The Pula Film Festival, the oldest film festival in Croatia, has introduced a new section focusing on European directors. The first retrospective will be dedicated to Spanish film-maker Pedro Almodóvar.

Organised in cooperation with the Spanish Embassy in Zagreb, the retrospective will present ten films from Almodóvar’s early and middle phases. The films to be screened include What Have I Done to Deserve This?,Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988) and Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!

The main international programme will feature 20 films from the international festival scene, with special emphasis on French cinema. The line up includes the new film from French director Catherine Breillat, Bluebeard (La Barbe Bleue), an unconventional costume drama.

The Countess, directed by and starring Julie Delpy, will also form part of the programme. The story is based on the biography of Erzebeth Bathory, who maintained her youthful appearances by sacrificing young virgins. Philippe Claudel’s film I Loved You So Long (Il y a Longtemps Que Je T’aime) will also screen. The film follows a woman trying to fit in with family and society after serving a 15 year prison sentence.

Films from Croatian directors will screen in the main programme and will include The Land of Wonders (U Zemlji Cudesa) by Dejan Sorak, Metastases (Metastaze) by Branko Schmidt, Donkey (Kenjac) by Antonio Nuic, The Postman (Postar) by Niksa Svilicic, The Blacks (Crnci) by Zvonimir Juric and Goran Devic, and The Man Under the Table (Covjek Ispod Stola) by Neven Hitrec.

There will also be a sidebar secions including Pulica Children’s Film Programme and Best Short Amateur Film Competition. Croatian shorts and documentaries will also be screened during the festival.

The 56th edition of the Pula Film Festival is due to take place from July 18 to 25.