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

Vlatka Vorkapić and Sonja and the Bull within Fresh Danube Films

The film “Sonja and the Bull“ was inspired by your documentary feature “Poppa and the Brothers“. How did you decide to make a turn in the genre, and create a remarkable romantic comedy? Do you think the audience from the region is saturated by films that deal with difficult issues of modern society or contemporary history?

At the very beginning when I pondered on this film, there was no immediate decision regarding the genre. In fact, the idea about this film came to me on its own. While shooting “Poppa and the Brothers”, a documentary on bullfighting in Radošić, I interviewed one of the owners, who spoke of how much he loves his bull, and who at one time said: ‘The bull in one hand, a woman in the other… To tell you the truth, I love this bull more than I love women.’ This sentence resonated and that was it, in a manner of speaking, the beginning of this film. I could have followed the owners of the bulls, but I’ve felt that it would be more interesting to introduce an outsider, which opens a door for comic development. This is how I’ve steered in the direction of romantic comedy, and opened a story about Sonja, a hardcore animal activist and Ante, the son of the chief organizer of bullfighting.

As to a possible saturation with difficult issues, it is true that our world is not the most enjoyable of places, but nevertheless, people experience happiness, fall in love, argue and reconcile, and it was about time such a merry love story was shot.

How did collaboration go with acting couple Judita Franković and Goran Bogdan? Does hard work of young actors and director stand behind such fantastic on-screen chemistry? The results are great.

Judita and Goran are a real film couple, perfect for a romantic comedy. I have worked with Judita a lot, but Sonja’s character is completely different from our previous collaborations. In addition, visual design of the character was entrusted to a master of costume design, Slavica Šnur, with whom I often work. I have never before worked with Goran, which is why I saw all the plays that he participated in thus far, before I invited him for an interview. I prefer this way of getting to know the actors, rather than at test shootings. Judita and Goran are smart and creative. They are a winning combination, and prior to the shooting we had two months of rehearsals. I am looking forward to future collaborations with them, of course, in some different story, perhaps in a dark thriller.

Are you currently working on a new film? Do you plan to return to documentaries, or will you continue to work in fiction? Is it complicated to make a transition from film to theatre direction and vice versa, or do they present two affections that are simply complementing each other?

I have chosen the vocation of independent artist, which means that you always have to work several projects simultaneously. I am currently engaged in the editing of a documentary, and I am also working on a script for a feature film. Working on documentaries has helped me greatly when working on a feature film because you get the hang of reconstructing reality in a shot. At the same time writing and working in theatre help me to recognize dramatic potential in a true life’s story. I make films and plays for the same reasons I watch them: to be reminded that life can be nice, joyful and fun, to be encouraged to try and change what is bad, and thirdly, which particularly refers to documentaries, to seek answers to questions that interest me. At the moment I am absorbed in a script for a children’s animation feature that I’ve written after the play “Cloud Fairy”, and it makes me very happy. A story of little Nim, cloud fairy who tells cloud stories, was very well accepted by children’s theatre audience, which implies that this animated film could end up being a small hit in cinemas. As to film and theatre direction, doing one thing makes me want to do the other. This breaks the routine and gives me greatly desired vigor.

Your film “Sonja and the Bull” is part of the programme of the Fresh Danube Films project, which promotes authors of debut and second films from Danube region. Within this project the film has so far been screened at two festivals – Dorf in Vinkovci and Crossing Europe in Linz. What is your opinion on the significance and importance of initiatives such as “Fresh Danube Films”?

Initiatives such as “Fresh Danube Films” are more than welcome, especially as platforms for future cinematic collaborations.

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