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Karlovy Vary 2016: Two Croatian minority co-productions in East of the West programme

The competition programme East of the West at the 51st Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, July 1st to 9th, will screen the debut feature film by Slovenian director Žiga Virc, Houston, We Have a Problem!, and the feature film, House of Others, by Georgian director Rusudan Glurjidze. 

Both films will be screened in the East of the West programme, a section which features first and second films by talented young directors from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

Houston, We Have a Problem! was presented last year in the festival’s industrial segment, Works in Progress, a one-day presentation, aimed toward international distributors, selling agents and festival programme coordinators, of new feature films from Central and Eastern Europe. The film is a Slovenian-Croatian-German-Czech-Qatari co-production, and is the first HBO production in the Adriatic region. This is young Slovenian director Žiga Virc’s debut feature film which explores the myth of the secret multi-million dollar contract with which the United States bought the Yugoslav space program in the early 60’s. Virc uses an exceptional amount of archival footage to return to the age of the Cold War, the Space Race and NASA’s landing on the Moon, and in an intriguing way connects real and fictional events inviting viewers to decide themselves what is real and what fiction. The film is written by Žiga Virc and Boštjan Virc, who is also the film’s producer. Co-producers are Siniša Juričič and Ingmar Trost, the cinematographer is Andrej Virc, the editor Vladimir Gojun, and the sound engineers are Matjaž Moraus Zdešar and Julij Zornik. The film has been made with subsidies from the Slovenian Film Centre, the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, film studio Viba Film, MEDIA Creative Europe, Eurimages and the Doha Film Institute.

The feature film House of Others is a Georgian-Russian-Spanish-Croatian co-production. The film’s director, Rusudan Glurjidze, also wrote the screenplay with David Chubinishvilij. The film’s producer is Zurab Magashvili, and production was carried out by Cinetech Film Production. The Croatian co-producer is Dario Domitrović from Embrio Productions who, along with Dušan Maksimovski, is also the sound engineer. Alongside Dominik Krnjak, Hrvoje Šimić and Ivan Komlinović, they are the backbone of the film's Croatian team. The film is about two families who survive a short but devastating civil war. Being on the victorious side they were given houses belonging to the losers, but despite this they can’t seem to build a peaceful life as the war continues in their everyday lives. The battles are still present but are fought within themselves.

The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is one of the oldest and most prestigious European ‘category A’ film festivals which screens more than 200 new films each year. The festival is covered by over 500 accredited journalists from around the globe, and Croatian films are regularly screened at this festival.

For more information on this year’s 51st edition, please visit the Festival’s official website.

Cover photos: scenes from Houston, We Have a Problem! and House of Others

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