Skip to main content

Black Nights Film Festival: Filip Heraković’s The Pelican world premiere held at packed Tallinn auditorium

Director Filip Heraković’s feature debut The Pelican, produced by Tamara Babun and Matija Drniković (Wolfgang&Dolly), had its premiere screening on Saturday, 19th November, at the packed auditorium of the Apollo Kino Coca-Cola Plaza in Tallinn. The screening was held in the First Feature Competition of the 26th Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF) in Tallinn programme.

“The premiere in Tallinn meant the moment when The Pelican stops being a “secret” known by a handful of people who worked hard on it in silence, so we were happy to finally share it with the audience. I am pleased with the way the audience connected with the film and the lively conversation that followed during the Q&A after the screening. On the wave of initial positive feedback, The Pelican will now travel to Belgrade to appear at the Auteur Film Festival and I’m particularly looking forward to revealing our film to an entirely new audience so soon after its premiere,” said director Filip Heraković after the world premiere of his fiction feature debut at the Black Nights Film Festival in Tallin.    

Lead actor in the film Edi Ćelić also added that, “The space of performance is the space in which communication dissolves. It is a sensitive and vulnerable place in which the author anticipates the mutuality of such exchange. I am thrilled and excited by the response that The Pelican has caused, in which all the forms of authorship are recognized as new and original, and I only hope that the film will continue this conversation with other, new audiences as well.”

The film’s producers Tamara Babun and Matija Drniković (Wolfgang&Dolly) also shared their impressions on the occasion of the premiere screening, “After an entire year of constant preparations, filming, editing and re-shooting of various projects, it feels almost surreal being able to devote two whole days to celebrating The Pelican and socializing with the audience and the film’s crew. Especially at the Black Nights Film Festival, which seemed like a dream when we first started preparing the film. Tallinn has received us more beautifully and more solemnly than we thought possible.”

The Pelican will appear in the First Feature Competition, along with 19 other titles, two of which are screening out of competition. In addition to the premiere screening on Saturday, 19th November, the festival audience will have the opportunity to see the film in two other slots.

The Pelican follows Josip, starring actor Edi Ćelić, a professional football player whose career is on the line after a skiing-related knee injury. While in rehab at the spa health centre, Josip’s interactions with his physical therapist and the visits from his girlfriend and best friend only highlight the question of who he is and what he wants out of life. In order to discover and come to terms with himself, he has to step out of his own skin. When he stumbles onto a sales conference at the hotel and gets mistaken for someone else, Josip decides to go along with it, assuming the identity of Branimir, the hoover salesman. He starts to explore life from a different angle, having a great time along the way, but as he gradually transforms into someone else, things about his own identity grow increasingly confounding.

Director Filip Heraković co-wrote the script together with Nikolina Bogdanović. Apart from Edi Ćelić, The Pelican stars Marko Petrić, Lucija Barišić, Ivan Glowatzky, Tena Nemet Brankov, Stojan Matavulj and Tanja Smoje. The film is produced by company Wolfgang&Dolly from Zagreb, with producers Tamara Babun and Matija Drniković, co-produced in collaboration with Portuguese company 119 Marvila Studios, as well as Croatian artistic organisation Plafon and visual effects studio Poster as production partners.

The film received support from the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC), the Croatian Radiotelevision (HRT), the Department for Culture of the City of Rijeka, and the Istria County Tourist Board.

The Pelican is one of various feature films directed by Croatian authors, mostly newcomers, which arriving at Croatian cinemas in the upcoming months. The campaign Discover Our New Film launched by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre aims to present these upcoming Croatian cinema titles to domestic audiences and encourage them to catch these films on the repertoire. More information about the campaign is available HERE.

Launched in 2007, the Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF) in Tallinn has grown into one of the biggest film festivals in Northern Europe annually receiving 80 000 visitors. Since 2014, its international competition programme boasts a FIAPF – International Federation of Film Producers Associations accreditation, making it an A-category festival on a par with only 14 other accredited festivals in the world. Apart from Tallinn, the festival is also held in the town of Tartu. More information about the festival and its programme is available on PÖFF’s official website

As announced before, the Black Nights FF, happening until 27th November will showcase as many as eight Croatian (co-)productions: Filip Heraković’s The Pelican in the First Feature Competition, Dubravka Turić’s Traces in the Baltic Film Competition, Marko Šantić’s Wake Me in Critics’ Picks, Ivan Gergolet’s The Man Without Guilt also in the First Feature Competition, along with Slobodan Maksimović’s Beanie and Radivoje Andrić’s How I Learned to Fly, both in the Children’s Competition, as well as Jelena Oroz’ Letters from the Edge of the Forest and Timon Leder’s Mouse House both in the Shorts Kids Animation Competition. 

Photographs from the premiere of The Pelican in Tallinn can be downloaded on THIS link, courtesy of photographers Henri-Kristian Kirsip (black carpet) and Jana Mätas (Q&A section).

Cover photographs: The Pelican world premiere in Tallinn
Photograph credits: Henri-Kristian Kirsip (black carpet) and Jana Mätas (Q&A section)

This website uses cookies for the purpose of analysing visitor statistics. No visitor personal data is collected. By using this website you agree to its terms of use.