Interview with Festival Producer Tiha Modrić (History Film Festival)

History Film Festival is an international festival of historical documentary films. The first edition of the Festival will be held in Rijeka, Croatia from September 6 to 9, 2017. History Film Festival is founded and organized by Istra Film, an art association from Rijeka (Croatia). History Film Festival aims at offering viewers and film experts an insight into contemporary film and TV production of historical documentary films, at the same time providing a place where film professionals can meet and share their creative ideas for future projects.

Matthew Toffolo: What is your Film Festival succeeding at doing for filmmakers?

Tiha Modrić: History Film Festival aims at offering viewers and film experts an insight into contemporary film and TV production of historical documentary films, at the same time providing a place where film professionals can meet and share their creative ideas for future projects. Since our submitters come from either independent production companies or TV companies, History Film Festival grants filmmakers an opportunity to present their work and establish new business relations.

MT: What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival this year (2017)?

TM: I am not a person who likes making plans ahead, but I am definitely planning on attending History Film Festival from September 6 to 9, 2017. I hope to meet filmmakers from all over the world, watch great movies, make new friends and contacts which would be important for some future projects. Also, since we are planning to take our guests on a tour around Kvarner Bay (in the Adriatic Sea), present them with the best of our food, wine and culture, I hope that we shall have fun and enjoy History Film Festival’s first edition as much as possible.

MT: What are the qualifications for the selected films?

TM: We accept historical documentaries regardless of their length and year of production. Films are divided in two categories: films by independent production companies and films produced by TV companies. By historical documentary I don’t mean only typical documantaries on World Wars and famous battles, but also documentaries which deal with events, ideas and people who shaped our world and left an indelible mark in human history.

MT: Do you think that some films really don’t get a fair shake from film festivals? And if so, why?

TM: I think that most filmmakers agree with that thesis. In my opinion, the main problem with festivals is always the problem of taste. Also, I think that some wonderful films are left unattended because of shy promotion, insufficient budget and the endless lobby game.

MT: What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

TM: Well, there are countless film festivals around the globe, but neither one of them deals exclusively with historical documentaries. For that reason our festival is really unique.

Since this is the first edition of History Film Festival, our team is doing a wonderful job trying to organize the best possible Festival with available funds and in the years to come maybe ours will be one of those big name festivals. We believe it will be successful.

MT: How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

TM: From a perspective of a film producer who submitts films to many different festivals, I think that FilmFreeway is a great tool. It is simple, fun and because of it submitting films has never been easier. Regarding our Festival, filmmakers can still submit their films to History Film Festival through FilmFreeway because the official deadline for submissions to our Festival has just started. We are excited about new submissions.

MT: Where do you see the festival by 2020?

TM: 2020 is an important year for the city of Rijeka where History Film Festival will take place because Rijeka has been declared European Capital of Culture for the year 2020. By that time I hope that our Festival will become acknowledged around the world, that it will establish a strong institutional and financial backup and most importantly that it will attract more and more filmmakers and viewers. If it becomes famous maybe we won’t need to charge submission fees anymore 

MT: What film have you seen the most times in your life?

TM: There are three films which I have seen a zillion times: Godfather, Big Wednesday and The Warriors. And I hope to watch them another zillion times.

MT: In one sentence, what makes a great film?

TM: Good story, unconventional creative solutions and a crew of enthusiasts who love doing what they do.

MT: How is the film scene in your city?

TM: Although Rijeka is a small city it has an interesting film scene. As there are many film enthusiasts in our city, I think there would be more films produced here if they had more funds and most importantly if those funds are fairly and evenly shared.



Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 20-50 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 2 times a month. Go to for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

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