Updated: Apr 14
Held for the first time in 2019., festival Šumoteka /shu mo teq'a/ was created to popularize reading, books and pop culture in Makarska Riviera. This festival is primarily intended for the elementary and high school students, but the kindergarten children enjoyed it so much as well! This festival is a confirmation that Makarska's residents of all ages love to read books.
For starters, we will try to explain the name of the festival, for all of you whose mother tongue isn't Croatian, Bosnian or Serbian. Name Šumoteka is a wordplay, combination of two terms: woods or a forest, and a bibliothèque or the library. In Croatian, šuma means woods; and biblioteka means library (bibliothèque). Also, teka is the old expression for a school notebook, so we figured out to merge those terms into one word - Šumoteka.
The location of this festival, a small park in the city center which looks like a fairy tale is one of the most important segments of Šumoteka's idea and branding.
You thought that fashion models do not read books? Girls in Makarska are special, though.
Check out last year's video invitation for Šumoteka - a Makarska's outdoor library, we created with Maja Catlak, Miss Universe Croatia's a second runner-up, and a total bookworm.
Although the main focus of this festival is on books and reading culture, Šumoteka is a place for everyone who enjoys the popular culture. At Šumoteka's debut in 2019., we enjoyed pub-quizzes and interesting workshops for children and adults, and in the evening, when the lights dimmed, this park became a "cinema under the stars". The films showed on the Šumoteka's big screen were all related to the books, so we enjoyed watching "Blade Runner", a movie based on Philip K. Dick's novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?", a Peter Weir's "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World" and a Croatian hit movie "My Grandpa Is an Alien (Moj dida je pao s Marsa)" written by Pavlica Bajsic, Irena Krcelic and Branko Ruzic.
A special treat for all brainiacs, Šumoteka's quizzes, organized by Fantastikon, Croatian's Convention of fiction, games and science fiction and sponsored by Here Be Dragons, were a real competition polygon where kids and adults demonstrated their knowledge about science fiction, popular books and, of course, Star Wars series. The relaxed atmosphere was sweetened with ice cream, dalmatian donuts (fritule) and good music in the background. Šumoteka is a place to learn, too! Art workshops for kids and a "little film-making school" gathered large numbers of participants who showed their skills that we were thrilled with! For more pictures and information about Šumoteka check out this facebook page.
A three-day outdoor library's program is designed in a way where Friday and Saturday offers more fun, relaxed children and youngsters - based content and Sunday presents the more serious side of Šumoteka, reserved for the writers and promotions of books.
However, for all three days, visitors enjoyed coffee, tea and ice cream while reading their favorite books and relaxing in a comfortable setting of Fra Jure Radic Park. In 2019 we were lucky to meet Jure Divic, a Croatian writer, journalist and a photographer who presented his novel "Tamo doli [eng. Down there]" and Nebojša Lujanovic, a political scientist, sociologist and a writer who guest-starred with his novel "Južina".
Festival concept, idea, branding and visual identity of the Šumoteka are created by us, but the real heroes are the people who welcomed this kind of a festival and popularized it by participating, creating, reading and playing together, our sponsors and Makarska City Library of course, who works hard to make this happen every year.
For mascots, we chose owls. What's more forest-like and smarter than an owl? Our owls have spiced up this fairytale park, marking all of the festival's segments. Owls illustrations are work of our friend, a talented cartoonist and animator Ivana Radic, kids loves them!
Here they are - Šumoteka's mascots, owls! Which one do you like more, the Game of Thrones or the Harry Potter themed one? If you read our articles carefully, you'll get to know another side of this beautiful summer resort, the mysterious one. It is no coincidence that HBO decided to shot some scenes of the Game Of Thrones series right there; Makarska Riviera keeps some secrets only the brave can stand. In order to stay in this magical "books, science fiction, mystery mood", Game Of Thrones scenes in the Makarska Riviera should be your next chapter. To find out more about other events in the Makarska Riviera, download our mobile guide All in Makarska Riviera and check out our events section. This mobile app is totally free, available for iOS and Android devices. Info about other great Makarska Riviera's events are also available here. If you're interested in visiting Makarska Riviera during the festival's dates, and want to save your money on accommodation, don't miss our accommodation section. For gastronomic experiences, there's our food guide. It would be a shame not to visit the most important top sights and activities you can enjoy while staying in the Makarska Riviera, so make sure to check those underlined links.