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Croatian films at IDFA International documentary film festival

Nebojša Slijepčević’s Srbenka, along with the minority Croatian co-productions Chris the Swiss by Anja Kofmel and When the War Comes by Jan Gebert, will screen in the ‘Best of Fests’ programme at the 31st IDFA, taking place in Amsterdam until November 25th.

After a series of festival appearances (DOK Leipzig, IDFF Jihlava) and a number of awards, Srbenka’s Dutch premiere (scheduled for November 22nd) will take place at perhaps the most notable documentary film festival in the world. The prominent IDFA selected Srbenka for screening in the ‘Best of Fests’ programme featuring some of the best documentaries which, due to premiere conditions, were not able to screen in the main programme, but have proven their quality at some of the biggest festivals across the globe.

The film is also participating in the Docs for Sale programme at the East Silver Caravan from the delegation of the Czech IDF (Institute of Documentary Film).

Nebojša Slijepčević’s film is produced by Vanja Jambrović of Restart, and the editor is Tomislav Stojanović. Besides Slijepčević, the cinematographers are also Bojan Mrđenović and Iva Kraljević, and the sound mixer and editors are Tihomir Vrbanec and Ivan Zelić. The executive producers are Rea Rajčić and Tibor Keser. The film also received financial support from the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, the cities of Rijeka and Zagreb, and MEDIA Sub-programme.

Along with Srbenka, the programme will also screen the multiple award-winning animated documentary film Chris the Swiss by Anja Kofmel. The Swiss-Croatian-German-Finnish co-production was recently nominated in four European animation awards categories. The film premiered in Cannes this year in the Critics’ Week programme. The Croatian co-producer is Siniša Juričić (Nukleus Film), while Anja Kofmel not only directed but wrote the film as well. The premise and the idea to present a subjectively told animated film is the death of Christian Würtenberg, a young Swiss journalist killed in the former Yugoslav war.

Jan Gebert’s When the War Comes will also screen in the ‘Best of Fests’ programme. The award-winning Czech film presents audiences with a closer look at the actions and thought processes of certain members of a Slovak anti-immigrant paramilitary group. The film’s director also wrote the script, the cinematographer is Lukáš Milota, the editor is Jana Vlčková, and the producers are Radovan Sibrt and Alžběta Karásková. The Croatian producers are Miljenka Čogelja and Dana Budisavljević, Hulahop.

The focus programme ‘Me’ will screen Rade Šešić’s 1997 Room Without a View. The programme includes personal and autobiographical documentary films, and in his film Šešić describes the feeling of leaving one’s own home and starting a new life in a distant country. In this case, a life that began in Sarajevo was continued in The Netherlands.

The International Festival of Documentary Film – IDFA – attracts nearly 300 thousand visitors each year along with nearly 3000 people directly tied to the film, and especially documentary film industry. This year the festival will screen 295 documentary films, and the focus is directed towards inclusion and gender equality, backed by concrete numbers which show that 41% of the films are by female authors.

Cover photos: scenes Srbenka, Chris the Swiss and When the War Comes

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