Mount Vladimir

Unless from under a rock or out of the loop, by now, the average curious skateboarder should spontaneously associate September with skate festival season via, in Croatia, the classic Vladimir Film Festival - now flaunting a brand new website, complete with the 2021 dates and program to also celebrate its supposedly tenth, really eleventh edition and, in Bulgaria, the more recent but just as motivationally driven Summit of the Non-Aligned, which LIVE has highlighted before - most notably here. Summit is taking place right now, this September 9-12th in Belgrade, followed by Vladimir this September 16-19th in Fažana and Pula.

So in order to efficiently echo this stream of great news, what's better than an exclusive recap of the previous edition of Vladimir - one that did take the hit of all the pandemic-related circumstances, but did happen in 2020 - from the perspective of the Amnesia Skateshop crew from Sliven, Bulgaria. To be accurate, the words are by Martin Dechev and Yavor Ski; the photos courtesy of Veliko Balabanov, already the author of this Deo Katunga edit for Stinky Socks and of the new Витошa Skateboards video, scheduled for screening at Vladimir this year; and as far as the accompanying moving pictures are concerned, then that is their former production for Amnesia that they already shot with the 2020 festival in mind.

Once again, feel free to do yourself a favor and keep in touch with the imminent frenzy of Vladimir here (and word on the streets is, their platform is bound to keep getting more and more interesting), and with the one of the Summit here. Feeling like an even deeper dive into the myth? You can also (re-)read our recap of Vladimir 2019, loaded with Josh Stewart artefacts but really cool surprises of many other kinds, here!



"The only way to
know about it is
the best way:
'word of mouth'"


"On all of our trips throughout the years, people had been telling us about this one thing: Vladimir Film Festival, the gathering with no social media. The only way to know about it is the best way: 'word of mouth'.

So, the plan for 2020 was to make our skate video and then experience this magical place we had only heard about - Vladimir. Despite all the ongoing problems in the world and most borders being closed, we managed to finalize our film. The pandemic motivated us, in a way, and the video actually came out alright.

"Skateboarding that makes skateboarders smile"

We contacted the organizer, Nikola, at the last moment due to how we weren't sure that we could make it, because of the circumstances. He immediately added us to the program and explained that this year, 2020 was going to be a little different from the others due to the world having gone crazy. We knew we needed to go regardless, and support our brothers in these hard times.
We were joined by the Витоша crew, a Bulgarian skateboard company. On our way to the festival, we had to make a quick stop in Belgrade to pick up a girl who needed a ride because her friends from Belgrade weren't going - a true warrior, by the way.
After a fourteen-hour drive, we arrived a day early in this beautiful village called Fažana. The weather conditions weren't the best, but we felt right home - it reminded us of all the little towns that we are from.

"This gathering of
wonderful people
can't be explained"

The film program was amazing. Skateboarding that makes skateboarders smile. Nikola was presenting the movies with true passion - he loves doing what he does, there is no doubt about that. The first night, we were in the woods right next to Kasarna. The whole experience was magical; skate movies being screened in a forest, that's perfection. The second day, we managed to skate in Pula, a bigger city that is just a few kilometers away. The place is beautiful and full of spots where no one kicks you out; people watch you and they admire what you do. No confrontation whatsoever, only love.
Since then, weeks have gone by and among us, we're still talking about Vladimir Film Festival; this gathering of wonderful people can't be explained. As cliché as it may sound, you have to visit on location to feel the energy. It's not an event, it's a gathering in its truest form. We can't wait to go to the official ten-year anniversary in 2021.
No words can explain the hospitality, nor the attention that we received. The weather may have not been at its best when we were there, but the show was on. We are more than grateful and 'thank you' isn’t enough to say to our new friends and especially Nikola, Marina and Nino from Pula." - Amnesia Skateshop
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