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Emir Hadžihafizbegović Wins Best Actor Award in Cottbus

The jury of the Festival of East European Cinema in Cottbus, Germany decided to give Emir Hadžihafizbegović the award for best leading male role in the film These Are the Rules, directed by Ognjen Sviličić.

The jury consisting of Vlaldimir Burlakov, Nana Djordjadze, Mike Downey, Milenia Fiedler and Eric Spitzer-Marlyna awarded Hadžihafizbegović “for inner strength in his subtle performance and delicate portrayal of a father at the very end of his emotions”. This is the second award to Hadžihafizbegović for this role, after the one presented to him by the jury of the Horizons section at the 71st Venice International Film Festival.

These Are the Rules, written and directed by Ognjen Sviličić, is a story about a married couple from the Savica neighbourhood in Zagreb, who face the most terrible situation of their lives. When their son ends up in a hospital after a street fight, Maja and Ivo will need to stand up against government institutions, which are all but on their side – which is what the film title refers to.

Opposite Hadžihafizbegović, the film stars Jasna Žalica and Hrvoje Vladisavljević, the producers are Damir Terešak (MaXima Film, HR) and Janja Kralj (KinoElektron, FR), and co-producers NIkolina Vučetić Zečević (Biberche Productions, SR) and Svetozar Ristovski (Trice Films, MK). The director of photography is Crystel Fournier, editor Atanas Georgiev, set designer Ivan Veljača, costume designer Katarina Zaninović, and sound designers Tomislav Gašparić and Jean-Guy Veran. The film is co-funded by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, Croatian Television and French National Centre for Cinema (CNC) – fund Aide aux cinemas du monde.

The Cottbus Festival of East European Cinema took place 4-9 November, and the side programme, dedicated to the subject of homosexuality in central and eastern Europe showed another three local films: Love Island by Jasmila Žbanić, documentary Family Meals by Dana Budisavljević, and minority co-production Dual by Nejc Gazvoda. Also, the programme globalEast, this year dedicated to Italy, showed the Italian-Croatian film TIR by Alberto Fasulo.

The Cottbus festival was founded in 1991 and is deemed one of the most important events dedicated to eastern European film in the world. More information is available on the official festival website.

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