CINEXPERIENCE is the Festival’s film competition. It includes feature-length films, shorts, and documentaries, many of which struggle to find their way to the distributors and wider public.

The films share a common theme of critical thinking about the complex relationship between man and his environment with a special emphasis on the production of food. The winning feature-length film is awarded the Big Oyster prize and the best short film receives the Little Oyster.

We select films which speak about food, environmental protection and preservation of local traditions, about ‘ordinary’ man and the continual challenges set before him by our time, this ‘dislocated’ time. Moving pictures have always had a major influence on the creation of a collective imaginarium and lifestyle. However, behind the glamour and glitter and spotlight, growing problems, which we cannot and must not ignore, are lurking. We are trying to screen ‘small’ films which struggle to reach distributors and wider audiences. In this way we offer the audience in Ston a chance to see works of art which might not otherwise come to Croatian cinemas. Moreover, we offer a perspective on the globalisation of these problems over time: people in Alaska, Lithuania or India are trying to solve them in their own unique ways. It reminds us that we all share the same planet and that what brings us together is the very humanity of our hopes and fears.

All festival events including film screenings are held in carefully selected outdoor public spaces in and around Ston, giving additional value to the city’s cultural heritage. The recently renovated walls of Ston (Fortress Arcimon) and other buildings of special historic significance (Orsan in Mali Ston) are highlighted by the festival’s layout. Open-air screenings are also a way of re-introducing the public to the distinctive pleasures of a vanishing Croatian tradition: the outdoor summer cinema.