The Slovenia Times

Grossman Festival of Fantastic Film and Wine

Jun 11 - Jun 15

Ljutomer, a quiet town in north-eastern Slovenia, will spring to action for its annual Grossman Festival of Fantastic Film and Wine, one of the quirkiest festivals around.

The 20th edition will see a programme packed with film screenings, talks with artists, workshops, concerts, a zombie parade and karaoke, and wine and culinary delights.

This year's guest of honour, the legendary Serbian director Slobodan Šijan will be honoured with a star on the Prlekija Walk of Fame and a retrospective featuring restored versions of his masterpieces Who's Singin' Over There and Strangler vs. Strangler.

The festival will see a total of 31 feature-length films and 37 shorts from 21 countries.

Five films will be competing for the Vicious Cat award for best feature film: the French vampire thriller Bitten (Romain de Saint-Blanquat), Turkish zombie horror The Funeral (Orcun Behram), Spanish occult thriller You're Not Me (Marisa Crespo, Moisés Romera), French-Belgian crime thriller The Soul Eater (Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury) and Italian splatter horror The Well (Federico Zampaglione).

Among the films to be shown outside the competition programme, Marko Mehtsun highlighted Sting, an Australian creature feature, and Working Class Goes To Hell, the latest film by Mladen Djordjević, which is a social drama with elements of the supranatural.

Fourteen short films will be competing for Slak's Vicious Cat award and another 16 for the Melies D'Argent award for best European fantastic short film. Four music documentaries will be in the running for the Noisy Cat award.

Apart from the zombie walk through the town as the best-known feature, the accompanying programme will also include several other fun things such as A Nightmare on Vine Street, a street lined with stalls offering local dishes and wines, and an after programme featuring zombie karaoke and a concert by the Rijeka electropop band Denis & Denis.

Six winemakers will be vying for the Vicious Cat Wine Champion in the separate wine programme, which also includes wine tastings.

For a detailed programme, visit the festival's website here.