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World premiere of The Uncle thrills Karlovy Vary IFF audience

Thriller The Uncle, the debut feature directed by duo Andrija Mardešić and David Kapac, premiered on Saturday, 2nd July, at the 56th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, to excellent audience and industry response.

The premiere was attended by actors Miki Manojlović, Goran Bogdan and Roko Sikavica, director Andrija Mardešić, producer Ivan Kelava, director of photography Miloš Jaćimović, editor Tomislav Stojanović and other members of the film crew, along with the Croatian Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Ljiljana Pancirov, as well as the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, Maja Vukić.

The Uncle, a dark, full-blooded thriller with elements of absurd humour and grotesque, had its world premiere in the Proxima competition programme, which included a total of 12 cinematic titles from all corners of the globe. The Proxima section is dedicated to exciting contemporary cinema, presenting works by up-and-coming filmmakers, as well as new films by already established authors.

“We didn’t quite know what to expect because The Uncle screened in the first edition of Proxima, a new section at Karlovy Vary. We are thrilled with how the film was received and the overwhelming response to it. It was nice to see that Miki Manojlović is so loved and revered in the Czech Republic. I hope that the positive vibes surrounding the film will spill over to what’s ahead – the domestic premiere at the Pula Film Festival and a theatrical run towards the end of the year,” said producer Ivan Kelava after the premiere.

“After seven years, we have finally succeeded in bringing our ol’ uncle to the cinema! It’s nice to see a sold-out theatre hall and watch the people’s response to the film. The Czech are a very rewarding audience who still love movies to the point of asking for an autograph in the street and, all in all, the atmosphere at the festival is relaxed and affirmative,” said director Andrija Mardešić.

The Uncle takes place at Christmastime in Yugoslavia of the late 1980s. A family made up of Mom, Dad and their son happily welcome their beloved uncle returning home for the holidays from Germany. The uncle hands out presents and the whole family sit down for a traditional Croatian Christmas lunch of roast turkey and French dressing salad. The idyllic family gathering is interrupted when a latest model smartphone starts ringing. Soon it becomes clear that it is not the 80s, it is not quite Christmas Day either, and it is not just the turkey that can be cut with a knife – but tension too.

The film is an Eclectica production, created in collaboration with Sense Production from Belgrade, with Milan Stojanović as co-producer. The film received support from the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, Film Center Serbia and Croatian Radiotelevision.

The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is one of the oldest and most prestigious film festivals in Europe, annually screening more than 200 new titles. This year’s edition runs 1st–9th July, while the festival will wrap up with the screening of George Miller’s Three Thousand Years of Longing and the award ceremony honouring Benicio del Toro and Geoffrey Rush. More information is available on the festival’s official website.

Last year, Sonja Tarokić’s debut feature The Staffroom also premiered at the Karlovy Vary IFF, taking home the Special Jury Mention and the Ecumenical Jury Commendation.

Cover photographs: The Uncle premiere at Karlovy Vary (photographs courtesy of: Film Servis Festival Karlovy Vary)

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