This year’s Kino Otok International Film Festival opened its doors with a screening of the film "The Guardians", directed by Xavier Beauvois. This year, the festival is launching a section titled “Home Sweet Home,” which will be devoted to Slovenian film.
In addition to Izola, the 14th annual festival will also take place in Ljubljana, Sežana, Tolmin, Idrija, and – for the first time ever – Koper. The festival will focus on films tackling colonialism, as well as various social trends in Europe and around the world.
The festival’s program includes more than 20 films. Among them is "Djon Africa from Cape Verde". In the movie, Miguel, who has spent much of his life in Portugal, decides to head back home in search of his father. The Italian film "City Gardens", directed by Marco Piccarreda, takes audiences inside a migrant assistance center. Other titles include "Bikini Moon", directed by Milcho Manchevski, "Wild Boys" by Bertrand Mandico, "California Dreams" by Mike Ott, "City of the Sun" by Rati Oneli, "Jupiter’s Moon" by Kornél Mundruczó, "The Congo Tribunal" by Milo Rau, "The Nothing Factory" by Pedro Pinho, and "The Big Shake" by Sandro Baldoni.
According to the festival’s program director, Varja Močnik, the organizers have come up with a section titled Home Sweet Home in an effort to draw more attention to Slovenian film. The program will include shorts by Andrej Zdravič, the film "Playing Men" by director Matjaz Ivanisin, and shorts by Jan Cvitkovič.
Another new addition to this year’s festival is a section titled Europe 2.0. It will include "The Waldheim Waltz", directed by Ruth Beckermann. It focuses on the Nazi past of the former UN Secretary General and Austrian President Kurt Waldheim. Meanwhile, "Meteors" by Gürcan Keltek, tackles Turkish military repression.
In addition to film screenings, the festival will also include video screenings on the beach. They will feature 46 films by young, not-yet-established directors from 15 countries. Meanwhile, a program titled Submarine: An Island for Kids will provide screenings, workshops, and other events for young visitors. The festival will also include PRO Otok, which was established last year and is aimed at film professionals. This year, it will focus on film editing and sound design. Participants from Slovenia, Italy, and Croatia will get a chance to hear from people such as sound designer Paul Davies, who worked on the film "You Were Never Really Here", directed by Lynne Ramsay and featuring Joaquin Phoenix. The sidebar program at the Lighthouse will feature several concerts, from Gregabytes / Independent Coastal Radio to Recycleman, while art installations will be organized at various venues.
Since it was created in 2004, Kino Otok has emphasized the meeting of creators with visitors alongside the screenings – with a carefully considered program and well-established guests from around the world.