Announcing the 15th Festival of tolerance in Zagreb

    15 consecutive years “Festival of tolerance” from Zagreb, Croatia founded by Branko Lustig, a two time Oscar winner and survivor of Holocaust, is keeping the memory of Holocaust and teaching empathy through films, discussions and art

    The popularno Festival of Tolerance will take place this summer from 1 to 10 July at Zagreb's Bundek lake. Visitors can expect successful and intriguing films, interesting and provocative exhibitions that encourage contemplation, and socially important lectures and educational programmes. Attractive gigs under the open sky of Zagreb will wrap up the Festival’s programme.

    The entire programme has been guided by the same goal for fifteen years, when it was founded by the only Croatian two time Oscar winner and survivor of Auschwitz the late Mr. Branko Lustig: to promote and care for a tolerant, progressive and solidary society.

    Festival of Tolerance – JFF Zagreb is not just another film festival, but a socially engaged festival that promotes intercultural dialogue, encourages civil society to actively work and develop a local community, following social, political and socio-economic trends.

    Since its first edition, when it was founded under the title of the Jewish Film Festival, it has remained a place that connects different audiences, fosters various affinities and beliefs, a place that encourages taking in consideration different attitudes and points of view, and since 2015 it has been practicing open dialogue on this and similar issues. Festival has pointed out and warned about problems of racism, discrimination, xenophobia, homophobia, hate speech, migrants and their assimilation.

    Festival of Tolerance shows that we are not all the same, that we need to know how to accept our differences, openly talk about them and thus achieve a successful coexistence

    “Our main mission is still the most important to us – to promote tolerance through a quality program and to be loud and uncompromising while doing so. This year's festival is especially important to us because we greatly feel that the voice of all the disenfranchised has to be heard in these times’, said Nataša Popović, director of the Festival of Tolerance.

    Aside from some fifty films with themes such as the strengthening of fascism, Holocaust denial, prejudice against refugees and violations of the rights of women and homosexuals, visitors will enjoy two exhibitions that will encourage them to think about what tolerance is and how far we are willing to go in defending it. 

    With the exhibition In Focus, the Festival of Tolerance continues the practice of independent production of exhibitions on the topic of refugees, migrants and asylum seekers in the Croatian society.

    The other exhibition was already presented and symbolically on June 20th, on the occasion of the World Refugee Day. It’s a video installation by the director and producer Jure Pavlovi entitled „We“ and it’s the basic premise of the video installation stems from the fact that the refugee problem in today's globalized world concerns all of us - because ultimately "we" all can find ourselves in a similar problem. This is evidenced by our not-so-distant past, so we need to look at the refugees the same way we look at ourselves.  The idea is to connect the current moment in Croatia and the world with the long tradition of refugees in Croatia through the intimate experiences of several people who were refugees at a certain stage in their lives. From the Second World War to the Homeland War, almost every generation in Croatia carries very vivid memories related to exile.

    "Conflicts and persecution have forced over 80 million people around the world to flee their homes. On the World Refugee Day, we celebrate and salute their strength and courage. Today in Karlovac we join the millions of people in the world who stand by the refugees. By working together we can create a stronger, safer and more vibrant world. Together we can achieve anything,” Ms. Anna Rich, UNHCR Representative in Croatia, stated.

    "Since 2012, the Festival of Tolerance has been making the issue of asylum seekers and refugees, as well as their integration into new communities, a current topic. The refugee crisis has resulted in massive waves of migration towards Europe. In addition to support from institutions, this vulnerable population needs respect, acceptance, empathy and attention of the local communities. Through our engagement, we at the Festival of Tolerance, together with our partners, implement programmes with which we want to encourage respect and compassion in the local community," said the director of the Festival of Tolerance.

    As in all previous years, the entrance is free-of-charge, and the Festival is co-financed by the City of Zagreb, HAVC, UNHCR Croatia and other partners.

    For all information please contact 

    Katarina Hansell Bakic


    Last modified on 01-07-2021