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Hi Marko. Could you please introduce yourself?
My name is Marko Zubak, I’m an artist from Zagreb, Croatia. Skateboarding is one of my loves ever since I first stepped on it in primary school.
Who is organizing the Vladimir Film Festival and what is the idea behind it?
Fažana, although a small fisherman village in Istra, Croatia, happened to be a place where a bunch of people (not only skaters) with solid ideas and visions got together in one place. I can start with a names of Nikola Racan and Oleg Morović, who are working all year on it, but have to follow with Marina Jakulić, Iris Mošnja, Marta Baradić, Elvis Butković, Tibor-Marko Jakulić and other people who jump in and help out. This year I have to mention Nich Kunz, from San Francisco, who is residing in Fažana for three months, working on his photo exhibition in Kino Valli in Pula, preparing a Print Exchange Program show at Brioni Hotel in Fažana (and skating around Istra).
I’m the only one involved who is not from there, but I have another studio in Rovinj, a city some 40 km from there, where I spend half of the year, so I come often to Fažana.
The idea, from the very first day, is to focus on independent production, small companies and skate documentaries, as well as Croatian scene, which is not big, but we manage to screen few local videos every year and here I have to mention Nikola’s project “Solsticij”, which took him five years to finish, to be premiered last year, which is also the first Croatian skate video that is sold worldwide.
As far as I know, this year’s edition will be the 7th edition of VFF. Please tell us something about how it started and what is different in 2017 compared to the first one in 2011?
It stared totally spontaneously, with the idea to screen some local edits and skate videos with projector, in the small local skate park in Fažana, as an event after the whole day skate session. This first year Sergej Vutuc connected us with Phil Evans and I talked to Hugo Liard, so soon after Bertrand Trichet sent us a package from Carhartt WIP with Format Perspective and The Occasional Antiz Flashback. (Here is how it looked like)
Last year the event took place in abandoned glass factory in Fažana, where Nikola Racan and skaters both from Fažana and Pula started building their first DIY spot. This was also when the photography entered the festival as accompanying exhibition program.
Each year brought something new and now, in 2017, Fažana has no skate park, two beautiful DIY spots are gone, but festival extended to four days (three official days plus day zero), from which one day is in Pula and one on National park Brioni islands, some parts of the program are taking place in Pula’s cinema and galleries, photo exhibitions are as important as film program and now we have Kasarna, a place to go “after”, with a mini ramp. People from all over the world are coming to present their works or simply to attend, something nobody from us ever thought would happened.
I still remember how Nikola appeared with the big pot full of grilled pilchards on our first event. Well, this hasn’t changed, the festival has still this kind of “familiar feeling”, people are staying in the houses of people from Fažana and pilchards for everybody!
Can you tell us something about this year`s edition?
The festival is growing with each year, even though the budget remains very small through all these years. It wouldn’t be possible without the team work and help from local people, which is maybe also the reason something like this can’t pop out in a bigger community. Last year we had more visitors than ever and this year we expect even more, so new thing is that people can reserve accommodation during the festival for only 12€ per night per person, including free boat ticket to Brioni. Here is the link to the reservations.
It’s worth to mention that we arrived to the point where people start to return to the festival, because they had great time on one of the previous editions, which is one of the greatest satisfactions for us.
The program is out at the www.vladimirfilmfestival.com and amongst video projections and exhibitions, we have special gastro night this year, with chef Tibor Rep from Slovenia and his REPeat, slow food for skate videos.
Do you have already plans for next year?
We always think what could we do in the future, but don’t bother much about the program, things just pop out, but we are also trying to spread our focus on interesting productions from different parts of the world. It’s so motivating when you collect people from different continents and cultures in such a small place that it seems that everybody came for vacation and suddenly found out that we all share same passion for skate, and more over, there is some kind of skate festival going on right now in this small village. We plan to keep it like this.
We plan to keep it like this.
Thanks a lot to Marko Zubak for all the kindness and information. Make sure to visit his website.
(Photos by Tomaž Šantl and Henry Kingsford)