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75th Locarno Film Festival: Juraj Lerotić’s Safe Place premiere in competition; How I Learned to Fly in kids programme

Safe Place, Juraj Lerotić’s debut fiction feature created as a Pipster production, to premiere in the Concorso Cineasti del presente competitive programme of the 75th Locarno Film Festival. In addition, Croatian minority co-production (Croatian co-producer is Ankica Jurić Tilić for Kinorama) How I Learned to Fly directed by Radivoj Andrić to screen in the programme for kids and youth. This year, the Locarno Film Festival runs 3rd – 13th August.

A traumatic event – a sudden suicide attempt – opens a gap in the everyday life of a family of three. Their lives change fundamentally, as if they’ve been pulled into a war invisible to everyone else. The plot of the film distils the acutest aspects, condensed in a short period of time, depicting a situation that boils down to one thing – to save a loved one. Safe Place is based on director Juraj Lerotić’s personal experience, who also plays the leading role in the film.

Staring alongside him are Snježana Sinovčić Šiškov i Goran Marković.

"A premiere at an A-list festival, especially in a programme devoted to discovering the cinema of tomorrow and rising talents from across the globe, as Locarno Film Festival describes the Concorso Cineasti del presente, is a world premiere we had hoped for and of which we are truly proud. We are happy that the selectors have recognized the courage and talent that went into telling this story in such a way,” said on the occasion the film’s producer Miljenka Čogelja, adding:

“The film has gathered an exceptional team of creatives that includes director of photography Marko Brdar, editor Marko Ferković, production designer Jana Plećaš, costume designer Katarina Pilić, assistant director Saša Ban, as well as the rest of the incredibly dedicated crew who participated on the project.”

The film received financial support from the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, the Croatian Radiotelevision and the Slovenian Film Centre. In addition, the film won the Eurimages Development Award at the CineLink Co-production Market of the Sarajevo Film Festival.

Safe Place is a Pipser production, with Miljenka Čogelja as producer and Zelena zraka (Saša Ban and Nevenka Sablić) as the Croatian co-production partner. The film is created in collaboration with Slovenian production house December.

At the 75th Locarno Film Festival, Safe Place will screen in competition, in the Concorso Cineasti del presente programme, featuring a total of 15 titles from all corners of the world. The films in this programme will be competing for the main festival award, the Golden Leopard (Pardo d’oro), the award for best director and, since last year, awards for best actor and actress. The selection of films in the programme can be found on this link.

Also screening at Locarno will be director Radivoj Andrić’s How I Learned to Fly, featured in the programme devoted to children and youth, Locarno Kids: Screenings. The film is a co-production with Sense Production from Serbia as the main producer, and production partners Kinorama from Croatia, Art Fest and Doli Media Studio from Bulgaria and Silverart from Slovakia. The film’s producers are Maja Popović and Milan Stojanović, with co-producers Ankica Jurić Tilić, Mira Staleva, Stefan Kitanov, Katarína Krnáčová, Miroslav Mogorović and Dobromir Chochov.

So far, it has screened at the Zlín Film Festival – International Film Festival for Children and Youth, the Sofia International Film Festival, and the BUFF Malmö Film Festival, where it won the award for Best European Film.

How I Learned to Fly has received financial support from the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, as well as Eurimages, and it was almost entirely shot on the island of Hvar – in Stari Grad, Vrboska, Dol and Jelsa.

The Locarno Film Festival is one of the longest-running and most important film festivals in Europe, renowned for discovering up-and-coming film talents and new trends. This year the festival will bestow its Lifetime Achievement Award to American actor Matt Dillon. More information about Locarno FF is available on the festival’s official website.

Cover photographs: scenes from Safe Place; How I Learned to Fly

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