Two Croatian films will screen at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival this year…
The short film The Beast by Miroslav Sikavica, produced by Zagreb’s Propeler Film, has been selected for the Director’s Fortnight at the 69th Cannes Film Festival which will be held from May 11th to 22nd.
The Beast is a realistic story about how a shady and rashly accepted construction job at a coastal resort on the Adriatic Coast turns complicated for a backhoe dredger operator who, in order to save his fatherly authority and complete a legal, but dirty, job has to dispose of an unwanted witness – his son.
‘In my second short film, The Beast, I tried to discuss, through a subtle and condensed narrative, the issues of illegal construction and a patriarchal society, without moralizing, using economic means and the physical relationship between father and son. Some see social opportunities as desperate and rash, while others, through their own foolishness, become witnesses and accessories to human drama,’ said director Miroslav Sikavica.
The film is written by Miroslav Sikavica and Marija Šimoković Sikavica, and the lead roles are played by Ivan Smoljo and Marko Ban. The cinematographer is Danko Vučinović, the editor is Marko Ferković, and the sound designer is Martin Semenčić. The art director is Veronika Radman, the costume designer is Morana Starčević, and make-up artist is Mirna Čurak. The producers are Boris T. Matić and Lana Ujdur from Propeler Film. Propeler Film also produced another short film that premiered in competition at Cannes, Ciao Mama (2009) by Goran Odvorčić.
The Director’s Fortnight is held simultaneously with the Cannes Film Festival, and the programme screens short, feature and documentary films from all over the world. Throughout its history the programme has attracted the attention of both viewers and critics and has introduced them to some of today’s most successful directors. It is within this programme that the debut works of Werner Herzog, Martin Scorsese and Ken Loach were screened. The Beast is co-financed by funds provided by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre.
The Croatian minority co-production Sieranevada, by Romanian director Cristi Puiu, has been selected for competition at the 69th Cannes Film Festival.
Puiu’s fourth feature film Sieranevada is a five country co-production – Romania, France, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia. Romania’s Mandragora is producing the film with co-producers Alcatraz Films from France, Croatia’s Spiritus Movens, 2006. from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Sisters and Brother Mitevski from Macedonia. The Croatian producer is Zdenka Gold.
Sieranevada is a film about a family gathering. Upon returning from a business trip in Paris, a well-respected neurologist has to pick up his wife and attend a commemorative dinner honoring his father who died one year ago. Waiting for the priest, those in attendance discuss wars as well as related and unrelated events in the world.
‘Sieranevada is the story of a commemoration that never happens, it is a story about those who choose to escape into fiction and hide their fears behind a ‘creative reality’ when overcome with a sadness they cannot understand. Sieranevada is an imperfect substitute for an unorthodox requiem,’ notes the director.
The film is written and directed by Cristi Puiu, the cinematographer is Barbu Bălăşoiu, and the lead roles are played by Mimi Brănescu and Bogdan Dumitrache, while the cast also includes Croatian actress Petra Kurtela. The Croatian filmmakers and crew members include: casting directors Marina Redžepović and Ivana Ivišić, hair stylist Štefanija Roso, make-up assistant Evelina Cikron, filming director Igor Miklošić Figo, composer Bojan Gagić, and visual effects master Tom Vujnović.
This year’s Cannes Film Festival will open with Woody Allen’s Café Society. The competition this year also includes films by Pedro Almodóvar, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Xavier Dolan, Olivier Assayas, Bruno Dumont, Jim Jarmusch, Ken Loach, Jeff Nichols, Cristian Mungiu, Sean Penn, Paul Verhoeven, etc. The president of this year’s main competition jury is director George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road).