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Nebojša Slijepčević’s The Man Who Could Not Remain Silent wins Palme d'Or at 77th Cannes Film Festival

The award was accepted by the film’s director and writer Nebojša Slijepčević, live at the gala awards ceremony in Cannes. This is the first Golden Palm for a Croatian film since its statehood. The short is produced by Katarina Prpić and Danijel Pek for Antitalent, realised in co-production with houses from Bulgaria, France and Slovenia.  

Best film in the short film category was chosen by the jury comprised of: Belgian actress Lubna Azabal as jury president, French director, writer and producer Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar, festival programmer from Italy Paolo Moretti, producer and director Claudine Nougaret from France, and director and writer Vladimir Perišić from Serbia. 

Accepting the award at the gala ceremony, director and writer Nebojša Slijepčević thanked the entire film crew and the other films in competition, adding after the event:

“It is a really incredible experience to get up on stage, especially on the same evening that George Lucas receives the honorary Palme d'Or from the hands of Francis Ford Coppola. It all seems a little surreal, but more importantly, I’d like to dedicated this award to Tomo Buzov, the man who inspired this film. I am very happy that, thanks to this award, the story will reach a large audience, including Croatian viewers, who can expect the film to appear at Croatian festivals.”

The Man Who Could Not Remain Silent had its world premiere on Friday, 24th May, at the Théâtre Claude Debussy, with the film crew attending the event. 

Nebojša Slijepčević’s fiction short is the first Croatian title since its statehood to win a Golden Palm in Cannes and only the second ever to compete for it. 

The Cannes Film Festival awards gala can we viewed on this LINK, while the list of all the winners is available here

In 2018, Nebojša Slijepčević won the DOC Alliance award in Cannes for his feature-length documentary Srbenka. The production company Antitalent has likewise garnered success in Cannes with Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović’s debut feature, Murina, which won the Camera d'Or in 2021. The film The High Sun by Dalibor Matanić was another great success at this prestigious festival, winning Best Film in Un Certain Regard programme in 2015.

The Man Who Could Not Remain Silent takes place on 27th February 1993, at a small train station in Štrpci, Bosnia and Herzegovina. A passenger train traveling from Belgrade in Serbia to Bar in Montenegro was stopped by armed Serbian paramilitary forces in a raid involving an act of ethnic cleansing. As they took nineteen civilians off the train, only one of the five hundred passengers dared to stand up to them. This is a true story about a man who could not remain silent.

Based on real-life events, the script is penned by Nebojša Slijepčević. The cast is headed up by Goran Bogdan, alongside Alexis Manenti, Dragan Mićanović, Silvio Mumelaš, Lara Nekić, Priska Ugrina, Dušan Gojić, Nebojša Pop Tasić, Mijo Pavelko, Martin Kuhar, Jakov Zovko and Robert Ugrina.

The short is produced by the company Antitalent, with co-producers Katya Trichkova for Bulgarian Contrast Films, Noëlle Lévénez for Les Films Norfolk from France and Boštjan Virc for Studio Virc from Slovenia.

The film was supported by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, while its sales representative is French company Manifest.

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