All true film lovers started feeling affection towards film already in their childhood. After all, children are the most loyal film audience and most creative film authors. The 55th Pula Film Festival offers several irresistible programmes precisely for the youngest film lovers – film premieres, unforgettable films, workshops, and cartoons by Croatian and international animators. Well, Pula is a great cinematic joy for the young ones as well!




    (Pula City Library and Reading-Room, 14-18 July 2008)


    Long and warm summer is the perfect time for a different school in which kids simultaneously learn and have fun, in which their creativity is sparked and their vistas opened up. This is why the 55th Pula Film Festival is especially honoured to invite children aged between 7 and 12 to the production of a short animated film as part of the traditional Professor Balthazar’s Film School workshop. The workshop will take place from 14 to 18 July 2008 in the Pula City Library and Reading-Room.


    The theoretical part of the workshop includes introduction to film and film art, whereas the practical part comprises all the phases of film creation - from the development of the idea and the script, through set design and acquisition of movie props, to filming and editing.


    The workshop will be led by Zvonimir Rumboldt, film and TV director, assistant lecturer at the Academy of Dramatic Art in Zagreb.


    With the help of the teacher, the attendees shall come up with a story, develop the content of the film, paint and paste set elements, manipulate film protagonists, and shoot selected frames with a digital camera. A short animated film shall be created by using stop motion (frame-by-frame) animation. To the joy of the audience, the film shall be screened in the Arena. All young authors shall take their work home so that they can take pride in it their whole life and recall the occasion on which the seventh art got under their skin…





    (Pula City Library and Reading-Room, 21-25 July 2008)


    After the creative and entertaining process of filmmaking as part of Professor Balthazar’s Film School workshop, the young ones, together with little older ones, shall be able to enjoy the Pula Children’s Film Programme for the first time! This is a new film programme that presents feature-length and animated films for children. Every morning at 10 am, from 21 to 25 July, the good old, but still undiscovered, film pearls for children of all ages directed by Croatian and international authors shall be screened at the Pula City Library and Reading-Room.


    Teah (Tea)


    A feature film directed by Hanna A. W. Slak about a boy, Martin, who is helped by his new friend Teah to save the forest…


    Starring: Nikolaj Burger, Pina Bitenc


    Croatian premiere


    Slovenia, Croatia, Poland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2006, 1h30, 35 mm


    production houses: Gustav Film, Studio Maj, SPI Polska Sp.z.o.o., Jadran film, SCCA/pro.ba
    producer: Frenk Celarc

    directed by: Hanna A. W. Slak

    written by: Hanna A. W. Slak

    cast: Nikolaj Burger, Pina Bitenc, Marko Mandič, Sandi Krošl, Tatjana Šojić, Manca Dorrer, Žan Marolt, Senad Bašič, Gruša Kočica, Špela Petkovšek, Maj Klemenc

    photography: Karina Kleszczewska

    editing: Miloš Kalusek, Tomica Pavlica

    set design: Katja Šoltes

    costume design: Bjanka Ursulov

    music: Bartlomiej Gliniak

    SUMMARY: On Martin’s tenth birthday weird things start to happen in a centuries-old forest. First a mysterious Teah and her mother move to the neighbourhood and after that nature is endangered due to a plan for the construction of a new road that will completely ruin the forest and its unusual inhabitants. As magic and reality are inseparable in the forest, Martin needs a real friend to fight for its survival. However, the boy will soon discover that the source of magic does not live in the forest but in human hearts…

    DIRECTOR: Hanna A. W. Slak was born in 1975 in Warsaw (Poland). She graduated from the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television in Ljubljana. She directed several internationally awarded short subjects (FREAKquencies, A. M.), which earned her the title of the Most Promising Young Slovenian Filmmaker in 1999. In 2004 she directed her first feature-length film Blind Spot, awarded at festivals in Cottbus and Sofia.



    Lotte from Gadgetvillea (Leiutajateküla Lotte)


    An animated film directed by Jann Põldma and Heiki Ernits about a female puppy dog, Lotte, which saves a bee from Japan and decides to go on a journey to the Far East…


    Voice cast: Evelin Pang, Andero Ermel, Lembit Ulfsak


    Croatian premiere


    Estonia, Latvia , 2006, 1h21, 35 mm


    production houses: Eesti Joonisfilm, Rija Films
    producers: Riina Sildos, Kalev Tamm, Vilnis Kalnaellis

    directed by: Janno Põldma, Heiki Ernits

    written by: Janno Põldma, Heiki Ernits, Andrus Kivirähk

    voice cast: Evelin Pang, Andero Ermel, Aargo Ardli, Lembit Ulfsak, Peeter Oja, Margus Tabor, Elina Rejnold, Mait Malmsten

    editing: Janno Põldma

    set design: Heiki Ernits

    music: Sven Grünberg


    SUMMARY: Curious puppy dog Lotte lives in a village in which the most important day of the year is the annual competition of new inventions. Together with her friend Bruno, Lotte finds a Japanese book in the sea and saves Susumo, a judo bee hidden inside the book. Lotte’s father Oscar wins the competition and Susumo has to use her judo skills to calm down Oscar’s rival Adalbert. The whole village starts practising judo and Lotte and her friends decide to go to Japan for a sporting competition…


    DIRECTORS: Janno Põldma was born in Tallinn (Estonia). He started his career as a cinematographer and made his directorial debut with the short animated film Brothers and Sisters in 1991. Apart from working in film animation, he also writes books, film scripts, and plays. Heiki Ernits was born in 1953 in Tallinn (Estonia). He graduated from the Tallinn Pedagogical Institute. He has worked as an art teacher, scriptwriter and film director. He won numerous awards for his caricatures and television commercials. Janno Põldma and Heiki Ernits jointly directed the films Ladybirds’ Christmas and Concert on a Carrot Pie, and the TV-series Tom & Fluffy and Lotte Journey South.


    The Paper Prince (Princ od papira)


    A feature film by Marko Kostić centring on a girl, Julia, who searches for her father’s passport after running into a swindler…


    Starring: Milica Spasojević, Stefan Lazarević, Andrej Šepetkovski


    Croatian premiere


    Serbia, 2007, 1h30, 35 mm


    production house: Luks Film
    producers: Miloš Spasojević, Vladislava Vojnović

    directed by: Marko Kostić

    written by: Vladislava Vojnović

    cast: Milica Spasojević, Stefan Lazarević, Andrej Šepetkovski, Milica Mihajlović, Goran Radaković, Tatjana Beljakov, Ana Markoski

    photography: Miloš Spasojević

    editing: Almir Kenović, Neda Spasojević

    set design: Iskra Ignis

    costume design: Irena Vasiljević, Katarina Vuković

    music: Zorica Mitev Vojnović, Dragan Vojnović Mačak, Borut Kržišnik


    SUMMARY: Julia lives with her parents. They love her but Julia is nevertheless somewhat neglected. One day she is at home alone and becomes a victim of a swindler pollster, Nikola. The two of them make friends and Julia gives him her father’s passport. When a year later Julia learns that her family is in danger because of the missing passport, she goes in search of Nikola with the help of her schoolmate Pegi and grandma Ema, uncovering a series of secrets along the way…


    DIRECTOR: Marko Kostić was born in 1973 in Belgrade (Serbia). He studied for a degree in directing at the Faculty of Dramatic Art in Belgrade. From 2001 he has been working for the Serbian Radio-Television as a director of the culture section. He has directed several student documentary and experimental films, acclaimed at national and international festivals. His feature film The Paper Prince is based on the award-winning film with the same name from 2005. He has also directed the documentary film Citizen Mutt.

    The Elm Chanted Forest (Čudesna šuma)


    An animated film directed by Milan Blažeković centring on a painter who becomes the target of  the evil Cactus King, master of the Magical Forest… 


    Voice cast: Josip Marotti, Ljubo Kapor, Ivo Rogulja


    Croatia, 1986, 85 min / 1h25, 35 mm


    production house: Croatia Film
    producers: Vlado Terešak, Doro Vlado Hreljanović

    directed by: Milan Blažeković

    written by: Sunčana Škrinjarić

    voice cast: Josip Marotti, Ljubo Kapor, Ivo Rogulja

    music: Dennis Leogrande


    SUMMARY: One day, artist Paleta comes to the Magical Forest and falls asleep under an enchanted elm tree. When he wakes up, he realizes that the elm tree has granted him with magical powers that allow him to communicate with forest animals and do miracles with his brush. Soon he meets some of the forest creatures, such as J. Edgar Beaver, Bud E. Bear, Fifi Fox, and hedgehogs Do, Re and Mi. In the meantime, the cruel Cactus King is worried about the arrival of the painter because of the prophecy saying that a human being shall terminate the rule of the cactuses. Cactus King sends his court magician Thistle to bring in the painter. After several unsuccessful attempts, Thistle joins the band that is hiding the painter. Realizing that Thistle has deceived him, Cactus King decides to destroy the entire forest…


    DIRECTOR: Milan Blažeković was born in 1940 in Zagreb. One of the representatives of the Zagreb School of Animated Film, Blažeković is also the author of numerous short subjects (Gorilla Dance, The Man Who Had to Sing) and television commercials. In 1986 he made his first animated feature The Elm Chanted Forest, for which he made the sequel The Magician’s Hat in 1989. His third animated documentary, Lapitch the Little Shoemaker, from 1997, remains the most-seen Croatian film at national cinemas since Croatia’s independence in 1991.

    Owl and the Sparrow (Cú và chim se sẻ)


    A feature film directed by Stephane Gauger centring on a girl, Thuy, who runs away from her evil uncle and on her way meets two people that could become her new family…


    Starring: Pham Thi Han, Cat Ly, Le The Lu


    Croatian premiere


    Vietnam, 2007, 1h38, 35 mm


    production house: Annan Pictures
    producers: Quan Van Nguyen, Nam Nhat Doan

    directed by: Stephane Gauger

    written by: Stephane Gauger

    cast: Pham Thi Han, Cat Ly, Le The Lu, Nguyen Hau, Hoang Long

    photography: Stephane Gauger

    editing: Ricardo Javier, Ham Tran

    set design: Nguyen Van Hoa

    music: Pete Nguyen

    SUMMARY: Relying on luck, Thuy runs away from her uncle’s factory in which her work has never been judged to be good enough. Alone on the streets of Ho Chi Minh, Thuy meets two other unhappy soles - Hai, a young man who found his comfort as a zoo keeper, and Lan, a flight attendant searching for the love of her life. Trying to match the two lonely hearts, the girl wants to create a new happy family. There are only two things that can stop her: city authorities and her uncle’s haughtiness.  


    DIRECTOR: Stephane Gauger was born in Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam). He grew up in Orange County, California. He studied for a degree in dramatic arts and French literature. Gauger started his film career as an assistant cinematographer and cinematographer, and made his feature directorial debut with Owl and the Sparrow, winner of several awards at international film festivals (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, and Singapore). He worked as an assistant director on the film Powder Blue, expected to be premiered by the end of 2008.





    (19 and 23 July 2008)



    On Saturday, 19 July, after the traditional spectacular fireworks display marking the opening of the Pula Film Festival, the first real festival’s Saturday night fever begins. This year, to the joy of parents, children will not go to bed after the fireworks, but rather enjoy watching cartoons at Portarata. The programme starts at 10:15 pm.


    On Wednesday, 23 July, at 08:00 pm, something completely unexpected – the Illusionist, and after that another series of good old cartoons produced by Zagreb Film.