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Yugoslav Film Archive, 1 Uzun Mirkova st.
6-16 June 2024


The 26th Nitrate Film Festival will take place, as usual, in the “Makavejev” hall from June 6 to June 16 and it will feature about 40 films selected by Aleksandar Erdeljanović, head of the Film Archive of the Jugoslovenska kinoteka (The Yugoslav Film Archive), from 23 countries in Europe, Asia, and North America.

Under the simple title Nitrate 26, there will be a collection of films from around the world from both the silent and sound periods. Film screenings in Belgrade will feature works whose copies are the only ones left worldwide.

Among many masterpieces, Mr. Erdeljanović highlights an amateur documentary reportage in color from 1937, filmed by British John Kinsman while accompanying a delegation of French war veterans traveling through the Kingdom of Yugoslavia on the 25th anniversary of the Battle of Kumanovo.

The delegation passed through Ljubljana, Zagreb, Belgrade, and several cities in Macedonia before arriving at the unveiling of the monument in Zebnjak and attending a special ceremony in Skoplje. This film is notable for featuring prominent figures from the period, including legendary heroine Milunka Savić. The oldest known film footage featuring her is from the 1950s.

Additionally, it is worth mentioning the French film On Athos-St. Gora, released in 1917, where the French war cameramen among other monasteries captured the first known images of the Hilandar monastery, a Serbian holy site.

The festival’s diverse program features notable films such as William Wyler’s debut masterpiece on the theme of “Three Men and a Baby,” a western titled Hell’s Heroes (1929); the early masterpiece of renowned director Yasujiro Ozu, There Was a Father (1942); the brilliant drama Stella Dallas (1925) by esteemed filmmaker King Vidor; and In the Name of Law (1949), one of the earliest and most influential films about the Sicilian mafia, directed by Pietro Germi; a hidden masterpiece from the French New Wave exploring the lives of young people, Adieu Philippine (1962)by Jacques Rozier; a war drama and a Chinese cinema classic, The Lin Family Shop (1959) by Choui Khoua; a melancholy drama set during the Russian Revolution, Mockery (1927) by Benjamin Christensen, starring the great Lon Chaney in the leading role; one of Hermann Kosterlitz’s (known in America as Henry Koster) final great comedies before he moved to Hollywood, Peter (1934), starring a brilliant Franciska Gaal; last chronologically, the enormously popular four-hour French film Belphegor (1927) directed by Henri Desfontaines.

The audience will be able to watch the timeless masterpieces of renowned filmmakers, including Detlef Sierck (later known as Douglas Sirk), Michael Powell, Karel Kachyna, Maurice Turner, Gustav Molander, Fyodor Otsep, Roman Vinoly Barretto, Samuel Khachikan, and Alfred Desi…

The festival will premiere the most recent restored version of the cult film, accompanied by the original music, Man with the Movie Camera (1929), by Dziga Vertov. Additionally, the festival will showcase one of the finest adaptations of the renowned Dickens’ novel Little Dorrit, directed by Karel Lamač in 1934, as well as the long-lost German- French co-production Apache of Paris (1927), directed by Russian “white émigré” Nikolai Malikoff.

Like every year, there is also a surprise film program from the Yugoslav Film Archive’s collection.

During the festival, the Archive will bring together over thirty film professionals, historians, archive directors, and archivists from 20 countries. It is an opportunity for colleagues from around the globe to get together, exchange film programs, knowledge, and concepts, and collaborate on film restoration and archival issues.