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Award-winning Croatian films at Haifa International Film Festival    

Croatian fiction features Murina, directed by Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović, and A Blue Flower, directed by Zrinko Ogresta, as well as minority Croatian co-production Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn directed by Radu Jude to screen in the East of the West programme at 37th Haifa International Film Festival, taking place in the Israeli city 19th – 28th September.

The East of the West programme at Haifa is screening Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović’s feature debut Murina, which had its world premiere at this year’s Cannes, scooping up the Camera d’Or for best debut film of the festival. At the Pula Film Festival, Murina received the Golden Gate of Pula Audience Award, actress Danica Ćurčić took home the Golden Arena for Best Supporting Actress, while Alamat Kusijanović received the Breza Award for Best Debutant. Murina is currently screening at the Toronto International Film Festival, while back in August it won the award for best film at the Rab Film Festival, and more recently, the same award at Bucharest International Film Festival. 

Director Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović co-wrote the script together with Frank Graziano, while the film is produced by Danijel Pek (Antitalent) and Rodrigo Teixeira (RT Features), with Zdenka Gold (Spiritus Movens), Jožko Rutar (SPOK Films) and Miha Černec (Staragara) as co-producers.  

At Haifa IFF, Murina is also screening in the Cannes at Haifa programme, offering the audience a choice of select titles from the esteemed Cannes Film Festival. 

This year’s Pula Film Festival laureate, Zrinko Ogresta’s A Blue Flower is also screening in the East of the West programme at 37th Haifa IFF.  

Ogresta’s latest feature had its world premiere in April at the 43rd Moscow International Film Festival, where it was ranked third best film of the festival based on audience vote. Croatian audience had the chance to see it at Pula Film Festival, where it was awarded a Grand Golden Arena for Best Film of the Festival, a Golden Arena for Best Directing (Zrinko Ogresta), Golden Arena for Best Actress (Vanja Ćirić) and the Critics Award for Best Croatian Film. 

In August it won the Bihać Avantura Film Festival Grand Prix – ‘Avant & Una’, while this September, besides Israel, it is also scheduled to appear at LIFFE – the Leskovac International Festival of Film Directing.

Apart from directing the film, Ogresta also wrote the script for A Blue Flower alongside Ivor Martinić. The film is an Interfilm from Zagreb production, in co-production with Zillion Film from Belgrade. Ivan Maloča produced it, with Lazar Ristovski as co-producer.

Next to Murina and A Blue Flower, the same programme at Haifa is also featuring minority Croatian co-production Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn, Romanian director Radu Jude’s 71st Berlinale laureate and winner of Golden Bear for Best Film. Bad Luck Banging will also appear in Award Winners, a programme dedicated to Israeli premieres of international award-winning titles.

This summer, the film had its Croatian premiere at the Pula Film Festival, taking home two awards: the Golden Arena for Best Minority Co-Production and the Golden Arena for Best Croatian Contribution to a Minority Co-production, the latter of which went to the film’s co-producer Ankica Jurić Tilić of Kinorama.

All three films were created with the support from the Croatian Audiovisual Centre.

Founded in 1983, the Haifa International Film Festival is the first and the biggest of its kind in Israel. Attracting more than 70,000 viewers each year, it showcases films with an emphasis on high artistic value, peaceful coexistence and diversity.

This year’s edition is taking place at four festival locations around Haifa, 19th – 28th September, while a portion of its programme will also be available online. More details about Haifa IFF may be found on the festival’s official website.   

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