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Croatian films at 6th FIPADOC International Documentary Film Festival

Melita Vrsaljko’s short documentary Knin – Zadar (Waiting for the Train) will have its international premiere in competition at the 6th FIPADOC, taking place from 19th to 27th January, in Biarritz, France. In addition, the feature-length minority co-production, Jump Out, directed by Nika Šaravanja (Croatian co-producer is Sabina Krešić, Fade In) will have its world premiere at FIPADOC, while Vlad Petri’s feature documentary Between Revolutions, realized as a Romanian-Croatian-Iranian-Qatar co-production (Croatian co-producer is Oliver Sertić for Restart) will also appear at the festival.

Knin – Zadar (Waiting for the Train) is Melita Vrsaljko’s directorial debut, which had its world premiere at this year’s ZagrebDox, triumphed at the Liburnia Film Festival winning Best Film, and later also appeared at Croatian Film Days.

The screening at FIPADOC as part of the Short Film Competition will mark its international premiere.

The film follows the daily routine of the director’s father, a railroad pointsman at the Benkovac railway station, where time seems to have stopped in the last decades of the twentieth century. The basis of the dramaturgy of this film is a subtle counterpoint between serenity and anticipation achieved by minimalistic and static images of the decaying space accompanied by a quiet and layered soundscape.

The director of photography is Jurica Marković, while Martin Semenčić is credited with both sound design and film editing. The producer is Tena Trstenjak, while the film is a Dinaridi Film production.

Jump Out, Nika Šaravanja’s feature-length documentary realized as an Italian-Belgian-Croatian co-production, will have its world premiere at Biarritz in France.

The film follows four boys from South Kariobangi, one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Nairobi, who spend their time wandering about the neighbourhood, since the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the schools to close. The only constant in their lives is the acrobatic practice they have every afternoon. Their coach Steve is an acrobat and one of the founders of the acrobatic group that tours Europe every summer with the Cirque du Soleil. The boys share the same dream – to one day travel the world and do acrobatics, just like their older heroes from the neighbourhood.

The director of photography is Mark Modrić, the score was created by Katrin Spiegel, Ivan Šaravanja and Pius Ondeko Mboya, the film is edited by Pierpaulo Filomeno, while Ingrid Simon and Jean-Michel Béranger created the sound design. Croatian co-producer is Sabina Krešić, from the company Fade In.

Vlad Petri’s Between Revolutions, a Croatian minority co-production, will also screen at FIPADOC, in the European Stories competition. The film had its world premiere at Berlinale, where it won the FIPRESCI Award for Best Film in the Forum section. It was honoured with the same award at the Transylvania International Film Festival (TIFF), as well as the award for Best Romanian Feature-length Film. The film premiered in Croatia at the ZagrebDox in March 2023, and will arrive in domestic cinemas on 18th January.

The film is a Romanian-Croatian-Iranian-Qatari production, Croatian co-producer being Oliver Sertić from Restart.

In addition, in the section dedicated to titles created during the director's education phase (New Talent), the short documentary Wild Flowers by author Karla Crnčević is shown. In 2022, the film won, among other things, the Grand Prize for the best Basque film at the 64th Zinebi International Documentary and Short Film Festival in Bilbao, Spain. The film was created at the EQZE school in San Sebastian.

The FIPADOC International Documentary Film Festival takes place 19th – 27th January, in the town of Biarritz on the west coast of France. The festival is part of the network of festivals Doc Around Europe (European Documentary Film Festival Network), with other members including the International Documentary Film Festival on Human Rights 'Verzio' (Hungary), Dokfest München (Germany), DocsBarcelona (Spain) and MakeDox (Skopje, N. Macedonia). This year, FIPADOC presents to the audience more than 140 films, five documentary series, 25 shorts, and 19 digital/virtual projects.

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