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The Staffroom world premiere before full auditorium at Karlovy Vary

The world premiere of The Staff Room, directed and written by Sonja Tarokić and produced by Ankica Jurić Tilić, took place on Sunday, 22nd August, in the main competition programme at the 55th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. 

After the screening, the audience gave a warm applause to the film’s creative team lead by director Sonja Tarokić, producer Ankica Jurić Tilić and lead actress Marina Redžepović. Attending the premiere were also cast members Stojan Matavulj, Nives Ivanković and Maja Posavec, as well as editor and sound designer Borna Buljević. Next to the film’s creative team, Croatian Audiovisual Centre CEO Chris Marcich was also in attendance. 

"We are very happy that we were able to have the experience of premiering our film before a full festival screening hall. We were anxious to see how the audience would react, but we were really moved when people started coming up to us after the film and telling us that they related to our protagonists. It is a wonderful feeling being back together with the audience," said the film’s director Sonja Tarokić after the screening.    

Just prior to the world premiere, Sonja Tarokić gave an interview for Variety magazine, which described it as ‘an impressive debut drama competing for the Crystal Globe.’

The Staff Room is a drama about an individual’s struggle against the system. The newly hired enthusiastic primary school counsellor Anamarija (Marina Redžepović) is forced to choose between abiding by her own principles or fitting in with the staff room. Faced with the limitations of the school system and surrounded by disheartened teachers, Anamarija begins her own struggle with a problematic history teacher, unaware that in so doing she edges one step closer to becoming more like her staff room colleagues.  

So far, Sonja Tarokić has made several noteworthy and award-winning short films, while The Staff Room is her feature debut. The director of photography is Danko Vučinović, Borna Buljević edited the film and created the sound design, production design was done by Tajana Čanić Stanković and costume design by Katarina Pilić. Alongside Marina Redžepović, appearing in the film are Stojan Matavulj, Nives Ivanković, Maja Posavec, Sandra Lončarić, Daria Lorenci Flatz and many others. The film is a Kinorama production, with KinoElektron from France as associate producer, while the film received support from the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, the MEDIA sub-programme of the Creative Europe, RE-ACT fund, Croatian Radiotelevision and Torino Film Lab, where the project was supported in development stage.  

This year the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is held 20th – 28th August, as the oldest and most prestigious film festival in Southeast Europe and one of only 15 A-list festivals in the world. Prior to this, Croatian cinema had not had a national film screening in its main program for quite some time, in which 12 films compete for the main festival award – the Crystal Globe.

The photographs from the premiere are available on this link and are royalty-free.

Cover photograph: The Staff Room creative team

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