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Sonja Prosenc’ Family Therapy premieres at Tribeca in New York

Slovenian director Sonja Prosenc’ latest fiction feature, Family Therapy, has its world premiere in the main competition at the Tribeca Film Festival in Manhattan. The premiere was held this past weekend at the packed auditorium of the Village East Cinema in New York. The film is a co-production between Slovenia, Italy, Croatia, Norway and Serbia, while the Croatian co-producer is the company Wolfgang & Dolly. 

Screenwriter and director Sonja Prosenc and Tribeca Film Festival Artistic Director Frederic Boyer introduced the film, while actors Katarina Stegnar, Marko Mandič, Mila Bezjak, Judita Franković Brdar and other crew members from Slovenia, Croatia and Norway, including director of photography Mitja Ličen, editor Ivana Fumić, production designer Tajana Čanić Stanković, and costume designer Dubravka Skvrce, greeted the enthusiastic audience after the screening.

Family Therapy is the first Slovenian fiction feature to appear in competition at Tribeca. The festival programmers described it as “an extremely funny, brave and thought-provoking bitter satire”. The film is a co-production between Slovenia, Italy, Croatia, Norway and Serbia.

The film centres on Aleksander who wants to present his perfect family for the upcoming competition “Journey to Space”. On the occasion, his adult son from a previous relationship arrives at the family household, putting the seemingly ideal family image to the test.

The film’s director commented on the premiere saying “It has been an incredible evening. Before the screening, the crew felt happy excitement. The red carpet protocol grounded us a little, and it became clear during the screening that the response from the audience would be very positive. I think that the world premiere of Family Therapy here at Tribeca in New York is the best start to the film’s journey we could have wished for.”

The film stars Katarina Stegnar, Marko Mandič, Mila Bezjak, Aliocha Schneider, Judita Franković Brdar, Jure Henigman (the lead in the director’s previous film History of Love), Kristoffer Joner (The Revenant, Mission Impossible, The Wave), singer Ana Djurić - Konstrakta and Matija Vastl.

“A packed auditorium that not only breathes, but also laughs with the film. Sometimes loudly, sometimes more muffled, as if the audience wanted to deny identifying with the story through laughter. And suddenly, the hall hollered with excessive identification”, actress Katarina Stegnar shared her impressions.

In addition to actress Judita Franković Brdar, the Croatian section of the crew also includes production designer Tajana Čanić Stanković, costume designer Dubravka Skvrce, editor Ivana Fumić, producers Tamara Babun and Matija Drniković, and executive producer Aleksandar Arsovski from the production company Wolfgang and Dolly.

“Family Therapy is a film that every creative would wish for – it is visual, funny and smart. Working on a project like this offers complete satisfaction in terms of character development and painting a picture freely with the full support of the director and cinematographer trusting me with my work and vision. The highlight of our efforts is the world the premiere at Tribeca, in New York, the capital of independent filmmaking, and seeing how well the film has been received and hearing it compared to titles like Parasite and Lobster – after that it’s hard to find words other than being grateful and loving the work we do”, said the film’s production designer Tajana Canić Stanković after the premiere.

The main producer of the film is Rok Sečen from the production company Monoo. The production of the film was financially supported by the Slovenian Film Center as well as the Viba film studio and RTV Slovenia, Croatian Audiovisual Centre, FAV Friuli Venezia Giulia, Friuli Venezia Giulia Film Commission, FiC, Film Center Serbia, Filmcraft Rogaland, Mediefondet Zepyr, and Filmcamp.

The Tribeca Film Festival was founded in 2002 by actor Robert De Niro together with producer Jane Rosenthal and entrepreneur Craig Hatkoff in order to boost the revitalisation of Lower Manhattan after the September 11 tragedy. This year, the festival celebrates Robert De Niro’s 80th birthday with a series of events collectively titled the De Niro Con.

Cover photograph: Family Therapy cast and crew at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York 
(Photos courtesy of: Dino Kuznik)

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