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From Grain to Painting in the Competition of ZagrebDox

The film From Grain to Painting, a feature documentary by Branko Ištvančić about straw-girls from Vojvodina, opened last week at the 8th edition of ZagrebDox festival.

From Grain to Painting explores the culture and artistic expression of the Croatian national minority in Vojvodina region. The film focuses on straw-girls, folk artists from Bačka, who found their medium of choice in straw, using it to create paintings, sculptures and applied art objects. The film depicts the connection between their everyday lives and artistic expression, their specific social and national position. The film protagonists are famous straw-girls Ana Milodanović and Jozefa Skenderović, art historian Bela Duranci and writer Naco Zelić. Through a series of interviews and authentic footage, the film promotes a renaissance of this craft which slowly, but definitely vanishes.

One of the characters in Ištvančić’s film is Ivo Škrabalo, the recently deceased Croatian film critic, historian and director, who made a film on this subject in 1971, Slamarke divojke, one of the best Croatian documentaries of all times.

Filmmaker Branko Ištvančić, the director of live-action (The Ghost in the Swamp, 2006) and award-winning documentary films (The Cormorant Scarecrow, 1998), born in Subotica, where a large part of the film takes place, devoted a lot of attention to the poetic atmosphere and visuals. A special accent was placed on the frame composition, its richness in content and meaning, authenticity of colours and visuality, as well as on the ‘girls’ paintings’. The message is clear: life and art are not separated; they comprise one unique life, explained Ištvančić.

Branko Ištvančić is also the film editor, the cinematographer was Branko Cahun, while the music was composed by Pere Ištvančić. The film was produced by Marijo Vukadin, from Olimp production company. It was co-produced in association with the Croatian Radio and Television (HRT) and companied Atalanta from Serbia and One Sand Production from Austria.

More information on the film can be found at:

The film trailer with subtitles is available at:

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