Challenging coming of age

Tabor Film Festival is now an adult! It is just like any 18-year-old, at the threshold of maturity – experienced enough, but playful still. The Festival is brimming with ideas for another amazing summer festival edition, prepared for the many challenges that usually arise in any cultural projects. However, this year – the never-seen-before 2020 – sees the biggest challenge our Festival community has had to face. The lockdown in the middle of the pandemic slowed down our preparations for the Festival, and the very uncertainty in the prospect of it being even held has required a lot of flexibility in our planning of any and all Festival activities.

A similar uncertainty looms over the writing of this introduction as well: not only could the situation change at any given moment, but there is also the new normal to take into account, with its numerous rules and limitations. Thus, we are sad to say that many of our international guests announced will not be able to visit our Tabor hill. A part of the jury will even have to rate films from their own homes – however eager they would be to exchange the familiarity of their surroundings with our beautiful Zagorje lands. Our 18-year-old’s celebration has also been reduced by one day. This means that this year’s program will take place over three days, in a somewhat reduced scope than planned, including a limited number of visitors, as well.

Once again, our main competition film programme will bring together a selection of the very best short films from all around the world, to be enjoyed in our cinema theatres Rustica and Tabor Varosh. The international and national competitions consist of many premieres and new directorial names, alongside old Tabor acquaintances that we are happy to welcome to our Festival year after year.

The side film programme convenes two retrospectives, one presenting the visual works of last year’s International Competition winner, Peter Cerovšek, and the second one dedicated to the exquisite and deranged films by Anna Vasof, a Greek-born, Austria-based director. Anna Vasof’s works will be presented in a form of an exhibition as well, while Peter Cerovšek will introduce Ljubljana-based FeKK festival as its founder and director.

As part of our Zagorje Special programme, which is dedicated to exploring the cinematic connection between the region of Hrvatsko zagorje and film, we present a documentary about Improcon – Congress of Free Improvised Music, Art & Thoughts. The film promises to unveil the age-old secret affiliation between music and the ambiance of the Veliki Tabor Castle. In other news, yet another Night of the Living Audience promises a fun and relaxed night. Prepare yourself to watch films laughing your heads off and with much cheering enthusiasm. We are also very excited that our irreplaceable Mario Kovač will once again assume the role of the host. Our youngest film-lovers will not leave empty-headed either – there are weekend matinee programmes of best films from the KIKI Festival they will be able to enjoy.

The concerts and our musical programme will remain within the national borders, mostly because of the situation we find ourselves in, with two exceptions. Tabor will be graced with a performance from Chris Eckman, a global musical legend, with a long experience in music, as a member of the bands The Walkabouts, The Strange and Dirtmusic. Aside from the Ljubljana-based American, we are expecting the amazing band Lelee from Slovenia. The award-winning bluesman and harmonica virtuoso Tomislav Goluban is announced to return to the Festival after 17 long years, and we are excited to welcome Đutko, our volunteer veteran at Tabor. Lest we forget, we will also get to enjoy the ambient dreampop band Daisy Dives! In addition, the pre-Festival weekend will be marked by the performance of Mokri Nenad in Grešna korica. Our dear guests with ‘restless leg syndrome’ will be able to dance even after the screenings and the concerts, enjoying sets by DJ Mario Kovač and our Artistic Director, DJ Anikulapo.

Despite the uncertain and limiting times, our programmes remain at the same level of excellence. We are prepared to bring to you yet another Festival edition to amaze us even in these new normal conditions, giving everyone new experiences and – the physical distancing notwithstanding – bringing us closer and connecting us in some new ways.

We are looking forward to grooving with you. May Tabor Film Festival 18 stay in your best memories!

Nenad Borovčak, 18 TFF Director and the Festival Team