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Various Croatian titles at Cottbus Film Festival; domestic projects in industry programme

Five Croatian films and two minority co-productions will appear in various programme sections at the 31st edition of the Cottbus Film Festival. In addition, two Croatian projects will be presented at the co-production market and networking platform, Connecting Cottbus.

The feature debut written and directed by Sonja Tarokić, The Staffroom, is one of 12 titles to screen in the main competition of the 31st Cottbus Film Festival. The Staffroom had its world premiere at the prestigious Karlovy Vary IFF in late August, receiving a Special Jury Mention and the Ecumenical Jury Commendation. Croatian audience will have a chance to see it for the first time at the Zagreb Film Festival this November. The film is a Kinorama production, with Ankica Jurić Tilić as the producer.

The same competition programme will also feature Zrinko Ogresta’s A Blue Flower. After making its world debut at the 43rd Moscow International Film Festival, where it was voted third by the audience, it has toured a string of festivals in Europe and the region. At the 68th Pula Film Festival it received the Grand Golden Arena for Best Film, Zrinko Ogresta won the Golden Arena for Best Directing, while Vanja Ćirić took home the Golden Arena for Best Actress. It also received the international critics jury award for Best Croatian Film. Ivan Maloča is the producer of the film, which is an Interfilm from Zagreb production, in co-production with Zillion Film from Belgrade.

The Spectrum programme, devoted to films that “tell stories with surprising freshness,” will feature Branko Schmidt’s Once We Were Good for You, and minority Croatian co-production After the Winter, the fiction feature debut directed by Ivan Bakrač, created as a co-production between Montenegro, Serbia, Croatia and France (Croatian co-producer is Damir Terešak of Maxima Film). The latter is also Montenegro’s Oscar candidate in the category of Best International Feature.

In addition, Stanislav Tomić’s comedy Tune Up will appear in the programme section Hits, which will also include minority co-production Heavens Above, directed by Srđan Dragojević (Croatian co-producer is Darija Kulenović Gudan of Studio dim). 

Factory to the Workers, Srđan Kovačević’s feature documentary will be presented in the thematic section FilmWerkStadt, devoted to films that problematize transition. The screening will be held at the Old City Hall in Cottbus.

The festival takes place live at cinemas, 2nd – 7th November, while the audience will have the opportunity to see 32 films from 26 countries in three competition programmes. This year’s theme of the festival is stories about and by women, so the festival will present a total of 61 titles from 33 countries, directed by women or portraying stories revolving around women.

Apart from the film programme, FilmFestival Cottbus also incorporates the well-known co-production market and networking platform, Connecting Cottbus. Its cocoPITCH pitching session will include the presentation of Croatian project Virgins of director Dora Šustić and producer Maja Pek-Brünjes (Antitalent), created in co-production with North Macedonia (List Production). 

In addition, the work in progress section for projects in development, cocoWIP, will feature a minority Croatian co-production project, M, by Macedonian director Vardan Tozija. Croatian co-producer is Anita Juka of 4Film.

A list of all selected projects is available here

For second year running, one of the prizes for project development at this year’s cocoPITCH, in the amount of 5,000 euros, will be sponsored by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre. The prize is intended for the realization and co-production with Croatia of one of the projects selected by a jury.

Connecting Cottbus takes place 3rd – 5th November.  

The Cottbus Film Festival was founded in 1991 and is one of the most important events dedicated to Eastern European film in the world. Find more details on the official website of the Cottbus Film Festival

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