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Motovun Film Festival, Croatia, 2014

Force Majeure.
FIPRESCI Prize: "Force Majeure"

On top of the 277-meter hill on which Motovun (the name itself refers to "mountain") is situated, the village held its film festival for the 17th year in a row. From its beginnings as an event dedicated to small, independent, creative works with original ideas (it sparked a craze for similar festivals), Motovun is now the second-oldest festival in Croatia — after Pula Film Festival, which is more like a showcase for the year's national productions. The end of July is always reserved for a five-day marathon in which films are shown from 10am to 4am, with evening outdoor screenings, concerts, and various side programs.

This year there was also a series of panel discussions curated by the main programmer, and I was very glad to assist him in this: every afternoon we gathered ten to fifteen participants, mostly without formal experience in film criticism, and discussed with them the movies they had seen. This is a practice which should occur at every film festival.

One of Motovun's best features is its Maverick award, which goes to artists who fight limitations and expand the medium of cinema, constantly searching for new ways and styles. Previous recipients include Ken Russell, Terry Jones and Ulrich Seidl, and this year the award went to one of the most renowned auteurs of our time, Andrey Zvyagintsev, who like the directors mentioned above, came to pick up his award. The festival screened all his films except for Leviathan, which they were unfortunately unable to show.

From the competition program, we had the chance to see Pawel Pawlikowski's Ida, Richard Linklater's Boyhood, Diao Yinan's Black Coal, Thin Ice, Yannis Economides' Stratos, Ruben Östlund's Force Majeure (to which we gave the FIPRESCI Prize), and many more. It is evident that the quality of films here remains the highest. Situated in Istria with its magnificent climate, food, and marvelous wines, Motovun Film Festival really is the stuff of dreams. (Dean Kotiga)

Motovun (Croatia, July 26-30, 2014). Prize: Force Majeure (Turist) by Ruben Östlund (Sweden, France, Denmark, Norway, 2014). Motivation: "The film, set within an idyllic but threatening environment, revolves around human relationships with a very sophisticated and unconventional humour. The director bravely insists on a truly personal style, using long takes and slow rhythm to deal with its subject uncompromisingly. This dialectic of subject and form is a rare occurence today." Jury: Luminita Boerescu, Romania ("Film"), Alexandra Puetter, Germany (, Dean Kotiga, Croatia ("Filmoskop"). Print source: Coproduction Office, Mommsenstrasse 27, D 10629 Berlin, Germany, T +49 30 32 77 78 79, F: +49 30 323 20 91,


The Social Fresco as Supermarket. For many viewers, Paolo Virzi's Human Capital (Il capitale umano) is one of the best recent Italian films, a tale of authentic feelings: raw and realistic, with no downtime, since the film constantly engages the audience's interest. Luminita Comsa Boerescu's review. arrow.
The View from the Top. "No hell below us — above us only sky" was the vision imagined by John Lennon, but luckily, the Motovun film festival improves on this by projecting a multitude of films onto the Istrian night. This is a young festival for young people, where audiences go to concerts after the last screenings at 1:30 am and then dance until the sun rises through the misty valleys. Alexandra Pütter's report. arrow.
The Real Disaster. Dean Kotiga reviews Ruben Östlund's Force Majeure (Tourist). arrow.



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Motovun 2014

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bullet. Social Fresco
bullet. The View from the Top
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