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Croatian films and filmmakers at 76th Cannes FF

Two Croatian titles to have their world premieres at the International Critics’ Week (Semaine de la Critique), a parallel Cannes Film Festival section. These are Andrea Slaviček’s fiction short, The Real Truth about the Fight, which is an Antitalent production, as well as Vladimir Perišić’s fiction feature, Lost Country, created in co-production with Croatian powerhouse Kinorama. In addition, Croatian filmmakers will also be participating in industry programmes, while the Croatian Audiovisual Centre will once again promote Croatian filmmaking at the Marché du Film. The Cannes Film Festival opened on Tuesday, 16th May, and runs until 27th May.

“Having your film premiere at Cannes is something you secretly hope for throughout the process of making the film, so we are very happy about this. There was a lot of back and forth, questioning the creation process since the film’s form and structure are quite unusual, so I am really glad that the Cannes selectors have recognized this. Most of all, I’m happy that the work of the excellent professionals who collaborated on the film will finally see the light of day at the Critics’ Week – the Croatian-Spanish film crew was an inspiring combination, which has produced an interesting collaboration”, said Andrea Slaviček whose film The Real Truth about the Fight will have its world premiere on Tuesday, 23rd May, at Semaine de la Critique.

The fiction short centres on Lena, a teenage girl, occasionally distracted by school troubles, catchy tunes and a mysterious blue car, who recounts the real truth about the big fight, but at the same time it feels like there is something she is not telling us.

Apart from directing the film, Andrea Slaviček also wrote the screenplay. Staring in the film is Vida Tunguz, with Ana Ugrina, Lucija Plesac, Lily Antić, Lola Jelčić, Nedim Hasanbegović, Adrian Babić Herceg and Pan Jelić comprising the rest of the cast.

The Real Truth about the Fight is produced by Croatian company Antitalent, with Spanish house Fractal and Croatian company Blank as co-production partners. The film’s producer is Katarina Prpić, alongside co-producer Marc Guanyabens. The film received support of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre and the City of Zagreb.

The Cannes International Critics’ Week will also feature the world premiere of Vladimir Perišić’s sophomore feature Lost Country. He co-penned the script together with Alice Winocou, with whom he already collaborated on his first feature Ordinary People – which also premiered at Semaine de la Critique in 2009.  

Lost Country is set in Serbia in 1996. Student demonstrations against Milošević’s regime are in full swing, while fifteen-year-old Stefan faces the most difficult of all revolutions – he must confront his own beloved mother, the spokesperson for the same corrupt government he and his friends are opposing.

“Perišić has made a truly inspiring film, powerful and gentle in equal measure, and I am happy that the selectors of this prestigious programme have recognized its value. A world premiere at a festival such as this is not only wonderful validation, but it will also bolster the film’s subsequent success, and we really want it to reach as wide an audience as possible and leave its mark”, said the film’s co-producer Ankica Jurić Tilić (Kinorama). 

The film stars Jovan Ginić and Jasna Đuričić, with Duško Valentić and Helena Buljan in other noteworthy roles, and Marija Škaričić, Vinko Kraljević and Goran Navojec completing the cast.

The film is a co-production between France, Serbia, Luxembourg and Croatia (Kinorama), and it was supported by Film Center Serbia, ARTE France Cinéma, CNC, Luxembourg Film Fund and the Croatian Audiovisual Centre.

The International Critics’ Week (Semaine de la Critique), launched in 1962, is a parallel programme running alongside the Cannes Film Festival. This year’s 62nd edition takes place 17th – 25th May, traditionally presenting 10 feature and 10 short films from across the globe. The aim of the programme is to showcase new talents, with artists such as Bernardo Bertolucci, Alejandro González Iñárritu and Gaspar Noé landing their first major breaks precisely at Semaine de la Critique. The international jury will award four prizes: two for feature film (the Grand Prize and the French Touch Prize) and one for short film (the Leitz Cine Discovery Prize). The Critics’ Week also presents the Louis Roederer Foundation Rising Star Award, while the selected films also enter the running for the Camera d'Or. More information about the programme is available on this link.

Miljenka Čogelja on the platform Producers on the Move 2023

The European Film Promotion, which brings together 37 European national film centres and promotion agencies, each year selects 20 promising producers to participate in the platform Producers on the Move, based on their previous acclaimed projects and international co-productions. The list of all participating producers is available here

According to the EFP, Miljenka Čogelja has been selected to participate in the programme thanks to her accomplished production catalogue, as well as her work on the multi-award-winning fiction feature Safe Place directed by Juraj Lerotić, which has garnered recognitions at the Locarno Film Festival (three awards), Sarajevo Film Festival (four awards), as well as being Croatia’s Oscar contender. In addition, Čogelja excelled as the producer of the equally successful docu-fiction The Diary of Diana B. directed by Dana Budisavljević

Participating in POM, the producer will present the debut fiction feature Milch Cow penned by Miroslav Sikavica and Marija Šimoković Sikavica, as well as the other projects she is developing for Pipser: the feature documentary A Minute Enough to Kill You directed by Damian Nenadić and Jetzt, an animated documentary directed by Katrin Novaković. She will also continue promoting Safe Place, which is competing for a nomination for the European Film Award this year.

This year, the programme Producers on the Move is held in hybrid format, combining online sessions prior to the Cannes Film Festival, from 2nd to 4th May, with events during the festival, 18th – 22nd May.

The Producers on the Move is a networking platform with the aim of fostering European film co-productions, intended for enterprising producers whose careers are on the rise. Each year, the participants take part in lectures, workshops, pitching sessions and one-on-one meetings with industry experts, which opens up promotion opportunities in international industry publications. 

Marta Eva Mećava at the New Producers Room

Croatian producer Marta Eva Mećava (Eclectica) is participating in the new platform, New Producers Room, taking place as part of a week-long programme Short Film Corner / Rendez-vous Industry intended for industry professionals working with short films. The programme is held in the midst of the Marché du Film, running 21st – 24th May.  

The aim of the platform New Producers Room is to highlight up-and-coming young production talents and offer them a space where they can explore co-production possibilities and create strong connections for the future.

Marta Eva Mećava will participate on the platform alongside nine other producers. After a series of sessions dedicated to production and distribution, the participants will gather on 24th May for a joint presentation and matchmaking session.

One of the partners of the New Producers’ Room is the Croatian Audiovisual Centre.  

Croatian Audiovisual Centre at Cannes FF

The Croatian Audiovisual Centre will showcase the Croatian cinematography at the Marché du film for the fifteenth consecutive year. Through brochures, meetings and digital platforms, representatives of the Centre will present completed Croatian films of all genres and types to film professionals such as buyers and festival selectors. HAVC will also be available as logistic and lobbying support to all Croatian authors and producers negotiating their current and future projects at the Cannes Film Festival.

In order to promote current Croatian filmmaking, a promotional brochure focusing on new Croatian films, the New Croatian Features & Shorts 2023, has been published, available on this link

In order to promote Croatian shorts, the Croatian Audiovisual Centre provides a space for Croatian titles at the Short Film Corner – a platform for meetings, networking, exchange of ideas and promotion among professionals from the short film scene.

In addition, on Saturday, 20th May, the Croatian Audiovisual Centre CEO, Chris Marcich, will be speaking at the conference of the European Audiovisual Observatory on the topic of increasing polarization in the milieu of European film, into art house and blockbuster, low-budget and high-budget, large and small markets, public and private financing, American studios and independent local distributors, multiplexes and art-house cinemas.

The conference under the title “The European cinema sector – diverging paths?” will gather a series of international film industry experts, while more details are available on this link. The conference will also be available for live streaming here.

Cannes Film Festival is one of the largest and most important film events in the world, and this year it takes place from May 16 to 27.

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