25/08/2015 Mediterranean film festival
World’s film authors are honoured to take part at MFF
Even though this is his first time at Mediterranean Film Festival, Hrvoje Horvat, music critic and author, among other things the author of the one of the best-selling music biographies in Croatia, about Johny Štulić, says that he is familiar with this festival and that its importance and quality are the greatest privilege of this area. As a member of this year’s jury in the category of short documentary, he is talking about his fascination with the ideas and realisation of films in the program, and as the music fan he is explaining why is Arsen Dedić the greatest, what are the reasons of his quarrels with Štulić, and he is announcing his future project, a biography of one of the most famous home musicians.

You are a member of this year’s MFF jury for the short film competition. Did you have the chance to see all the films and what is your opinion of this year’s program in and off the competition?

Unfortunately I haven’t seen all the films yet, but these that I have are exceptionally valuable works. I don’t want to single out any of them, because it would not be fair to these that I haven’t seen, and I am also a member of the jury, but the quality of films tells me that the selector had a lot of work and a hard assignment to select twenty films out of several hundred that applied. Some ideas and their realization in a couple of films have resulted with remarkable achievements, there are really fascinating works. It is great that the world knows about MFF and that authors and producers are keen on screening their films at this festival.

This is your first time at MFF, but I believe that you have already heard about this festival?

Of course I’ve heard about it and it is an honour to be here this year. First of all, I have already heard, through the music side that I’m mostly occupied with, that Široki Brijeg is a very active place, and if we add the success of MFF, this shows that the organizers’ efforts in the past 15 years have had a lot of sense. The idea of the festival and its realization are even more interesting because they are happening outside the standard centres of events, usually capitals. Exactly this is the advantage today, using the local distinctiveness, which combined with the knowledge and work of people at this festival gives far more interesting and quality offer, not only of films, but also the contacts with people. All of us are eager to discover something new and different and to come to a place where we can learn and see something special. Precisely this is the greatest advantage of Široki Brijeg and MFF, besides the importance of the festival and good quality films.

You are a music critic, the author of numerous books about world’s and home musicians, and the art director of the Rock Off festival that is aimed at young talents and authors. How would you describe the current music scene in Croatia and the region?

There are lots of talented young authors and musicians, but the problem is that today it is more difficult to get the media, audience and the buyers of records interested than it used to be. Because of that we have started a festival in order to be the platform for the musicians that haven’t published more than three albums, but the audience is familiar with some of them, and which they can get the interest of the media and radio stations with.

Who is the best musician of all times in our parts, at your opinion?

It is hard to answer to this question, but in this moment only the name of Arsen Dedić crosses my mind, not only because of the recent events and his decease. Arsen is definitely a unique figure not only in our parts but wider, he was known in Italy and France, where he had received many awards, and he is definitely one of the most talented and appreciated musicians and poets we have ever had.

You are the author of the books about The Rolling Stones, Prljavo Kazalište, you have worked on Animatori, from the world scene there are also Marley, Amy Winehouse, Springsteen...but maybe you are the most famous for your bestseller Phantom of Freedom, which has kicked up the dust. There was mention of some lawsuits?

Phantom of Freedom has remained the best-selling music biography here. I am extremely proud of this book, which, with a cool head and calmly, and with plenty of details, explained some things regarding Štulić and Azra, part of whose work I find the best on our music scene. The problem with Štulić is that he had simply changed and from one moment he did not function rationally, which was his right, of course. I think that it was not the case of a lawsuit, but his negative reaction to the book, which contains some serious critics to a part of his work, and he was completely entitled to that. Anyway, I still back up everything that I wrote in the book.

Can you recommend a music documentary?  

I like the new film ‘Paco de Lucia: A Journey’ about the deceased guitar player. Even though I am not a fan of his music, in this film he is talking about his life, music and society so smartly, provocatively and in an articulate manner, that I discovered a person I had not expected. An exceptional man.

At last year’s MFF we had the chance to see the premiere of the documentary about Bijelo Dugme. What is your opinion of it?


A great film, I was among the first ones who wrote about it in the magazine Rolling Stone. This is a film that was not invited to all the important festivals in the region by accident and received the main award at DORF. This is an extremely well narrated, dramatic and very complex story about the life and death of Ipe Ivandić, with great documentary materials and new interviews. It is very hard to create films and topics like this, especially because of a delicate story. The most important of all is that the audience and the critics liked the film very much, and that is hard to achieve too.

Your current project?

Unfortunately, I am always occupied with five things at one time, but after MFF, on 10th September, our Karlovačko Rock Off Festival is starting, plus I am working on the biography of one of our most famous musicians, which I hope will be as successful as the one about Štulić.




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