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Croatian films at Palm Springs International ShortFest 

Short live-action film The Rudeness of a German Lady directed by Silva Ćapin and animated short Toomas Beneath the Valley of the Wild Wolves have been selected for screening in competition at Palm Springs International ShortFest, normally held in Palm Springs. This year, however, the festival has transferred online and will be held 16th – 22nd June.  

The Rudeness of a German Lady, directed and written by Silva Ćapin, is competing for the title of best short comedy and this will be its North American premiere. The film is available for free streaming during ShortFest and the instructions on how to watch it can be found on the following link

“We are very happy that the film has found its place in the festival’s competition. Since it is set in a fairly European context, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it also resonates with people from a different culture that probably has its own pallete of staple characters lounging on different sandy beaches,” said the film’s director Silva Ćapin. 

The film, which had its world premiere in competition of the 31st Trieste Film Festival, follows a group of tourists on a beach in Dalmatia on a hot summer day. One of the beachgoers, a German woman named Erika, has the best spot under the parasol, but the other bathers become suspicious of how stubbornly still she is lying. As the day progresses, they realize she is in fact dead, but doubt whether to move her because they do not want to spoil a perfect day at the beach.     

The Rudeness of a German Lady is produced by Rea Rajčić (Eclectica) and co-produced by Hungarian company Speak Easy Project. The film was financially backed by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre and in development it won the award for best project at the European Short Pitch organized by the European association for the promotion of young professionals in the European filmmaking industry, NISI MASA 2018. In addition, in 2017, the project won first place at the public pitching forum of the Film Project International Market Preparation and Presentation Workshop, held as part of the 2017 edition of the Mediterranean Film Festival Split.

Chintis Lundgren’s Toomas Beneath the Valley of the Wild Wolves will compete for best short animated film at ShortFest and it is an Estonian-Croatian-French co-production (with Croatian producer Draško Ivezić of Adriatic Animation). Apart from directing the film, Chintis Lundgren co-wrote the screenplay together with Draško Ivezić. The film had its world premiere at this year’s Annecy International Animated Film Festival, while this is Chintis Lundgren’s second appearance at ShortFest, following her 2017 film Manivald.  

The festival’s entire programme can be found here.

ShortFest is the largest film festival for short films in North America and this year celebrates its 25th edition. The festival received more than 6 000 film submissions and will screen 332 films from 69 countries. The winners will be announced on 21st June, while five of the top awards are Academy Awards-qualifying. Find out more about festival awards on the following link.

“We are thrilled to have been able to mount ShortFest virtually during these challenging times. Although it is a shame we cannot welcome audiences in person, it is no small consolation to have the privilege to share the work of these incredible filmmakers in what we feel might be the best line-up the festival has ever had,” said the organizers of the festival, produced by Palm Springs International Film Society, which also runs ShortFest’s feature-length counterpart – Palm Springs International Film Festival, traditionally held since 1989 in January of each year.

Cover photographs: ShortFest 2020 visuals; scenes from The Rudeness of a German Lady and Toomas Beneath the Valley of the Wild Wolves.  

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