anton Ostojić arrived with actor Filip Mayer. Kristina Kovačević, the editor of the festival video chronicles, spoke with Filip Mayer, and the actor told her how he was preparing for the role in the film and announced the film in which he is acting, which the Sisak audience has the opportunity to watch, “F20”. Arsen Anton Ostojić praised the short film in Croatia for the chronicles and announced his “F20” with the remark that the film was shot out of the system and with extremely low costs, which is even more exciting. The director also praised the Star Film Fest and the way this year’s edition was held. The deckchairs in front of the screen were filled and the audience fell silent, while Ostojić and Mayer addressed the viewers on Facebook and the official page via live stream. As the film on the big screen came to an end, the online screening of competition films on the official Star Film Fest website began. Given the hectic pace of the festival days and evenings, preparations for tomorrow began immediately. After another successful day of the festival, the socializing in front of Theater 21 continued long into the night, and the impressions after the screening of the film “F20” slowly subsided with the conversation and murmur of the audience and guests.
The last day of the festival, Saturday, September 5, also dawned. Preparations have started according to plan. This day marked the culmination of a year-long work on a demanding but extremely successful project, Star Film Fest. The organizers gathered in the morning with the usual elaboration of protocols for the coming day. Then the tasks were distributed and each member of the team tried to do their best to make the preparations for the location and live broadcast go without surprises. After the end of the last competition screenings online, a short lunch break followed through the official Star Film Fest website. Shortly afterwards, hard-working volunteers gathered at the location of Theater 21. Then the technical service made every effort to make another Acoustic jam session to delight all online followers of Star Film Fest, but also the gathered organizers and volunteers. While the jam was playing, Theater 21 was also visited by festival associates from the French Alliance, director Ida Erceg and Jasenka Butić, with whom Star Film Fest successfully coordinated the project of the First Shortest Francophone Film in February. After the relaxed moments, a workshop and lecture “Both in Heaven and at the Star Film Fest” led by Srđan Nogić followed, which was followed by the audience at Theater 21 with the online audience via live broadcast. As the day turned into evening, guests and the audience began to gather on the red carpet in front of Theater 21. The response of the audience at the final evening of the Star Film Fest gave the organizers a sense of satisfaction because the festival, despite the circumstances, recorded more than significant attendance. The deckchairs in front of the canvas, under the starry Sisak sky, were filled in compliance with the safety gap and the recommendations of the epidemiological services. This was followed by the long-awaited announcement of the winners, and all the winners joined the program via video messages of thanks and enthusiasm for the success achieved. The award for the best feature film was won by the film “Southern Fruit”, the best documentary is “Why does mom always cry?”, The best animated film selected by the expert jury is “A Perfect Turn” “Tuff”. The next prize was awarded for the best regional film taken by “Sherbet”. The selectors Anja Kavić and Martina Mladenović presented their award – the award of the selectors to the film “Traces” and the audience chose the film “Quarantine alone or with milk?” As their favorite. The jury also named the best special award for the film “Sedra” and a special award for the film “Outside the Oranges Are Blooming”. The audience was then addressed by the director of the festival Matija Holjevac, who expressed his satisfaction with all the achievements. “The general sponsor of Star Film Fest is INA, there are also our sponsors, the Croatian Audiovisual Center, the Society of Croatian Film Directors, the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Sisak-Moslavina County. Also, Star Film Fest is held under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Croatia, Zoran Milanović. ” – expressed gratitude to Matija Holjevac. At the end of the festival and the last evening of the festival, a screening of Svebor Mihael Jelić’s film “Zagreb Equinox” followed.
For the 7th year in a row, Star Film Fest has delighted all visitors, pushed the boundaries of the film festival and surpassed the financial framework thanks to the enthusiasm of young film lovers. The parallel holding of the festival at the location of Theater 21, in compliance with all recommended measures of epidemiological services and the holding of the festival online via live broadcast, is more than commendable. Not even some of the more resounding festival names embarked on such a challenge, while Star Film Fest proved that the love for film overcomes every obstacle.
The realization of a successful project, which Star Film Fest undoubtedly is, would not be possible even without sponsors. Behind the 7th Star Film Fest are the City of Sisak, INA, the Croatian Audiovisual Center, the Society of Croatian Film Directors, the Sisak-Moslavina County and the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development. There are also Baš Burek, Auto promet Sisak, McDonald’s, Auto Zubak, Stella, Vinarija Trdenić, Aquafil CRO, Carlsberg Croatia, Cocktail, Paprenjak d.o.o., Brlog pivovara, MlP, Green Hill and Kemijska industrija. Among the media sponsors, we highlight HRT, Klasik.tv, Radio Sisak, Dokumentarni.net, Ziher.hr, Direktno.hr, Studentski, Global, H-Alter, X-ica, Sisak.info, Sisak portal and TV Sisak, and our work followed by Mreža TV and many others.