About the Festival
“Another festival?! My dear Zuber, why do you want to have another one in addition to all these other festivals in Croatia?” – a well-meaning person told me upon hearing the news that plans were being made to start RAFF – the Rab Film Festival – on the island. There is that part of me that immediately wanted to fight back, but I checked myself. I thought about it and then asked myself: Yes, why? Why another film festival along with all those others? And the answer came in the form of Rab itself. I was once again reminded of it at the time of the magical Rab Fair, when I saw what I am looking at today, at this moment when you are just about to take your seats at the open-air cinema in order to watch one of the 2019 Cannes Festival winners – Les Misérables by Ladj Ly. I saw all these cinema and music banners decorating the city, the posters advertising the times of screenings, the people of Rab buying their cinema tickets, in the city that has been going to the cinema to watch films uninterruptedly for 106 years. A city without its own film festival. The audience, obviously, is already here, it just has to be approached with respect and offered what they deserve – a high-quality film programme.
Enriched with the sounds of music, the odours of gastronomic delights, envisaged as a place of cinema encounters. Defined only by our drive to investigate. On the Island of Happiness, where we can be completely happy only when we have investigated all the aspects of the life we are living or the one that is around us. That’s why RAFF! Co-existing with all other festivals, believing that you will increasingly enjoy it day in, day out; from one year to another. On behalf of the team that have put their hearts and souls into preparing it, our co-organisers, the City of Rab with the mayor Nikola Grgurić and the Pučko otvoreno učilište Rab with its director Katarina Ribarić, all our sponsors, partners and patrons, this is the most we can wish you. And to let yourself enjoy the films waiting for you on the screen under the stars.
Robert Tomić Zuber, Rab Film Festival Director
//////// Mayor of Rab about RAFF
The moment Robert Zuber, on behalf of Toro Laboratorij, contacted the City of Rab and the Pučko otovoreno učilište Rab in order to start the Rab Film Festival, we thought the project was extremely attractive, so we immediately expressed our interest in trying to bring it to fruition.
In the year when the City of Rab celebrates the 130th anniversary of the establishment of tourism as an organised activity and marks its 106-year-long tradition of film screening; when we, in addition to a winter one, have an open-air summer cinema as well – to commit to offer our residents and tourists a brand-new programme was the next logical step.
Developing the programme and creating a new product together with Toro Laboratorij and the Pučko otvoreno učilište Rab has brought us enormous pleasure and I am convinced that, in spite of its organisation being extremely demanding, we will jointly produce a successful festival, worthy of its partner, patrons and sponsors.
The Rab Film Festival was originally envisaged as a big festival that would link film, its most important segment, with music, gastronomy and youth programmes, and I believe that, over the years, it will come to stand out among the many high-quality events in Croatia as a well-attended and a very special event.
Rab is an island of extraordinarily rich history, culture and tradition, and, as hosts and co-organisers, we will do our best to help establish a tradition of such important events and innovative projects that contribute to a better quality of life of our residents as well as to what Rab has to offer to tourists, in order to make Rab a destination famous for its culture and entertainment, a destination that supports first-rate cultural programmes.
As the residents of Rab, we are aware that we have to nurture our tradition as well as create events that, just like the well-known Rab Fair (Rabska fjera), offer unique experiences and encourage tourists to keep coming back to our island.
Nikola Grgurić, Mayor of Rab
The Rab Film Festival presents three RAFF FRAME awards in the following categories: best documentary film, best fiction film and best film selected by the audience.
//////// BEST DOCUMENTARY AWARD
//////// BEST FICTION AWARD
//////// AUDIENCE AWARD
The award has been designed by the industrial designer Silvia Jonjić and the graphic designer Izvorka Jurić and made by Lapidarium – Art Jewellery.
This work of art, which will be awarded to the winners, has been inspired by the concept of the true perspective and the wish to investigate, which is where the origin of art lies in our three-dimensional world, where art itself questions the very same world.
//////// RAB FILM FESTIVAL – festival of investigative film
Sail into the most beautiful film bay
The Festival in short
For five days at the end of August, the island of Rab and its old town will transform into an ideal destination for people whose enthusiasm for exploring new places, stories and flavours does not fade even in the hot summer months. RAFF, a festival of investigative films, has been envisaged as a new transmedia platform encompassing film, music, gastronomy and education, and serving as a base for the genre of investigative films, which, in the era of an ever growing number of film events similar in type, is left with less and less space where to present itself to viewers. Visitors from Croatia and abroad will equally be able to enjoy the festival programme, which is carried out in partnership with the Sarajevo Film Festival, and with Al Jazeera Balkans and the AJB Doc Festival as screening partners. The Festival organisers are the City of Rab, the Pučko otvoreno učilište Rab and Toro Laboratorij from Zagreb.
On RAFF programme
//////// RAFF CINEMA
Recent winners of the Cannes, Sundance and Berlin festivals, the winner of the Sarajevo Film Festival, and a number of fiction and documentary films that explore current global and local issues are the trump cards of the RAFF film section. The programme features a total of 12 film titles – six fiction and six documentary films that have been selected by the film critic and journalist Vladan Petković (fiction film programme) and Lejla Dedić, programme editor at Al Jazeera Balkans (documentary programme).
//////// RAFF SEAPLEX (KAICH CINEMA)
Screenings will be held at the Winter and Summer cinemas in the city of Rab, but visitors will be able to watch the films and listen to the concerts not only on land but also from the sea. In its closing night, RAFF will break with the concept of the static cinema and offer its visitors a chance to “sail into” a completely different way of experiencing culture with the Seaplex Kaich Cinema, a programme unique in Croatia and this part of Europe. The viewers are invited to watch the film screened beneath the city walls at the sail-in cinema: they can sail into Padova 1 Bay on their boat, dinghy or another watercraft and enjoy the film under the stars from their decks. Of course, there will be seats on the shore for those that would rather “keep on land”.
//////// RAFF BEAT
In addition to screening films, RAFF will also put on a number of concerts and music performances by some of the most popular contemporary Croatian singers and bands: Zdenka Kovačiček and Greenhouse Blues Band, Urban &4, Nipplepeople, Elemental, and Detour. A festival pass or a single-admission ticket for the evening screening at Summer Cinema is also valid for the concerts.
//////// RAFF GASTRO
Freedom Square, one of the most charming places in Rab with a breathtaking view, will become Festival Square for five days, turning into a space for encounters, chats, food sampling and the exchange of culinary and film ideas among passers-by, festival visitors, culinary experts, film directors and other film professionals, and people brought together by the Mocira organisation and Vilma cakeshop from Rab.
//////// RAFF GENERATION
This programme features several workshops and is the place where a number of documentary and fiction film experts focused on the journalist investigation of social phenomena will be presented. It is intended for students and film enthusiasts and aims to introduce viewers to the film as a medium of analytical as well as creative scrutiny of society and its specific characteristics (from an intimate micro context to the level of global phenomena and occurrences).