Film on the beach
Slovenia has a variety of film festivals, catering to different tastes. However, the Kino Otok - Isola Cinema festival is special for its Mediterranean character and the choice of films.
Focusing on auteur films from all over the world, the Izola festival will see 45 feature-length and 75 short films in its 19th edition, with the main programme running in the coastal town from 7 to 11 June.
Many will be film premieres and previews for the Slovenian audience, as well as films that have already been screened but deserve to be seen again, the festival's selector Varja Močnik said ahead of the event.
This year's programme shows that films depicting the life and stories of ordinary people are an important factor in understanding the state of society.
One such is the opening film, The Adventures of Gigi the Law, a witty and genuinely intimate portrait of a dedicated police officer in a sleepy rural town in Italy's Friuli region.
Lead actor Pier Luigi Mecchia will be a guest at the screening at the Arrigoni Open-air Cinema, and the film's director and screenwriter Alessandro Comodin will join in via video call.
The festival's film sections include Europe 2.0, with highlights such as the Belgian adventure film The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, a re-imagination of a well-known story by Benjamin Deboosere. Georges Melies' Adventures of Robinson Crusoe from 1902 will serve as a prelude to the main screening, which will be accompanied by musician Niko Novak.
The Home Sweet Home section will give prominence to last year's Slovenian-Italian-Croatian co-production The Man Without Guilt, directed by Ivan Gergolet, one of the guests at this year's Kino Otok.
The Video At the Beach section will show 57 short films in five different categories and the youngest visitors will be able to pick from a variety films in the Submarine section.
The festival is also popular with professionals with the PRO Otok segment catering especially to them. But there will be much more additional entertainment and education in the form concerts and exhibitions.
One of the main themes of the festival is cooperation between partner festivals in Slovenia and abroad, which is also reflected in the fact that screenings will be held at partner cinemas elsewhere in the country.
As part of pre-festival screenings, the Slovenian Cinematheque in Ljubljana is showing films by Indian director Satyajit Ray from the 1960s and early 1970s until 10 June. His The Big City will be shown in Izola.
The festival schedule is available here.