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Croatian films at festivals in India, Italy, France

Branko Schmidt’s feature film Once We Were Good for You to appear in competition at the International Film Festival of India held in Goa, while Sonja Tarokić’s The Staffroom has been included in the programme of the Torino Film Festival. In addition, Sara Grgurić’s short In the Woods will screen in competition at the Poitiers Film Festival in France.  

Branko Schmidt’s latest film is one of 15 international titles competing for the Golden Peacock, the main award of the International Film Festival of India, held in Goa in hybrid format, 20th – 28th November.    

Once We Were Good for You premiered at home at this year’s Pula Film Festival, winning the Golden Arena for Best Screenplay (Sandra Antolić, Ognjen Sviličić, Branko Schmidt) and the Golden arena for Best Actor (Rene Bitorajac). Since then, the film has screened at several international festivals, including the Mostar Film Festival and the Festival of East European Cinema in Cottbus, Germany, currently screening at multiplexes and independent cinemas across Croatia.

Produced by Stanislav Babić, with Slaven Knezović as co-producer, the film is a Telefilm production, together with theatre and film association Oktavijan from Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

The International Film Festival of India (IFFI) is one of the biggest festivals in Asia, this year celebrating its 52nd edition. More information about the programme and the festival itself is available here

Another Croatian feature is scheduled to appear at an important international film festival. Sonja Tarokić’s fiction feature debut, The Staffroom, will screen in the non-competing programme of the Torino Film Festival, devoted to films that have been developed and awarded at the Torino Film Lab (The Staffroom was awarded in 2016). 

The film premiered in Croatia at the recently held Zagreb Film Festival, winning a Special Mention in the feature film competition. The Staffroom had its world premiere at the International Film Festival Karlovy Vary, taking home a Special Jury Mention and the Ecumenical Jury Commendation. Since then, the film has appeared in Valencia (Mostra de València) and, alongside Once We Were Good for You, at the FilmFestival Cottbus. The Staffroom is a Kinorama production, with Ankica Jurić Tilić as the producer.

This year’s 39th Torino Film Festival runs 26th Nov – 4th Dec, while more details about one of Italy’s biggest film festivals may be found here

In addition, Sara Grgurić’s student fiction short, In the Woods, has been selected to appear in competition at this year’s Poitiers Film Festival held in France and organized on site, 26th Nov – 3rd Dec.  

To date, In the Woods has screened at numerous festivals in Croatian and worldwide, winning, in addition to domestic awards, the award for Best Student Film at the San Sebastián International Film Festival.

The film is an Academy of Dramatic Art (Zagreb) production, co-produced by Antitalent.

Poitiers Film Festival is one of the most renowned European films festivals showcasing film students’ and young authors’ films and perspectives, while last year’s Grand Prix in the international feature film competition went to another Croatian film, Once Upon a Youth directed by Ivan Ramljak.  

Cover photograph: (collage, left to right) scenes from Once We Were Good for You; The Staffroom; In the Woods

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