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Quit Staring at My Plate wins best film at FEST Belgrade

Hana Jušić’s debut film, Quit Staring at My Plate, won Best Film in the main competition, while actress Arijana Čulina won Best Actress for her role in the film at the 45th International Film Festival FEST, which ended last night in Belgrade. Furthermore, the FEDEORA Award went to the Croatian minority co-production Train Driver’s Diary, directed by Miloš Radović, and Best Actor in the ‘Serbian Film’ category was awarded to the film’s lead, Lazar Ristovski. 

The international jury consisting of: Srdan Golubović (president), Branka Katić, Dalibor Matanić, Čedomir Kolar and Sergej Trifunović, awarded director Hana Jušić and producer Ankica Jurić Tilić the Belgrade Victor saying, “The jury and the FEST public were won over by the bold and ruthless way in which the author confronts her hometown. Very maturely and precisely, accompanied by a consistent visual code, she delves into the privacy of a young girl who has to take over the head of a dysfunctional family and at the same time battle her own sexual freedom and growing-up in order to surface from the family dungeon.”

The jury awarded Split’s Arijana Čulina Best Actress for her portrayal of Marijana’s mother Vera, her debut film performance. “Ćulina debuted on film in a fascinating way. The subtlety, authenticity and conviction with which she portrayed the role of the mother is closer to documentary expression which achieves a universality which rises above the film’s setting. Miniature acting bravura, stripping away, and precision are all characteristics of this great actress who has finally had the opportunity to introduce herself to the film public,” stated the jury.

15 films from 12 countries competed in the main category, which Quit Staring at My Plate won, for a chance to win Best Film, a diploma and a 10 000 EUR cash prize.

Quit Staring at My Plate is a multiple award-winning production by Zagreb’s Kinorama; co-producers are Beofilm (Denmark) and Croatian Radio Television HRT. Development and production were supported by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, while production was supported by the Danish Film Institute and the European fund Eurimages.

Furthermore, the FEDEORA jury, consisting of members of the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and Mediterranean, awarded the Croatian minority co-production Train Driver’s Diary (Croatian co-producer Interfilm), directed by Miloš Radović, Best Film in the Domestic category. The jury consisted of: Radovan Holub (jury president), Maja Bogojević, film theoretician and Tomislav Šakić, film critic, while Lazar Ristovski, the film’s lead actor and producer, received the award.  In addition, Ristovski won the Best Actor Award in the ‘Serbian Film’ category. Members of the jury were: Ksenija Marinković actress (jury president), film director and screenwriter Hrvoje Hribar, film directors and screenwriters Miroslav Momčilović and Slobodan Skerlić, and French actor and director Jean-Marc Barr.

This year’s FEST was held in Belgrade from February 24th to March 5th. Six Croatian films were screened in a number of categories. For more information please visit the festival’s official website.

Cover photos: winners of 45th FEST; team from Quit Staring at My Plate; Lazar Ristovski

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