In recent years the small Croatian island of Lopud has evolved into a cultural hub anchored by its renovated 15th C. Franciscan Monastery, which houses a world-class art collection. The Ponta Lopud objective, as the platform for producing live cultural events, is to build on these assets by bringing international artists to the island to further Lopud’s growth as a center for the exchange of creative ideas and learning. Director of the festival, Tilda Grossel Bogdanovic, founded the Croatian NGO Akapela in 2016 to bring UNESCO protected acapella singing to Dubrovnik. Cultural offerings under the platform name Ponta Lopud were expanded in 2021 when Grossel Bogdanovic, in collaboration with the Sarajevo Film Festival and Riva Films, launched the first Ponta Lopud Film Festival.
The first film festival in June 2021 featured the Oscar-winning Polish-born director and screenwriter Pawel Pawlikowski. Film screenings were sold out and master classes were attended by people from all over south-estern Europe. The cultural profile of the island and the film festival were elevated in June 2022 with the presence of Frances McDormand and Joel Coen, whose films were projected and who gave individual masterclasses in their respective fields to Croatian and international students. Antonio Sanchez’s solo drum performance closed the 2022 film festival and introduced a much larger number of music lovers to the film festival’s already existing audience. The inaugural edition of the jazz festival is set to take place in August 2023, and will feature international acts including musicians from the US, Mexico, Japan, Australia, Croatia, Israel and more.