Croatians in London Newsletter No. 3 November 2004
Welcome to the third issue of Croatians in London. CIL appears in the first week of every month.
This month: Vanessa Redgrave opens the Croatian Film Festival, and 'Tu' is screened at the London Film Festival. And: Exclusively for CIL - an interview with Cardinal Bozanic, Archbishop of Zagreb during his visit to the UK.
Vanessa Redgrave opens the Croatian Film Festival.
The 'Closer Croatia' Croatian Film Festival, held over 7-10 October at the Riverside studios turned into the most important Croatian cultural event in UK this year, and indeed the world - outside of Croatia itself.
Indeed, the Riverside staff were delighted by the high attendance at the festival. The opening night was sold out as was the last night of the festival.
The festival generated much media coverage, being covered in London's Metro and Time Out. It was featured in Croatia as well, including Croatian Television's main bulletin, Voice of Croatia, Nacional and Hina. There was even some controversy in the Croatian media when invited guest director Antun Vrdoljak did not gain a visa from the British embassy in Zagreb to attend the festival.
Director Dalibor Matanic attended the screening of 'Fine Mrtve Djevojke' (Fine Dead Girls) and answered questions from the audience with the help of Croatian film critic Jurica Heidl.
The last night was highly memorable. The double bill of 'Rondo'/'He Who Sings Means No Harm' was sold out, with many not able to get a ticket. He Who Sings Means No Harm was the undoubted hit of the weekend. Stars Relja Basic and Mirjana Bohanec were in attendance and gave a Q and A at the end. To huge applause, Bohanec broke into song!
The festival was organised by the Croatian Students and Young Professionals Network, with help from the Croatian Embassy. Will there be another one? CIL understands its already being considered.
Croatian cinema was also represented at the London Film Festival on October 27/8. Two screenings of the film 'Tu' (Here) were screened at the ICA and the National Film Theatre. Director Zrinko Ogresta answered questions at the screening CIL attended on the 27th.
Exclusive: Interview with Cardinal Josip Bozanic
His Eminence Cardinal Josip Bozanic, Archbishop of Zagreb visited the United Kingdom to attend the assembly of the presidents of the Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE), in Leeds at the beginning of the month. He also gave a very well attended Croatian mass in London, organised by the Croatian Catholic mission. CIL caught up with him for a few words.
CIL: Tell us something about the conference in Leeds, and Croatia's place in the EU?
Cardinal Bozanic: Croatia has been part of the conference for a long time, since the beginning. It encompasses all the councils in Europe. I testified that Croatia is open to the European Union, especially the youth. Croatia sees in Europe its own future and rejoices in being an EU candidate.
What does his Eminence think of the proposed EU constitution, in relation to the debate over its representation of Christianity?
The document itself has a few elements that refer to Christianity in it. There are many values in it promoted by the gospel such as human dignity. The church is explicitly mentioned and recognises the church as an institution. The church and other religious communities can make agreements with secular authorities. Sections 151 and 152 are especially important, referring to what I just said. However, christian roots are not specifically mentioned. The document has good sides but certain things could be embellished. But the document is done.
How do you find England and London?
This is not my first time in this country. The people are cultured, friendly and open. I respect the culture and history of England.
Do you have a message for Croats in England?
For young people, I wish all the best in their studies and education. Those who are specialists and return to Croatia will be an asset for the country.
CIL thanks Father Berisic at the Croatian Catholic Mission for making the interview possible.
Only events run by known and reputable bodies will be listed here.
Croatian Language School Annual Dinner: 26 November
Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Ambassador: Josip Paro
Address: 21 Conway Street, London W1T 6BN
Tel No: 020 7387 2022
Fax No: 020 7387 0310
Tel No: 020 7387 1144
Fax No: 020 7387 0936
Working hours: Monday - Friday 9.00-17.00
Working hours (with clients): Monday - Thursday 11.00-14.00 Fridays 10.00-12.00
Croatian Students and Young Professionals Network
Address: PO Box 36126, London SW7 2RH
Croatian Catholic Mission
Father Drago Berisic, 17 Boutflower Road, SW11
Tel: 020 7223 3530
Sunday service at 4 pm:
Church of Sacred Heart, Horseferry Road, SW1P 2EF