Mirko Ilić, world renowned graphic designer and illustrator and author of the Festival logo, was the International Talent Workshop lecturer on the 5th and 6th JFF
Famous Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgård was present at the screening of film Good Evening, Mr. Wallenberg at the 4th JFF
Famous actor Rade Šerbedžija was our guest at the 3rd JFF as he attended the screening of film Fugitive Pieces
German director Jochen Alexander Freydank came to 3rd JFF as he attended the screening of film Toyland for which he won the Academy Award in 2009
The Zagreb Jewish Film Festival was first organized in 2007, as the only Jewish film festival in the region. In its first year, it spanned across three days, in the following two it covered five days, while from its fourth edition, its duration is seven days. The public interest for the Festival grows with each year.
Our work thus far and numerous recognitions from various institutions and individuals have proved that the Association offers a program that is very much so needed in today’s society – not only on the level of contributing to the cultural program of the City of Zagreb and presenting quality and highly esteemed works, but also on the level of influencing awareness about the meaning of tolerance and acknowledging diversity in a society which is going through a recession, as well as through a crisis in values and moral.
What has singled out this Festival as internationally unique from the very start is its devotion to the subject of the Holocaust and the education of all generations, especially schoolchildren, through various lectures and workshops on the necessity of understanding the different. We are dedicated to education and warning the wider public about the omnipresent neo-fascist iconography in the public life of Croatia and wider, about the verbal and graphic hate speech, and the violent behavior of certain social groups and individuals. Far too often, we turn our heads away from these problems instead of confronting them. Even today we are witnesses to the usage of the symbols of hatred which surround us on a daily basis, sometimes aptly hidden behind the curtain of sports events, especially football matches, concerts, and the notion of patriotism. The community in which we live, and in which this Festival is held, has still not become aware of the atrocities that took place in our recent history, nor has it properly confronted this topic. That is why this Festival is an important public platform which, with each year, is visited by more and more people and which ever so clearly reminds us of the terrors of the Holocaust: it should not be forgotten!
With the purpose of reaching out to and educating diverse target groups and recognizing the needs of the community in which and for which we work, we divided the Festival into the following program units:
1. Film program
2. Educational mornings - education programs on the Holocaust and tolerance
3. International Talent Workshop
4. Music program
5. Thematic exhibitions
6. Promoting volunteer work and the “Solidarity among Generations” project
In the six years during which the Zagreb Jewish Film Festival has been held, its programs have thus far been visited by approximately 37,500 viewers. Due to the availability of educational and cultural features to the wider public, with a particular view toward socially deprived groups, the Festival’s segments are free of charge to all visitors and participants, regardless of the extremely high cost of organizing such high quality programs.
After the Festival’s 6th edition, the cities of Rijeka and Sarajevo recognized the cultural, artistic, educational and moral value of the Festival of Tolerance.
The public interest for the Festival grows with each year. In the debut year of the Festival, a total of 2,000 visitors attended its program, in the fourth year the number of visitors rose to 7,000, while the most recent 6th edition and its film and accompanying program attracted as many as 10,300 people, which, in percentages, is an increase of 515 percent in a mere six years.