Opening ceremony  

    13. 11. 2019

    Hosted by actor Matej Puc, this year’s opening ceremony featured musical interludes by the Silence duo. The auditorium was addressed by the honorary patron of this year’s Liffe, President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, who presented Uršula Cetinski, Cankarjev dom’s Director General, with “a written acknowledgement on behalf of myself, our country and our people”, “for the future”, he added. Uršula Cetinski accepted this token of recognition by saying that the acknowledgement meant a great deal to her and that it would provide encouragement for the renowned film festival’s next thirty years. Simon Popek joined her in wishing for additional three decades of success, although possibly not all of them with him at the helm, he added jokingly. Uršula Cetinski paid respects to Ljubljana Film Festival’s founder and first director, Jelka Stergel, by presenting her with Cankarjev dom’s award for her achievements in developing and promoting cinematic art. In her address, Stergel stressed the vital importance of vision and optimism, as well as indomitable will that had played a crucial role in soliciting help from like-minded colleagues, initially from contributors to the Ekran magazine, and then developing the vision more broadly, and seeing its fulfilment in the festival’s present-day recognition. The guests were also addressed by Abel Ferrara, director and scriptwriter of Tommaso, who talked to journalist Patricija Maličev. The eccentric filmmaker’s unorthodox sense of humour – e.g. he thanked Tito for building such a beautiful movie theatre – drew hearty laughs out of the audience. Lead actor Willem Dafoe, who couldn’t join us for the opening, sent a video instead. As well as to Dafoe, who gave a brilliant performance as an antihero, compliments must be paid to cinematographer Peter Zeitlinger, whose contribution is one of the main qualities of Liffe’s controversial opening film.

    Written by Nataša Šušteršič

    An after-party followed the 30th Ljubljana International Film Festival opening ceremony. Scrumptious refreshments and drinks awaited the guests at the CD Club. Enjoying the contagious rhythms played by DJ Nati Katchi and Shu Shu, the guests chatted about the film programme and the screenings they have planned for the forthcoming festival days. Among the celebrities, we spotted Cankarjev dom’s Director General, Uršula Cetinski, Festival Director Simon Popek and some festival filmmakers, including Zsófia Ruttkay, co-screenwriter of the Hungarian His Master’s Voice. Other distinguished guests included Igor Kadunc, RTV Slovenia Director General, art historian and critic Milček Komelj, journalist and art historian Majda Širca, director Karpo Godina, director and actor Franci Kek, radio presenter Jure Longyka, writer Erica Johnson Debeljak, film critics Tina Poglajen and Matic Majcen, journalist Marko Crnkovič, blogger Natalija Pihler and photographer Fulvio Grisoni.

    Written by Andraž Jež

    Photo Iztok Dimc