The 10th anniversary edition of ZagrebDox began tonight with the official opening ceremony at Cineplexx Kaptol Centre cinema and the Croatian premiere of the film "Happily Ever After" by Tatjana Božić. The opening took place at all five theatres, whose capacity could barely host all the interested guests.
The opening ceremony began with a speech by the ZagrebDox director Nenad Puhovski, who said: Festival organisation is like Rubik’s cube: simple on the outside, complex on the inside. Nine years ago we launched ZagrebDox as a project aiming to restore faith in the documentary genre because we believed documentary film could be beautiful, exciting, dramatic, something to talk about, just like its big brother – live action film. I believe we awakened an interest in documentary film in the local audience.
In these nine years, 175 thousand people saw the films, and this year we will probably round up this number to 200 thousand. Statistically, our films have been seen by one in four citizens of Zagreb and one in 25 citizens of Croatia. This tells us that documentary films are popular again. This was the basic, albeit not the only idea of this festival. ZagrebDox was meant as an endeavour showing films, trying to initiate the making of new films, but also attempting to restore the position the Croatian documentary held in the time when filmmakers like Papić, Žižić, Krelja and Tadić garnered the most prestigious awards for their films. We are proud to have fulfilled some of these ambitions.
The festival is a living tissue, functioning only if it gathers people who love what they do and believe in it. The greatest burden, the one unseen, the burden of logistics, patience, negotiations, was carried all these years by three other persons except me: first Dana Budisavljević, who launched this adventure with me, then Sanja Borčić, who bravely took over the baton and made the festival grow, and finally Lucija Parać, without whose effort, work, knowledge and sensibility this festival would not be possible, said Nenad Puhovski.
First of all I would like to thank one person without whom this festival could never work, without whose persistence, dedication and energy ZagrebDox would simply not be what it is. This is, of course, Nenad Puhovski. Furthermore, I’d like to thank our general sponsor Croatian Telecom, Croatian Audiovisual Centre, City of Zagreb and City Office for Education, Culture and Sport, and all the festival sponsors and partners, said the festival producer Lucija Parać and invited the Mayor of Zagreb, Milan Bandić, to open the festival.
I am extremely pleased that in the next eight days Zagreb will become the centre of documentary film in this part of Europe, said Milan Bandić and opened the festival.
This year’s festival opens with a magnificent documentary work directed by Tatjana Božić. This is not just a film about love, this is a film about all of us, but also a film about the changing Europe. A film about the quest for the Holy Grail we all seek and might never find, announced Nenad Puhovski.
Happily Ever After is this filmmaker’s feature debut in which she deals with her own love life. Through retrospection and questioning her past failed relationships she is trying to save her current one.
I am extremely happy to hear these kind words about the film. Happily Ever After is in fact a tragicomedy, said director Tatjana Božić. The screening was attended by the film protagonists Frank Mueller, Pavel Kraminov, Rogier Kappers, Jacob Nell, Vjeran Pavlinić and Daria Aslamova.
The film Happily Ever After by Tatjana Božić is also scheduled for Wednesday, 26 February at 3 pm, theatre 3 and Thursday, 27 February at 7pm, theatre 1. ZagrebDox closes on 2 March, includes over 150 national and international documentaries, with daily screenings from 12am to 11pm in all five Cineplexx’s theatres at Kaptol Centre.
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