This year's HSF- 12th Herceg Novi Strip Festival begins tonight at 8.30 PM with the opening ceremony on the Belavista Square in the Old Town, followed by exhibitions at the galleries "Sue Ryder" and "Josip Bepo Benković", and the concert of famous Bokelian hip-hop band Who See on the fortress Forte Mare.
One of the organizers Jovan Subotić points out that the festival has been raised to a higher level, and the visiting authors put Herceg Novi in the very top of the strip festivals world wide.
"This year, we have a great festival. We made the effort to expand and complete the offer, to look at all aspects of the creation and cultural life of Herceg Novi, and to mark the 12th edition of 12 special, 5 permanent and over 50 guests from the Balkans - says Subotić.
Special guests of the 12th HSF are: Fernando Dagnino (Spain), Juanan Ramirez (Spain), Giada Perissinotto (Italy), Walter Venturi (Italy), Joevito Nuccio (Italy), Dan Verlinden (Belgium), Mirko Čolak (Serbia) Davide de Cubelis (Italy), Alessandro Patrovicchio (Italy), Lorenzo Pastrovicchio (Italy), Jovan Ukropina (Serbia) and Robert Solanović (Croatia).
Nikola Ćurčin admits that in the past the festival has been struggling with many drawbacks, most financially, since it has been increasing and demanding from year to year. This year, however, the festival is going to be great in all aspects.
- The selection of authors on this year's HFS, whose works will be exposed, is phenomenal. I would recommend everyone to visit the festival because everything needs to be seen, and each section is well designed. Earlier, everything was "at the last moment" that sometimes something was put off, there were various problems, but now everything works - explains Ćurčin.
The Special Festival Guest, also named for its first Ambassador in the World, the creator of the visual style of the popular Game of Thrones TV series, William Simpson tells that he was for first time at the festival two years ago and wearing beautiful memories. Herceg Novi is a wonderful city for him, so beautiful to visit again, while he finds HSF one of the most interesting and important meetings in today’s comic art industry.
"When I heard that they wanted to declare me for the festival ambassador, I was first honored and then shocked. Unlike other festivals, in this relaxed atmosphere, visitors have direct relationship with the authors. I'm happy to be an ambassador. Earlier I came for a short visit because I was busy working on the Games of Thrones series, but now that the contract is over and when I'm free, you will not get rid of me, "Simpson says.
Nebojsa Mandić emphasizes that this year's festival has introduced new segments, such as cooperation with primary schools in Herceg Novi:
- On Monday we will have classes in elementary schools “Milan Vuković” and “Dašo Pavičić”. Our pedagogues Tihomir Tikulin Tico from Zagreb, Vladimir Vesovic from Belgrade, Philip Andronik from Sarajevo and Nikola Ćurćin from Herceg Novi will teach children how to draw comics and we will exhibit works in the courtyard of the museum Mirko Komnenović - said Mandic.
HSF continues its cooperation with the Italian Embassy and the Montenegrin Ministry of Culture, and the representatives will attend the opening ceremony of the festival.