The Festival of European and Mediterranean Film presents a selection of contemporary cinema productions from all over Europe and the surrounding Mediterranean regions. Based on the Slovenian coast, the festival’s primary aim is to present quality, but less media endorsed movies and documentaries to the audiences from Slovenia’s coastal region. The first two editions were set at the Kolosej Koper Cinemas, afterwards the festival moved to the charming town of Piran where it is held at the Tartini Theatre and the Mediadom Pyrhani.
The festival was launched in 2010 by the film distribution company Fivia/Cenex and the FEMF Institute. Later, the Portorož Auditorium also joined in as a co-producer.
Programme and awards
The main part of the programme consists of the competitive section, where the overall award has, for example, been given to the Palestine film Omar (directed by Hany Abu-Assadan), the Italian comedy Via Castellana Bandiera (by Emme Dante), the Serbian war drama Neprijatelj (by Dejan Zečević) and the French feature La guerre est déclarée (by Valérie Donzelli).
Another important section presents new works from national cinematographies, having put into focus Italy, France, Turkey and Sweden. There is also a section that targets pre-teen audiences and the one that presents directors’ débuts, with a winner being chosen as well. Other awards, like the one for the contribution to the development of the European cinema, are also handed out.
The awarded films are chosen by an international jury, which features prominent movie professionals (until now among them, Lenka Kny, Pavel Jech, Maxwell Hoffman, Brendan Walsh, Anamaria Percavassi and Ubald Trnokoczy).
Besides the trophies for the best movie, director and debut, there is also the Vilko Filač Award, which is given for the best cinematography. Its name alludes to the renowned internationally active Slovene cinematographer Vilko Filač (1950–2008), whose short retrospective was screened in the first festival edition.
The festival also organises lectures and discussions on different topics. For example, violence (prepared together with the University of Primorska), human rights and immigration; one of panel discussions featured the movie directors Serge Frydmann, Ali Ozgenturk and Karpo Godina.