The 30th European Film Festival Palic commenced on July 15th with a grand ceremony, where the prestigious “Aleksandar Lifka” prize was awarded to the esteemed actor Bogdan Diklić for his remarkable contributions to European cinema. Over seven enthralling days, the festival showcased more than 100 films across 11 distinctive selections, including Official selection, Parallels and Encounters, Young Spirit of Europe, Eco dox, and more. Film enthusiasts faced the delightful challenge of curating their own film experience along the picturesque Subotica – Palic route, with screenings at renowned venues like Eurocinema, Aleksandar Lifka, Abazija, and the Summer Stage in the Park of Heroes in Palic.

Marija Bojanic | Architect, Film Festival Enthusiast, Electronic Music Lover, and Wine Connoisseur.

Author’s selection: AFIRE (2023), PERFECT DAYS (2023), INSIDE (2023).

AFIRE (2023) – Christian Petzold, Germany: Captivating Flames at Palic Film Festival In the beautiful setting of a Baltic Sea cottage, “Afire” by Christian Petzold mesmerized audiences with a compelling tale of four young individuals and their intertwined relationships. The film’s narrative revolves around Leon (Thomas Schubert), a discontented writer, who intends to spend a tranquil vacation working on his novel with his friend Felix (Langston Uibel). However, their plans are disrupted by the unexpected arrival of Felix’s friend Nadja (Paula Beer) and the charming lifeguard David (Enno Trebs). As a nearby forest fire draws closer, emotions run high, making for a gripping cinematic experience. “Afire” is the second part of the director’s “elements trilogy,” representing the element of fire, following the previous film “Undine” (2020), which embodied the element of water.

PERFECT DAYS (2023) – Wim Wenders, Japan/Germany: Embracing Beauty in the Ordinary Out of competition, Wim Wenders’ “Perfect Days” delves into the everyday life of Hirayama (Koji Yakusho), a Tokyo toilet cleaner who finds solace in his well-structured routine. From listening to music on audio cassettes to collecting books and photographing treetops during breaks, Hirayama’s unconventional hobbies create an air of fascination for his colleagues, Takashi (Tokio Emoto), girlfriend Aya (Aoi Yamada), and niece Niko (Arisa Nakano). This poetic film presents a touching contemplation of finding beauty in the seemingly mundane aspects of our world.

INSIDE (2023) – Vasilis Katsoupis, Greece/Germany/Belgium: Willem Dafoe’s Thrilling Confinement Vasilis Katsoupis’ “Inside” captivated audiences with the brilliant performance of Willem Dafoe as Nemo, a renowned art thief trapped in a luxurious New York penthouse surrounded by priceless artworks. Stranded and cut off from the outside world, Nemo’s once-admired masterpieces lose their value, and his only company is a pigeon on the terrace and the building’s staff observed through video surveillance. The film’s claustrophobic atmosphere keeps viewers on the edge of their seats, blending suspense with comedic moments as the protagonist navigates his confinement.

Palic Film Festival 2023, celebrating its jubilee 30th edition, delivered an exceptional showcase of European cinema and artistic brilliance. From the intense drama of “Afire” to the poetic charm of “Perfect Days” and the thrilling confinement of “Inside,” each film left an indelible mark on the hearts of festival-goers.

The event’s grandeur and the exceptional films screened at venues like Eurocinema, Aleksandar Lifka, Abazija, and the Summer Stage in the Park of Heroes in Palic made it a truly unforgettable experience for every film enthusiast.