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ZagrebDox to launch new programs

ZagrebDox, the biggest documentary film festival in the region, will be taking place from 25 February to 2 March 2008 in Zagreb's Student Center. The international and regional competition programs will be accompanied by the exceptionally popular 'Controversial Dox' and two new programs – 'Music Globe' and 'Fathers and Sons'. This year's retrospective is dedicated to Japanese documentaries and Polish filmmaker Marcel Lozinski. As a part of 'ZagrebDox Pro' program, the Pitching Forum with TV editors from all over Europe will be taking place again. Exclusive guests, filmmakers and producers of the films shown in the festival programs will visit ZagrebDox.

ZAGREB – Some 130 films from more than 30 countries from all over the world will be shown in the program of this year's edition of ZagrebDox, the biggest international documentary film festival in the region. All the screenings and events will be taking place in the city's Student Center. While the BIG STAMP award will be given to the best film among more than 60 films competing in international and regional programs, the SMALL STAMP will receive a young author up to the age of 30. Two new juries have been introduced this year – the Film Critics' Jury and the Amnesty International Jury, which are to award special recognitions to films from competition programs.

“It is our great pleasure that, year after year, we have been able to show the best films of the latest documentary production, the winners of major international festivals like 'War/Dance' by Sean and Andrea Nix Fine. This film of exceptional emotional strength has recently been nominated for Oscar and is the winner of the last year's Sundance, same as 'Manda Bala' (Send a Bullet), an impressive testimony about violence and corruption in the present-day Brazil. The newest among the winners is 'Durakovo: Village of Fools' that won Best Director Award at the last Sundance. Straight from European festivals come 'To See If I'm Smiling' by young Tamar Yarom – a film about women in Israeli Army that captivated both the audience and jury at IDFA, and 'Useless,' a film about Chinese fashion industry, awarded in Venice; we also have 'Paper Cannot Wrap Up Embers', the winner of the European Film Academy Award” said Festival Director and Program Selector Nenad Puhovski, announcing just a few of the program's many films.

This year's regional competition program has more films than ever before, as many as 29. Among them are 'Slučajni sin' by Tomislav Mršić and Robert Zuber; 'Interrogation' by Namik Kabil (the writer of Pjer Žalica's 'Days and Hours'), awarded at Sarajevo Film Festival; 'Children from Petriček Hill', the winner of the Festival of Slovenian Film; 'My Friends', an intimate and powerful story of Bosnian filmmaker Lidija Zelović; and the latest films of Branko Schmidt, Nebojša Slijepčević and Irena Škorić.

One of ZagrebDox's most popular programs – Controversial Dox – keeps presenting intriguing documentaries: 'Guys and Dolls' from UK, about men who fall in love with dolls and live with them; 'The Great Global Warming Swindle' denies the generally accepted thesis that humans are to blame for global warning; 'Škorpioni, spomenar' by Lazar Stojanović, about members of a wartime paramilitary unit who made most of the footage themselves. While Robinson Devor's film 'Zoo' about zoophilia, probably the most controversial film in the program, will have its European premiere, Goran Dević's film '3' about war veterans will have its world premiere.

«This year we are introducing two new thematic programs – 'Music Globe' and 'Fathers and Sons'. The first one includes a series of music documentaries dealing with the relation between music and social changes: 'American Hardcore' is a chronic of hardcore punk rock in the USA; 'Heavy Metal In Baghdad' follows an Iraqi heavy metal band in their struggle for survival after Saddam's death; 'Music Partisans' is about rock bands in Belarus. 'Fathers and Sons' gives us a somewhat different view at the often neglected relationship between fathers and their children. Among the films in this program are 'Jimmy Rosenberg: the father, the son & and the talent', awarded in Krakow and 'Over My Dad's Body' by young director Taliya Finkel. We have another special treat for you – a retrospective of Japanese documentaries, selected by Fujiko Asano, Program Consultant of the internationally acclaimed documentary film festival in Yamagata. One of the six authors presented in this program is Naomi Kawase, a Cannes award-winner», said Puhovski.

The retrospective of the Academy of Drama Arts, selected by Dr. Hrvoje Turković, shows student works of now acclaimed authors. Petar Krelja, president of the international jury, will be presented at the Author's Night.
Another retrospective is the one that includes 14 works of well-known Polish director Marcel Lozinski, a lecturer at the famous Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Direction and a member of the American Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Academy. He will visit the festival and hold a MasterClass as a part of 'ZagrebDox Pro'.

The purpose of 'ZagrebDox Pro' is to provide an opportunity for film professionals to meet, exchange ideas and experience and establish contacts in order to stimulate regional cooperation and documentary production. Besides MasterClass, the program includes 'Documentary as a Business' workshop, where moderator Paul Powels will teach the participants how to write and present their projects. Pitching Forum with TV editors from all over Europe will take place for the second time, too.

«We are very glad to have the Student Center as our partner again, hosting our screenings and side events in their premises. The festival is supported by the City of Zagreb Department for Education, Culture and Sports and the Ministry of Culture. We are also supported by the European Cultural Foundation, Jan Vrijman Fund and Japanese Foundation. Also, we are continuing our successful cooperation with our general sponsor T-com though KulTurist Project. As of next week, the tickets for the festival will be available on all selling points of Eventima system,» said ZagrebDox Executive Director Sanja Borčić Toth.

Duško Ljuština, City Government Member for Education, Culture and Sports, pointed out that ZagrebDox is a «new, valuable cultural event that will help our city become an important place in the world of this type of art. Documentary films have made an important contribution to the art of the present-day transition countries and the authors of this festival are to be congratulated for enriching the cultural offer of our city.»

«After an excellent cooperation we had last year, it is our great pleasure that ZagrebDox is a festival that marks the beginning of the fourth season of T-Com's KulTurist Project. ZagrebDox has turned out to be the most relevant documentary film festival not only in Croatia, but also in the whole region. We are very proud that T-Com, as a general sponsor, can contribute to the organization of the only international competition documentary film festival in Croatia,» said Marcella Jelić from T-Com.


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