Skip to main content

Croatian titles at Ji.hlava: world premiere of Damir Markovina’a Deserters in competition

Premiering in the competition programme Opus Bonum will be documentary title Deserters directed by Damir Markovina. The same section will also include minority co-production The Investigator by Czech director Viktor Portel (co-producer is Oliver Sertić, Restart), while two other Croatian titles will appear in the programme Constellations. In addition, Aleš Suk’s project Sinnermen is participating in the co-production forum New Visions. The Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival is running 25th – 30th October.  

“The film’s entire creative team is very happy that Deserters will have its world premiere at Ji.hlava, whereas having one’s film screening in competition is a tremendously honour for me as a film author, especially since this is my graduation film at the department of documentary film direction at the Academy of Dramatic Art in Zagreb. Participating in the main programme of a Doc Alliance festival is truly a fantastic success for any documentary filmmaker. I hope that this is the beginning of a beautiful and long festival journey for Deserters, which I am extremely looking forward to”, said director Damir Markovina.

Deserters is a hybrid documentary essay about a generation of high school students from the Gymnasium Aleksa Šantić in Mostar, scattered across the world due to the wars of the 1990s, constantly faced with life decisions of leaving, returning and/or a new beginning. A story about a lost generation, their mutual relationships, hard choices and the answer to the most difficult question of war: to stay or to leave?

The film’s producer is director Damir Markovina himself. The director of photography is Krešimir Štulina, Dora Slakoper edited the film, Marko Tadić created the animations, composer is Manja Ristić, while sound design was done by Miroslav Piškulić

Deserters will have its world premiere in the programme Opus Bonum, competing for the best documentary film of the festival, as well as for the best Central and Eastern European title, which carries a 3000 euros cash prize. 

The same programme will also feature Croatian minority co-production The Investigator by Czech director Viktor Portel.

It is a story about the only Czech investigator of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Vladimír Dzuro, who collected evidence on war criminals and the perpetrators of ethnic cleansing. His two biggest cases were the massacre at Ovčara, linked to the then mayor of Vukovar, Slavko Dokmanović, and the ethnic cleansing in north-western Bosnia, for which Željko Ražnatović-Arkan was deemed responsible. Together with Dzura, the viewers embark on a metaphorical but also very realistic tour of the places from his investigations in the former Yugoslavia and an encounter with surviving witnesses of ethnically motivated crimes.

The film is inspired by the book written by the main protagonist of the film, Vladimír Dzuro, "The Investigator – Demons of the Balkan War", published in 2017 in the Czech Republic as 'Vyšetřovatel – Démoni balkánské válký a světská spradleté'. The Croatian edition of the book is also being prepared.

The film’s co-producer is Oliver Sertić (Restart), alongside executive producer Suzana Erbežnik and associate producer Vanja Jambrović

Another Restart production will also be presented at Ji.hlava, in the non-competitive programme Constellations devoted to documentary titles that have achieved considerable success at world film festivals in the past year. The title is Srđan Keča’s Museum of the Revolution which started its Croatian and German theatrical distribution this September.     

Museum of the Revolution had its world premiere at IDFA – the Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival, where it competed alongside eleven other titles nominated for the Best First Feature award. Afterwards, it toured the festivals around the world (Italy, Austria, Macedonia, Canada, Mexico), and won the Heart of Sarajevo for Best Documentary at the Sarajevo FF.

The Constellations section will also feature the titles The Cars We Drove into Capitalism directed by Boris Missirkov and Georgi Bogdanov. The film’s Croatian co-producer is Dana Budisavljević (Hulahop). The film had its world premiere in competition at last year’s DOK Leipzig, going on to screen at the prestigious Tallinn 'Black Nights' Film Festival. 

The Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival industry section, the co-production forum New Visions, will present the Croatian documentary film project Sinnermen, directed by Aleš Suk and developed for association UKUS.    

“Each island is a world unto itself. Susak is a geographical anomaly and a cultural anthropological phenomenon. The island has always been exposed to the wild sea, conquest, robbery and breaking of fundamental rights, freedom and human dignity. After the end of the World War II, the governance of the island was taken over by the police, bringing in a tide of political pressure and atheism. The film is a testimony of an island whose fate was subject to temptation. Even today, the Sansigots walk around quietly in slippers, afraid of the dark”, says the project description.

The full list of all participating projects in the Forum is available here

The 26th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival, the biggest documentary festival in Central and Eastern Europe, will be held 25th – 30th October in the Czech city of Jihlava. The festival will screen over 300 titles in competition and non-competing programmes, of which 95 titles will have their world, 33 international and six European premieres. The festival is part of the DOC Alliance – a partnership among seven European documentary film festivals, with the aim of strengthening independent and creative documentary filmmaking in Europe. Find out more about the festival on its official website

This website uses cookies for the purpose of analysing visitor statistics. No visitor personal data is collected. By using this website you agree to its terms of use.