Slovenia, a Filmmaker's Paradise

By , 19 Dec 2017, 12:27 PM Made in Slovenia
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We are delighted to welcome Martin Hocevar to Total Slovenia News on December 19, 2017, the first of several new contributors since our launch last week. Martin will be writing about arts and culture, particularly photography, film, fashion, and music. Welcome, Number 7! If you would like to contribute to TSN about the Slovenia where you are, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Due to its rich, idyllic and diverse landscape, Slovenia has always been a popular destination for filmmakers from around the globe in search of new and exciting locations for their upcoming blockbusters. Whether it be trying to ward off an evil king and returning the throne back to its rightful heir Prince Caspian in Andrew Adamnson’s The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, where part of the film was filmed in near Bovec, in the heart of the beautiful Soča valley; or gathering a group of agents trying to stop a hijacked train transporting nuclear weapons, in David Jacksons Death Train where part of the film was filmed in Bohinjska Bistrica, Slovenia has plenty to offer.

Slovenia also offers a large number of different film festivals with a diverse international film selection guaranteed to satisfy even the toughest film critics and film enthusiasts.

Liffe, probably one of Slovenia’s best film festivals, was first organized in 1990 and has been held annually since then each November in Ljubljana, featuring films from exceptional filmmakers as well as those that have just started their film career path. The festival features films from all major film genres.

Ljubljana’s Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, first organized in 1984 (within Magnus Festival) holds the status of being the oldest gay and lesbian film festival in Europe and features a diverse international film selection from exceptional filmmakers.

Ljutomer in northeastern Slovenia is home to the annual Grossmann Film and Wine Festival held in the middle of July, suitable for anyone preferring horror and non-conventional films over the conventional ones. The festival is particularly interesting due to its diverse program that offers various wine tastings, art exhibitions, workshops and its traditional zombie parade, as well as brilliant films.

In the beautiful  Adriatic coastal town of Izola, the Kino Otok - Isola Cinema International Film Festival has been taking place annually in June since it was first organized in 2004 and features a rich and diverse international film program, accompanied with various workshops giving visitors a chance to meet and talk to some of their favorite filmmakers. Sometimes film screenings take place outdoors on Izola’s shore, offering a unique film viewing experience.

Back in Ljubljana, Animateka, an international festival of animated film is held annually at the beginning of December in two of Slovenia’s best Art Cinemas Kinodvor and Slovenska Kinoteka. The festival's primary focus is screening animated short films from Eastern and Central Europe, as well as explaining the origins and the development of the animation genre and the importance of short animated films on a world scale. The festival also gives visitors a chance to meet and talk to some of the famous animators.

First organized in 1998 in Ljubljana due to the documentary film section of Liffe Festival being discontinued, the annual Festival of Documentary Film held in March focusses on screening contemporary documentary films, particularly those exploring social issues and social phenomena. All films being screened are classified in one of the following five sections that built up the festival: Competitive; Myths, Icons, Media; Intimate Portrayals; Topical, Socially Critical; and Retrospective.

Even if you miss the opportunity to visit one of Slovenia's many spectacular film festivals, all true film enthusiasts can still see all the latest blockbusters in one of Slovenia’s many excellent cinemas, but for all those with more sophisticated taste and passion for contemporary art cinema, far above modern Hollywood, in Ljubljana there is the spectacular Kinodvor Cinema, offering a truly unique viewing experience of more complex contemporary art films. Kinodvor also has regular children program and organizes special film screening events such as a whole night of horror film classic held annually on Halloween. With all that in mind, taking any chosen mood or preferred film genre in consideration, Slovenia’s diverse cinema scene surely offers something for everyone.

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