The Fresh Danube Films project has come as a result of collaboration between Cinema City International Film Festival Novi Sad as the Main Applicant and partners: Crossing Europe Film Festival from Linz, DORF from Vinkovci and Free Zone from Belgrade and support from the European Cultural Foundation.

The main objective of the Fresh Danube Films is to promote and support cultural diversity and creative synergy of cinematographies alongside Danube river by creating a networking and knowledge-sharing platform for young, talented filmmakers from this region. The immediate objectives of the Fresh Danube Films are:
  • to formally establish the Fresh Danube Films and disseminate information throughout Europe by inviting other institutions and individuals to join the platform and strengthen its potentials

  • to raise awareness about young authors from the Danube region by creating an original, new joint selection of films (successful debus of young authors) that will be shown and promoted in 3 countries (Austria, Croatia and Serbia) founding members of the Fresh Danube Films, but also in other countries via internet, PR activities and cultural portals

  • to showcase a new, original Fresh Danube Film selection of first or second films at the DORF (Vinkovci, Croatia), the Crossing Europe Film Festival (Linz, Austria), the Cinema City International Film Festival (Novi Sad, Serbia), the Free Zone Film Festival (Belgrade, Serbia) in 2013

  • to transfer knowledge and build capacities of young filmmakers from the Danube region through workshops during Cinema City that will provide state-of-the-art information about filmmaking processes

  • to provide an online instrument for networking of young filmmakers and tool for initiating new projects in the form of FDF database

Primary, the project is dedicated to young filmmakers and students of film academies across the Danube region since the FDF aims to support and promote their creativity and talent. Originality of the project lies in the fact that the Fresh Danube Films, especially once the platform grows and attracts more members, will provide a channel for exchange of ideas between young filmmakers that share a piece of common identity. We wish to promote this identity through original and fresh artistic expressions with a genuine spice of Eastern and Western European traditions as well as contemporariness in each country.

Sincerely yours, 

Fresh Danube Films
Fresh Danube Films strives to become a networking platform with strong educational character, providing programmes and activities for young people with the aim to strengthen their skills and position in art and society. Art of film is precious from the aspect of shifting perspectives, fight against prejudices and intercultural dialogue and that is why we wish to establish Fresh Danube Films network.

In the context of Danube region which connects 75 million people and 38 regions from 10 countries, film is one of the best instruments for intercultural dialogue because it entertains on the surface, but spreads knowledge and understanding at a deeper level and tackles issues that are common for all societies. As a form of art, film reflects the contemporary reality in a very specific way and in the same time influences a large number of people, often young individuals.

The Fresh Danube Films intends to provide a creative and developing platform for continuous networking and intercultural exchange, learning new skills, transfer of know-how and support in building professional filmmaking careers of young people alongside Danube. Hopefully, project will contribute to overcoming sporadic communication between people and institutions in the film industry along the Danube and strengthen regional cultural identity as well as competitiveness of this specific film market.

Since 2004, the CROSSING EUROPE Film Festival Linz//Austria has devoted its program each year in April to idiosyncratic, contemporary and socio-political auteur cinema from Europe. Over the six days of the festival, CROSSING EUROPE offers international film and press representatives and guests of the film industry (nearly 750 accredited festival participants) and the local cinema audience a program with approximately 140 outstanding, hand-picked films, documentaries and short films.

With the program selection festival director Christine Dollhofer seeks to do justice to the diversity of European cinema (and consequently to that of the continent of Europe). The Linz festival audience has an opportunity to see high-quality European productions and cinematic highlights of the past festival season (from A-festivals like the Berlinale, Cannes and Venice) suitably presented on the screen.

Despite changes in media consumption and reception behavior, film festivals still play an important role: in bringing new positions and developments in film art to a wider public for discussion, curating programs and films that, all too often and despite international festival success, have no place in cinemas for economic reasons, and giving them an audience. This also includes presenting films from a young generation of directors. From the beginning, the second largest international film festival in Austria has centered around the European film continent in all its many facets, and its relaxed atmosphere has already inspired Austrian media representatives to declare CROSSING EUROPE the “living room for European film”.

Next festival edition: 23 – 28 April 2013

For more information about the festival, films from the past nine years and festival prizes please visit

DORF - Unique Regional Film Festival

Festival itself is only urban happening in our region (Vinkovci – Eastern Slavonia), unique and special in whole Croatia by it's purpose and substance. Many visitors and audience recognized it: DORF has a great response among the movie-fans but, also, music fans. Each year numbers of visitors increasing, and if we add appearances in other cities, we can say that more than 5.000 people have seen 2012 programme.

Geographical position on far east of Croatia, near to Bosnia, Serbia and Hungary, gives possibility to promote this movie genre and new ideas and also connect city and county with others.

This major event originated in 2007. (with 13 movies from 4 countries, concerts and photo-exhibition). In 2012 we had 41 movies from Croatia, BiH, Serbia, Slovenia, and international. In addition to screenings we have a complimentary programme of concerts, DJ session, jewelry exhibition (so far we had photo, paintings, gig posters, comics) and also book promotions.

During the Festival 2012 we had also music documentary movie workshop with famous french director Vincent Moon as a mentor.

After the end of Festival, as our raison d'etre, movies go - DORF ON THE ROAD – touring to other countries and cities in this region. In 6 years this selection of highlights from our programme was presented in 54 cities in Croatia, Slovenia, BiH, Serbia and Macedonia.

With Palic film festival (from Serbia) we did a 12 moths-project funded by EU, Crossborder collaboration Croatia-Serbia. Festival is organised by the Association of movie fans RARE Vinkovci.
The Association of movie fans RARE participating in the FDF project with the support of the Austrian Cultural Forum in Zagreb.

Next festival edition: 07-10 March 2013

FREE ZONE film festival is meant to foster a debate on topical issues in the world today. The festival showcases films from around the world that address human rights and related issues, bringing together celebrated filmmakers, local experts, and local and international audiences.

Free zone film festival is created out of belief that a good film experience can last much longer than its screening time and that it can provide access to alternative depiction of reality. This festival showcases films that are eye-opening and often leave their viewers with the feeling of freedom and responsibility that comes with being an active citizen. In these cases the art of film can actually make a difference.

Free Zone is not only an increasingly popular annual film festival, but also a part of a broader initiative that runs throughout the year.

Next festival edition: 07 - 13 November 2013

CINEMA CITY International Film Festival

Cinema City International Film Festival (Novi Sad, Serbia) is one of important film and cultural projects of our region, realized with considerable amount of professionalism and creativity. The festival is meant to be a monumental accomplishment of the enormous quantities of young energy. During 2008 and 2009, Cinema City developed into an international film festival which represents a significant cultural and film event in Serbia and the region, with its extent, film programme and distinguished guests from around the world.

A special category has been introduced, a category for young, talented authors and their works in the selection of the movies with the budgets of $10,000 and up to $10,000. Attention to young talents includes the presence of top lecturers from film area, organized seminars and constructive dialogues. The programme concept of the festival covers film and academic programme, which take place at more than 20 locations in Novi Sad, including indoor and outdoor cinemas.

Film programme presents film selections of domestic and foreign production, along with competitive selections and numerous retrospectives. Over 150 films, more than a hundred premieres are shown at indoor and outdoor locations. The festival presents awards for domestic, international and low-budget films.

Academic programme - Cinema Now Live Academy - includes more than 30 panels, with participants from more than 10 countries. Within this programme, film artists, theoreticians, critics, and representatives of film industry discuss many significant subjects related to film art and film industry.

Next festival edition: 26 August - 01 September 2013

Damir Čučić and A Letter to My Father within Fresh Danube Films
- “A Letter to My Father” is your first feature film. It is a drama with elements of a documentary – what is the difference when working on a drama in relation to your previous work?

It feels different whenever you enter a new film. Travelling through various segments of film production is an adventure, and I am literally playing. I used more drama in “A Letter to My Father” because a lot of drama accumulated in me over the years. For years I have been occupied with abstract experimental film. It is a lonely business that mostly takes place in a kind of film lab. One short film infected me with the concept that I later developed into a feature film. This concept of mine is not of particular significance, since “A Letter to My Father” is the result of an improvisation. Everything was subordinated to the performances of two actors, the drama originated when they first came together. Thus I decided to change the lonely work in a lab with the shooting with two actors who happen to be two extremely talkative guys. That’s what film is. As they would say, the adventure never ends.

The film masterfully presents highly complex emotional states of a father and son in a patriarchal system. How difficult was it to “draw” transformations from the main actors that faithfully present a highly upsetting family relationship?

From the series of authorial collaborations in which you participate as a director, the most uncertain are the ones with actors. I’m just wrapping up a new film with an amateur actor, who is a great guy but also crazy. Milivoj Beader and Mate Gulin are such geniuses as well. They could act out a father-son argument on any given day, at any given time, say, here and now, and they would use different lines every time. As people they carry within themselves Dalmatia, karst and Mediterranean. The father and son seem so rough, but you feel that they would like nothing best than to hug each other. We managed to polish such acting relationship in the film, but the road to it was bumpy since the shooting took place on several occasions over three calendar years.

- Are you currently directing a new film? What is new in your work?

Apart from directing I am also editing, and it may sound unrealistic, but I’ll list all the jobs that I currently do; I am finishing editing of two documentaries (feature and short). I have started editing another feature film. I am writing a script for a scientific TV show. I am also engaged in a screenwriting platform for a feature film. I have started editing one experimental film that I directed. We are at the animation stage with regard to a hybrid film that incorporates a documentary, feature film and animation. I will co-sign this film with the genius actor that I’ve mentioned. I know it sounds like it is too much, but it is not because of me being sought after, but because I’m slow and expensive.

- From your perspective, how would you describe the position of the independent auteur film in Croatia?

As a kid I was carried away by the wave that generations of Croatian film authors rode. This wave took me to a cinema club, and soon there was a camera in my hands, and films in my head. Today I remain of the opinion that cinema clubs are the bastions of Croatian independent film. The rest of us, who apply with our films for funds, seek co-productions, participate in various workshops and camps… we have already lost the independent position. Hell, we depend on someone, otherwise why else would we fill out dozens of pages of application forms, contracts, preliminary contracts, etc. However, the situation in Croatia is far from apocalyptic. The national film centre monitors and encourages auteur film. Where film is concerned I’m ever the optimist – if I don’t get funding I shoot a film without those funds.

- So far your film has been screened within the Fresh Danube Films project at two festivals – DORF festival from Vinkovci and Crossing Europe from Linz. What are your impressions of those festivals, and what would you say is the greatest significance of the Fresh Danube Films project and platform for promoting first and second films of the authors from the Danube region?

With regard to “A Letter to My Father” this is the best possible promotional campaign in the region. For a film with an extremely low budget, this type of distribution and promotion is excellent. Given that you nurture the concept of first and second films, I might as well mention that I am finishing my second feature film…

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