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Carbide world premiere held at San Sebastián IFF: ‘We’re touched, the audience connected to the film’

Director and screenwriter Josip Žuvan’s fiction feature debut Carbide, which is a Maxima Film production (Damir Terešak as producer), created in co-production with Biberche Productions from Serbia, had its world premiere in the New Directors competition at the San Sebastián International Film Festival, held 16th – 24th September. The audience greeted the film with a several-minute-long applause and during the Q&A demonstrated a true understanding of the film’s topic, says director, who feared it might get ‘lost in translation’

“The world premiere at San Sebastián has been a truly unique experience. The screening was followed by a Q&A in which the cast and the director responded to numerous questions and the audience was incredibly engaged. The atmosphere was amazing, definitely a night to remember”, said the film’s producer Damir Terešak (Maxima Film) after the gala world premiere of Carbide, held on Friday at 10:30 p.m. at Donostia’s Kursaal.

Director and screenwriter Josip Žuvan was also touched by the atmosphere at the premiere screening of his debut feature:

“The audience response was amazing. They laughed at the jokes in the first half of the film, and when things got a bit more serious, they did not shy away from emotions; some people cried and, all in all, the atmosphere was quite emotionally charged. They gave it an applause that lasted almost from the beginning to the end of the closing credits. Since this was the first showing of the film, until yesterday I didn’t really know whether it would be understood outside of our culture. I thought some things would get lost in translation, but they got absolutely everything, so the story is obviously universal. I think it is one of those things that happen in different cultures and they recognized themselves in the characters. Afterwards, they came up to us and told us about their own experiences”, said Žuvan, adding that the biggest stars of the premiere were young actors Franko Floigl and Mauro Ercegović Gracin.

“There were many young people of their generation in the audience and they came up to them after the screening to talk to them, they really clicked with the audience”, concludes Žuvan.

In addition to producer Damir Terešak, director and scriptwriter Josip Žuvan and actors Franko Floigl and Mauro Ercegović Gracin, the film crew members at the premiere included director of photography Tomislav Sutlar, executive producer Ana Grbac and co-producer Nikolina Vučetić Zečević (Biberche Productions). The Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia to Spain, Nives Malenica, also attended the screening.

Carbide was the closing film in the New Directors programme, devoted to first and sophomore films by authors from around the world, screening a total of 12 titles competing for the Kutxabank-New Directors Award worth 50,000 EUR, as well as the TCM Youth Award given to the best film based on the selection of a jury comprised of 150 students (aged 18 to 25).

Carbide is a story about Nikola and Antonio, two 12-year-olds living next door to each other in a dirt-road village, who get their fun from burning carbide, filming the whole thing and then putting it up on the internet hoping to score millions of views like the other YouTubers. Their families have a long-running feud and neither side is too happy that the boys like to hang out together. Nikola’s grandma Ivka refuses to sign a consent to have the dirt-road paved because she does not want the house “up the stream” in which Antonio, his mom Ines and grandpa Vlado live, to have access to the sewage system.

Directed and written by Josip Žuvan, Carbide is his fiction feature debut. The cast is made up of Franko Floigl, Mauro Ercegović Gracin, Ljubomir Bandović, Marija Škaričić, Ivana Roščić, Asja Jovanović and Zdenko Jelčić.

The film is a Maxima Film (Croatia) production, co-produced by Biberche Productions (Serbia), and supported by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, Film Center Serbia, MEDIA, Eurimages and Croatian Radiotelevision.

The San Sebastián International Film Festival is classified as an A-list festival by the International Federation of Film Producers’ Associations (FIAPF). Celebrating its 70th jubilee edition this year, the festival holds an important place in cinematic history for having hosted a number of prominent events such as the international premiere of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, as well as the European premiere of Star Wars. It also significantly marked and advanced the careers of various filmmakers such as Fancis Ford Coppola, Bong Joon-ho and Pedro Almodóvar.

Cover photographs: Carbide film crew at San Sebastián IAFF world premiere

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