Ljubljana International Film Festival (LIFFe)

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Contact info
Ljubljanski filmski festival (LIFFe)
Prešernova 10, SI-1000 Ljubljana
Phone386 (0) 1 241 7147
Fax386 (0) 1 241 7298
Organised byCankarjev dom, Film Programme
Festival dates11.11.2015 - 22.11.2015
9.11.2016 - 20.11.2016
8.11.2017 - 19.11.2017
7.11.2018 - 18.11.2018
13.11.2019 - 24.11.2019
11.11.2020 - 22.11.2020
Simon Popek, Festival Programme Director
Phone386 (0) 1 241 7150
Online accounts:
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Past Events
  • 16 March to 21 March 2015
    Screenings of The Parade, co-produced by Forum Ljubljana, and a presentation of the Ljubljana International Film Festival (LIFFe) by Simon Popek at the Festival International du Film d'Aubagne at Cinéma Le Pagnol in Aubagne, France

Cankarjev dom Cultural and Congress Centre 2013 01.jpg

Ljubljana International Film Festival (LIFFe) was launched in 1989 as the Film Art Festival Ljubljana. The festival is organised by the Film Department of the Cankarjev dom Cultural and Congress Centre, but films are also screened at Slovenian Cinematheque, Kinodvor Cinema, Kinoklub Vič and Kolosej Maribor. It can be classified as a specialised competitive festival that features an overview of contemporary world film production, but also focuses on emerging directors and new trends in contemporary cinema. For many years the programme director of the festival was Jelka Stergel, but Simon Popek has successfully succeeded her bringing a clearer cinefile touch to the festival in the last few years. Although its selection is now maybe less commercial and populist than before, the festival audience is still growing. With close to 50,000 tickets sold the Ljubljana International Film Festival (LIFFe) is the biggest event in the yearly programme in Cankarjev dom and also one of the biggest cultural events in Slovenia. One of the reasons for the growing interest are also the international guests (directors, actors, producers, etc.) who are visiting the festival each year in bigger numbers.

Sections and awards

As many similar film festivals around the world the Ljubljana International Film Festival (LIFFe) also focuses on young film makers in its main competitive section – the Perspectives section. Namely the section offers a thoughtful selection of first and second feature films from emerging young directors who have had their international première at important film festivals around the world (Rotterdam, Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Torino, ...). The best film from that section, selected by the three-member international jury, is bestowed with the Kingfisher Award (introduced in 1996). In the past years the award has gone to films like East Palace West Palace [Dong gong, xi gong] by Zhang Yuan, The Dreamlife of Angels [La vie reveé des anges] by Erick Zonca, Bread and Milk [Kruh in mleko] by Jan Cvitkovič, Hunger by Steve McQueen, and Dogtooth by Yorgos Lanthimos.

Other sections of LIFFe are: the Avant-premières section – the most commercially-oriented section since it includes major international productions from established directors that will be screened later in the commercial distribution; the King and Queens section – bringing a variety of works by renowned and awarded masters of contemporary cinema; the World Film Panorama – meant for festival favourites from all over the world; the Extravaganza section – bringing the so-called 'midnight cinema' to fans of daring, bizarre and titillating contents of diverse genres; the Focus section – offering an insight into one (or more) of the hottest national cinematographies; the Retrospective section – offering an overall presentation of the work by an important contemporary filmmaker; the Tribute section – bringing a short, condensed presentation of an author who has received a fair share of festival and media attention. The last two sections of LIFFe are the youngest ones since they were introduced only recently: the Kinobalon section – dedicated to the youngest audience as it offers a selection of films for children aged 7 to 14, carefully selected with the help of the Kinodvor Cinema staff; and the World in Short – a competitive section for short films by young film makers.

From 2008, when the World in Short section was introduced, a three-member international jury (each award has its own jury) bestows the Best Short Film Award. At the LIFFe the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) also has its own three-member jury and it selects the best film from all the works in the programme. Their award is called the FIPRESCI Award and with it they usually promote a fresh and innovative approach mostly (but not exclusively) among young or unknown film makers. The audience award is called the Dragon Award (first introduced in 2000 as the Golden Reel Award) and can be bestowed to any film on the programme; the winning film is later also commercially distributed in Slovene cinemas. Between 2005 and 2007 LIFFe also presented the Amnesty International Award (granted by Amnesty International Slovenia) but it was moved to the International Documentary Film Festival.

Facts and numbers

For several years now the number of screened films exceeds 100 and approximately 10 % of those are shorts. Around 250 official screenings take place each year (at least in recent years) – a large majority of them in Ljubljana and just some 10 % in Maribor – while just a little less than 50,000 tickets are sold. The number of international guests grows each year and lately it has reached nearly a third of the number of screened films. In the past years some well-known directors and actors have visited LIFFe including, Hal Hartley, Eric Zonca, Aleksei German, jr., James Benning, Burghart Klaußner, and Vlad Ivanov. The festival is followed by around 180 domestic and foreign journalists (the number of foreign journalists is still small but it is growing each year).

Ljubljana International Film Festival (LIFFe) is also an active member of many international bodies and associations like Europa Cinemas; the Association of European Film Exhibitors, Paris; the European Co-ordination of Film Festivals (ECFF), Brussels; and the Motion Pictures Association, Brussels.

See also

External links


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