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Ana Hušman’s I Would Rather Be a Stone and Ivan Faktor’s Pain world premieres at IFF Rotterdam

Ana Hušman’s experimental documentary, I Would Rather Be a Stone, has been selected for screening in the main short film competition, Tiger Short, making this its world premiere, while the last film of the recently deceased artist Ivan Faktor, Pain, has been included in the Short & Mid-length section. The International Film Festival Rotterdam will be held 25th January – 4th February of next year.  

“I am looking forward to the film’s premiere in Rotterdam and I hope this will help it to have a prosperous future and find distributing and screening opportunities more easily. We make films primarily to be watched, and as experimental films often deviate from provided festival categories, short film production is becoming increasingly abundant, and tastes are difficult to predict, so I am glad they have aligned in this instance,” said on the occasion the author of I Would Rather Be a Stone, Ana Hušman

Her film has been included in the main competition programme devoted to short films, Tiger Short, screening alongside 26 other titles from across the globe.

Focalised around the main protagonist Mala Jela, the film I Would Rather Be a Stone recounts the events that marked a generation and shaped the future of Lika, a neglected and sparsely populated region of Croatia. The living conditions and events that determined the future of the environment also reflected on the lives of its inhabitants, their loneliness, relationships, opportunities, fears and hopes. Mala Jela embodies several female characters in a family predominantly made up of women: mother, grandmother, sister, aunts.

Director of photography is Ivan Slipčević, the film’s editor is Iva Kraljević, sound design and mixing, as well as music were done by Ivan Zelić, while Ivna Jurković was the production sound mixer. The film is a Studio Pangolin production, produced by director Ana Hušman herself, while Bonobostudio is handling the film’s sales. 

In addition, the Rotterdam audience will get a chance to see the premiere screening of Pain, the experimental-documentary short directed by multimedia artist Ivan Faktor who died this past November. 

“The news that Pain has been invited to the IFFR made Ivan Faktor very happy. Unfortunately, he did not live to see the premiere. Those of us who are left behind want as many people as possible to see his last film. What better port of departure for Pain than Rotterdam,” said the film’s producer Jelena Duh

After receiving the diagnosis and the initial fear of illness development, Ivan Faktor decided to visualize his life with Parkinson’s using his cell phone camera. After 50 years of filmmaking, his passion for art and life is still palpable. He films himself, his wife, the yard, the street, his studio, and above all the light attractions in his house. Faktor captures his everyday life but disrupts the daily structure by intervening in reality with light attractions and optical obstacles such as his own trembling fingers. Through interventions into documentary situations, he creates a captivating inner world of an artist confined within space.

Faktor penned, directed, and shot the film. Sound and video editing was done by Damir Čučić. Assistant editor was Marta Bregeš, while assistant cinematographer was Aleksandar Muharemović. Visual effects were done by Marinko Marinkić. The film is a Sve gore i gore production, with Jelena Duh as the producer. 

The Short & Mid-length section is the main non-competitive segment of the festival, focusing on medium-length and short experimental and artistic films, as well as narrative shorts with a pronounced creative signature.

IFFR – the International Film Festival Rotterdam is one of the biggest and most influential film festivals dictating future cinematic trends and discovering filmmakers to watch out for, in addition to attracting tens of thousands of professionals and visitors every year. Since 2020, the director of the festival is Pula native Vanja Kaluđerčić, while one of the selectors of the short film programme is Croatian filmmaker and industry professional Ivan Ramljak.

All additional details can be found on the International Film Festival Rotterdam official website. 

Cover photographs: International Film Festival Rotterdam visuals; scenes from I Would Rather Be a Stone and Pain

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