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Yugoslav Film Archive, 1 Uzun Mirkova st.
6-15 June 2023


The jubilee 25th edition of the Nitrate Film Festival – Nitrate 25 starts on June 6, on the occasion of the Yugoslav Film Archive Day. In its traditional timeframe, during ten festival days, audience in the movie theater “Makavejev” in 1 Uzun Mirkova st. will have the opportunity to see 43 films from 23 countries in Europe, Asia, and North America.

Festival selector and the Head of Film Archive of the Yugoslav Film Archive, Aleksandar Saša Erdeljanović, announces that the films of all genres from the silent and sound period of world cinema will be represented, and audience in Belgrade will see several films whose copies are the only ones preserved in the world.

The festival will be opened by the world premiere of historically valuable material, the newly discovered unedited film from Rochester (Kodacolor Party, Rochester, New York 1928) about the reception attended by prominent American scientists and persons from political and cultural life.

“This is the first film in which Mihajlo Pupin, the great scientist of our origin, has been identified. The footage was filmed during the presentation of Kodak’s new color film system in 1928. Along with the famous film pioneer and renowned inventor Thomas Edison, one of the main guests of the Kodak founder George Eastman was Mihajlo Pupin, for whom this had been the only known appearance on film so far”, Erdeljanović points out.

Another film from the Museum of George Eastman in Rochester will be shown at the opening of the festival, the classic American psychological horror film The Unknown (1927) by Tod Browning, featuring brilliant Lon Chaney and débutée Joan Crawford in main roles.

Erdeljanović has drawn attention to a particularly important program of recently discovered and identified films in the Film Archive of the Yugoslav Film Archive – five short feature films from the period 1910-1912, the only ones preserved in the world. They are accompanied by an unknown French newsreel The Funeral of Colonel Vojislav Pavlović from 1916, in which the legendary colonel Dragutin Dimitrijević Apis appears as one of his war comrades. A little-known feature German film The Terror of the Sea by Franz Osten from 1924 will also be screened – an adventure movie filmed in beautiful location of Dubrovnik and its surroundings.

Audience will also have the opportunity to see the classic works of the greats, such as Ernst Lubitsch, Jean Epstein, Mauritz Stiller, James Cruze, Julien Duvivier, Victor Tourjansky, José Leitão de Barros, Werner Hochbaum, Hiroshi Shimizu, Max Ophüls, Mario Soldati, Christian-Jaque, Márton Keleti, Mikhail Kalatozov, Mario Monicelli, Oldřich Lipský and many others.

On June 15, the Festival will be closed by the epic Italian production, with exclusive rights, We the Living from 1942. As Erdeljanović states, it is an unauthorized adaptation of the famous American writer Ayn Rand’s book, directed by Goffredo Alessandrini, which was banned by Benito Mussolini due to political reasons.

The accompanying program of the Festival on June 7 will include a session on 110 years since the Balkan Wars – a look at the filmmaking, where archivists and film historians from the countries involved in these wars will have their presentations.

This year the Yugoslav Film Archive will be the host for more than thirty film professionals, film historians, film archive directors and archivists from 15 countries. “It will be an opportunity to meet colleagues from different countries and talk about pressing issues of film archival science, future cooperation on film restoration, exchange of know-how, ideas and film programs”, said Erdeljanović.

As he recalled, the Nitrate Film Festival – Nitrate 25 stems from the Yugoslav Film Archive program The Flammable Day.

“Initially modestly organized, exclusively with flammable nitrate films from the Yugoslav Film Archive, it has grown into one of the most important festivals of archival and classic films in the world. After 25 years, there is no significant film archive and institution that has not sent at least one film to this festival in Belgrade. This year the participation of 30 film archives, archives and film museums is the sheer proof of that fact”, concludes Erdeljanović.