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Safe Place and The Happiest Man in the World in the running for European Film Award nominations   

The European Film Academy Board has selected 19 of the best feature film titles from 17 European countries recommended to all EFA members for consideration for a European Film Award nomination. The selected titles include Juraj Lerotić’s multi-award-winning feature debut, Safe Place (Pipser), and minority co-production The Happiest Man in the World, directed by Teona Strugar Mitevska (Terminal 3). 

The EFA Board chose 19 excellent European feature films, consulted by a diverse range of invited European experts. This is the first step in the three-stage awarding procedure for the European Film Awards. The chosen 19 titles are recommended to all members of the European Film Academy (4,600 of them) to be considered for a European Film Award nomination. After watching all the proposed titles, the member will vote, while the films to receive the highest numbers of votes will receive nominations in the categories ‘European Film’, ‘Director’, ‘Actor’, ‘Actress’ and ‘Screenwriter’, as well as in the category ‘European Documentary’. In addition, the selected 19 titles will also be considered for the Excellence Awards in various categories. More details are available on the official website of the European Film Academy

The nominations will be made public on 7th November, while the winners will be announced at the European Film Awards ceremony, held in Berlin on 9th December 2023. Further shortlisted titles will be announced in September.ž

Croatia’s contender for an Oscar nomination, Safe Place is director Juraj Lerotić’s multi-award-winning feature debut produced by Croatian company Pipser, with producer Miljenka Čogelja.

“We are happy because we believe that the selection for the European Film Award will prolong the film’s life and we hope that in some ways, besides Safe Place, it will further draw attention to Croatian filmmaking at large. At this stage, the nomination process depends on the votes of the members of the European Film Academy, so we are hoping for the support of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre and Croatian and regional colleagues in promoting the film with international voters,” said the film’s producer Miljenka Čogelja on the occasion.

To date, the film has won 35 accolades and awards and has screened at more than 50 festivals across the globe. It kicked off its festival voyage with the world premiere at the Locarno Film Festival, off the bat winning three awards (Best Emerging Director, Best Actor, First Feature), followed by a regional premiere at last year’s Sarajevo Film Festival, where it won as many as four awards (including a Heart of Sarajevo for Feature Film and Best Actor). At home, among others, it scooped up four Golden Arenas at the Pula FF (Juraj Lerotić for Best Director, Goran Marković for Best Actor and Marko Brdar for Best Cinematographer.

The Happiest Man in the World is director Teona Strugar Mitevska’s latest feature, created as a co-production between North Macedonia, Belgium, Denmark, Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The film’s Croatian co-producer is Vanja Sremac (Terminal 3).

The film stars Jelena Kordić Kuret, Adnan Omerović, Izudin Bajrović, Ana Kostovska, Mona Muratović, Vedrana Božinović, Irma Alimanović, Siniša Vidović, Kemal Rizvanović, Nikolina Kujača, as well as Croatian actress Ksenija Marinković in one of the main roles.

The Happiest Man in the World premiered at the 79th Venice International Film Festival and was North Macedonia’s Oscar contender. Its other recognitions include the Grand Prix and the Young Jury Award at the 14th Les Arcs Intl. Film Festival in France and the FIPRESCI Prize for Best Film at the Panorama European Cinema in Athens. It recently also scooped up the Golden Arena for Best Actor for Adnan Omerović and the Special Jury Prize for Jelena Kordić Kuret in the minority co-production section of the Pula Film Festival.

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