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44th Festival du Nouveau Cinéma Montreal: Architecture of Croatian Cinema 

In the 44th edition of Festival du nouveau cinema held from 7th to 18th October 2015, a part of the programme will focus on the relationship between architecture, history and film in Croatian cinema from the 1960s until today. The festival will also show a selection of Croatian animated films in collaboration with Animafest Zagreb. The official programme of the festival will feature the films The High Sun and Sparrows.

Architecture of Croatian Cinema

A lot can be said about a society by observing its architecture and cinema. The first one structures the private and social life of its citizens. The latter functions as a reflection of a society's  dreams, expectations and general attitude(s) towards itself. It is thus no wonder that some of the best Croatian films use architecture as more than just a backdrop for their stories.

Starting from the optimism that fuelled  social rebuilding  in the aftermath of World War II, through the anxieties, tensions and general crisis that pervaded the post-modern decade of the 1980s, to the web of mixed feelings in the (post)transitional period of today, the programme Architecture of Croatian Cinema has a dual goal. It offers an outline of the history of a society as seen through the camera lense. It also provides a showcase of genres, storytelling techniques and topics that some of its most established authors, both classic and contemporary, have employed in the last 55 years, merging in their films the arts of architecture and film, clashing thereby  the protagonists' dreams with the forces of reality.

 Croatian cinema in the 60s: Optimism & Rebuilding of Society

My Apartment (Moj stan), Yugoslavia, 1962, 14'
directed by Zvonimir Berković
Awarded  the Special Jury Prize in Cannes 1963, this humorous short follows the troubles of a family that moves into a new apartment in  urban city outskirts
Martin in the Clouds (Martin u oblacima), Yugoslavia, 1961, 110'
Directed by Branko Bauer
Due to a huge demand, getting an apartment in the new socialist society was not an easy task, so most people only dreamed of having an apartment of their own. Some of them developed intricate plots – not always successful or legal – to make these dreams come true. Such is the case of Martin, the protagonist of Branko Bauer's smash comedy that attracted 100.000 viewers to the cinemas of the Croatian capital alone. Although set on the locations in the centre of Zagreb and imbued with local popculture, its humour doesn't hide the bitter undercurrent of unrequited dreams.

 Croatian Cinema in the 80s: social crisis

Kašinska Street 6 (Kašinska 6), Yugoslavia, 1981, 9'
Directed by Zoran Tadić
This documentary short follows the moving of the inhabitants and subsequent tearing down of the house on the eponymous address in a Zagreb working class neighbourhood.
The Third Key (Treći ključ), Yugoslavia, 1983, 88'
Directed by Zoran Tadić
Where Martin in the Clouds ends, The Third Key begins. A young couple, troubled by a lack of money and unresolved private issues, moves into a new building. Very soon they start to feel as if somebody is watching them and entering their apartment while they are gone. The situation becomes even uncannier when they start getting anonymous,envelopes full of money addressed to their names. The economic and social anxieties pervading the 1980s are well reflected in this Polanski-esque thriller, featuring three anthological performance acts by Croatian avant-garde artist Tomislav Gotovac.

 Short film programme: YOU, ME AND THE BURGEOASIE

Four short stories that reflect on the relationship between architecture and life in contemporary Croatia, often using the complexities of class and gender as bases for their plots.
The Tiniest, HR, 2013, 15'
Directed by Tomislav Šoban
This charming coming of age story translates the experience of the immediate social surroundings of a childhood home into an innovative blend of fairy tale, mystery and essay on sound.
Thresholds, HR, 2013, 13'
Directed by Dijana Mlađenović
Are you responsible for the crime you didn't try to stop? Forceful evictions of 'unsuitable' citizens from their homes in the 1990s form the basis for questioning the notion of compliance.
Teeth, HR, 2010, 20'
Directed by Daria Blažević
As a present day echo of The Third Key, this is a meditation on urban anxiety, told through the story about a woman gone missing in a newly built Zagreb neighbourhood .
On Shaky Ground, HR, 2014, 29'
Directed by Sonja Tarokić
A family is shaken by the financial mistake their father has been hiding. This brilliant dissection of family dynamics is set against the backdrop of Split 3 – an unfinished grand-scaleproject of socialist urban planning.

Animafest Zagreb Presents: P'tit Loups 

Established in 1972, the popularly called Animafest Zagreb is the second oldest festival in the
world completely dedicated to the art of animation. The Zagreb festival boasts being the first to have children’s films judged by a panel consisting only of those for whom the films are intended – children. This program is a selection from a historical overview of short films, curated by Vjera Matković.

Complete list of films can be found here.

FNC Official Selection: 'The High Sun' and 'Sparrows' 

The High Sun by Dalibor Matanić will have its Canadian premiere as part of the Special Presentations programme, devoted to big names in cinema and this year's most talked-about films. Rúnar Rúnarsson's Sparrows, a co-production between Iceland, Denmark and Croatia, will be screened as part of the Panorama programme which proposes contrasting views of New World cinema.

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