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Juraj Lerotić’s Safe Place wins Best Film at Cottbus

Juraj Lerotić’s feature debut and Croatia’s Oscar nomination contender has won the award for Best Feature Film at the 32nd FilmFestival Cottbus, the Eastern European Film Festival. This is the film’s ninth accolade to date. Safe Place, a Pipser production (producer Miljenka Čogelja), is currently screening at cinemas across Croatia.

“For the courage of a filmmaker not only to reveal himself as an author, but also to reveal his soul, in this film about unconditional love for those close to him, we award the main award for Best Film to Juraj Lerotić for Safe Place”, says the statement of the Cottbus international jury.

FilmFestival Cottbus, held 8th – 13th November, is one of the most important events for Easter European film worldwide. In addition to Safe Place, the festival showcased 12 other Croatian titles in different programmes. In the industry section, in the east-west co-production market, Connecting Cottbus, the cocoWIP jury awarded a special mention to director Jasna Nanut and producer Hrvoje Osvadić’s debut feature film project Seventh Heaven, while the development award presented by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre in the cocoPitch section went to Polish project Dolphin directed by Sonja Orlewicz-Zakrzewska and producer Magdalena Sztorc

The full list of laureates of the 32nd FilmFestival Cottbus, the Eastern European Film Festival is available on this link

The Best Film award at Cottbus is the ninth recognition for Safe Place – having won awards for Best Emerging Director, Best Actor (Goran Marković) and best First Feature at the Locarno Film Festival, followed by the Heart of Sarajevo for Best Feature, Best Actor (director Juraj Lerotić), the CICAE Award of the International Confederation of Arthouse Cinemas, and the Cineuropa Award. Most recently it received a Special Mention in the international feature competition at the Zagreb Film Festival.

Safe Place continues its festival journey in Ljubljana, at the 33rd LIFFE – Ljubljana International Film Festival happening 9th – 20th November, moving on to the 67th Cork International Film Festival (10th – 20th Nov), followed by the renowned Cairo International Film Festival (13th – 22nd Nov), landing at the International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg running 17th – 27th November, and also appearing at the 28th Auteur Film Festival (FAF) in Belgrade taking place in late November and early December.    

The film is written and directed by Juraj Lerotić who also stars in the film, alongside actors Goran Marković and Snježana Sinovčić Šiškov, with Miljenka Čogelja as the producer.

It is a Pipser production, with Croatian co-production partner Zelena zraka (Saša Ban and Nevenka Sablić) and Slovenian production company December as associate producer. The film’s distributor is the company Hulahop. It received financial support from the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, Croatian Radiotelevision and Slovenian Film Centre. In addition, it won the Eurimages Development Award at the CineLink Co-production Market of the Sarajevo Film Festival.  

Besides Safe Place, in the upcoming period, Croatian cinema audiences have a chance to see a total of nine Croatian feature films on the repertoire. On the occasion, the Croatian Audiovisual Centre has launched a campaign, Discover Our New Film, to help you get acquainted with all of these titles and encourage the audience to explore the richness of domestic production at the cinema. More information about the campaign is available HERE.

Cover photograph: scene from Safe Place

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