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IFF Rotterdam: Ana Hušman’s I Would Rather Be a Stone a European Film Award candidate 

Ana Hušman’s experimental documentary, I Would Rather Be a Stone, has been selected to compete for the next European Short Film Award, at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, taking place until 4th February. 

“Through a lyrical and sensorial attention to a landscape threatened by ecological and economic changes, this filmmaker presents a disarmingly caring gaze, sewn together by a masterfully poetic narration. A region of Croatia is shown through a moving tapestry of personal and collective memories, to tenderly consider the traces we leave behind”, said the statement of the jury which chose I Would Rather Be a Stone directed by Ana Hušman as a candidate for the European Film Award in the category of short film.

“I am very happy about this award and it is also a nice tailwind for the film right from the start. Above all, it’s a compliment to the film’s crew with whom I have been collaborating for years. I also thank the Croatian Audiovisual Centre for continuing to invest in and nurture experimental film”, said the author on the occasion.

The European Short Film category is organised in cooperation with the European Film Academy and festivals across Europe. At each of the qualifying festivals, including the International Film Festival Rotterdam, an independent jury selects one candidate in the running for a European Film Award nomination, while the full list consists of 29 titles. Qualifying festivals will ultimately nominate five finalists, while the winner will be voted by the members of the European Film Academy.

The experimental documentary I Would Rather Be a Stone, premiered in Rotterdam on Friday, 26th January, in the main short film competition, Tiger Short.

A list of all award-winning titles in the Tiger Short programme may be found on this link

Centred around the main protagonist Little Jela, the film I Would Rather Be a Stone recounts the events that marked a generation and shaped the future of Lika, a neglected and sparsely populated region of Croatia. The living conditions and events that determined the future of the environment also reflected on the lives of its inhabitants, their loneliness, relationships, opportunities, fears and hopes. Little Jela embodies several female characters in a family predominantly comprised of women: mother, grandmother, sister, aunts.

Director of photography is Ivan Slipčević, the film’s editor is Iva Kraljević, sound design and mixing, as well as score were done by Ivan Zelić, while Ivna Jurković was the production sound mixer. The film is a Studio Pangolin production, produced by director Ana Hušman herself, while Bonobostudio is handling the film’s sales. 

In addition, recently deceased multimedia artist Ivan Faktor’s last film Pain also had its world premiere at IFFR, in the Short & Mid-length programme. The film was presented by editor Damir Čučić and producer Jelena Duh.  

In the industry section of the festival, promising young producer Nika Obučina (Antitalent) participated in the Rotterdam Lab workshop dedicated to producers on the rise.

IFFR – the International Film Festival Rotterdam is one of the biggest and most influential film festivals dictating future cinematic trends and discovering filmmakers to watch out for, in addition to attracting tens of thousands of professionals and visitors every year.

Cover photograph: International Film Festival Rotterdam – Tiger Short programme winners (far right: Ana Hušman)

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