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Croatian films at 13th Eastern Neighbours FF in The Hague   

The festival showcasing new and exciting titles from East and Southeast Europe this year presents five Croatian production films. The festival takes place in the Dutch city of The Hague, 20th – 24th April.

Croatian documentary short directed by Marko Bičanić, Last Days of the Year, is screening in the New Talents competition programme. The film had its world premiere at last year’s ZagrebDox festival and premiered internationally at Beldocs in Belgrade. It was awarded at the Revue of Croatian Filmmaking and will shortly be screening at SEEfest in Los Angeles. 

The film follows 13-year-old Mateo who is having a great time over the winter holidays, despite the pandemic – playing with friends and lighting firecrackers in the days leading up to the new year. Several days before New Year’s Eve, their carefree fun comes to a halt as the devastating earthquake hits the neighbouring county.  

Last Days of the Year is an Academy of Dramatic Art (ADU) production, created in co-production with the film association Blank, supported by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre. The film’s producers are Vid Oluić and Marko Bičanić

Bičanić’s film is one of ten films in this section competing for the Audience Award. 

In the programme Current Relevant Cinema, the Dutch festival presents a series of noteworthy titles from East and Southeast Europe, including The Dawn directed by Dalibor Matanić, and Danilo Šerbedžija’s Tereza37. The latter, which was last year’s Croatian candidate for Oscar nominations, has participated in the festival’s special itinerant programme, ENFF On Tour, giving the Dutch audience a chance to also see it in Utrecht in November of last year.

The festival’s programme devoted to families and children is screening science-fiction feature My Grandpa Is an Alien, directed by duo Marina Andree Škop and Dražen Žarković, with Darija Kulenović Gudan as producer. To date, My Grandpa has screened at over 50 international festivals and earned more than 15 awards. It is a Studio Dim from Zagreb production, created in collaboration with partners from six other European countries (Luxembourg, Norway, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia and B&H).  

At Eastern Neighbours, Studio Dim will also be presenting one of its minority co-productions – the fiction feature Don’t Forget to Breathe, written and directed by Slovenian Martin Turk. The film is one of the ten titles included in the eponymous programme focusing on New, Vibrant Slovenian Cinema.

The Eastern Neighbours Film Festival will showcase more than 50 films, available to the audience in The Hague from 20th to 24th April. The aim of the festival is to introduce Dutch and international cinemagoers to the cinema and culture of their neighbours to the East. The festival screens films of different genres and formats, from fiction and documentary to animated and shorts, mostly exhibited for the first time in the Netherlands. 

This year’s entire festival programme is published in its online catalogue, while more information about the festival itself may be found here

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