With the award ceremony and Croatian premiere of the winner of the Cannes Palme d’Or, the film Triangle of Sadness by Ruben Östlund in the presence of actor Zlatko Burić – Kićo, the anniversary, 20th edition of Zagreb Film Festival closed. The competition program for feature films consisted of 11 films, of which a record number of Croatian titles, four of them, had mostly sold-out screenings, and ten films were shown in both international short films program and the Croatian short films program Checkers.
The feature film jury, consisting of actor Zlatko Burić – Kićo, producer Annabella Nezri, and art director of the Trieste Film Festival Nicoletta Romeo, announced the best film of the 20th ZFF to be Joyland by Saim Sadiq, for its lucid and anti-rhetorical view of his country, of a family microcosmos through which he explores a patriarchal society with its many limits, especially for women and for the LGBTQIA+ community, where every family member is fully developed and characterised, for his visual style and a strong potential to reach a wide audience.
For its precise framing and minimalistic film language, about a complex and painful family situation, shot with tenderness, subtleness, and sensitivity, and with a remarkable performance of the actors, the jury decided to give special mention to Safe Place by Juraj Lerotić, which was met with ovations at the opening of the Festival.
Short films winners were chosen by the jury consisting of director Marija Apčevska, Locarno Film Festival selector Stefan Ivančić, and director Karlo Vorih. The Golden Pram for the best Croatian film from the Checkers program went to Josip Lukić and Klara Šovagović for It’s Not Too Cold For Mosquitoes for choosing the right distance when talking about loneliness and desperate attempts to connect, conveyed through truthful performances and authentic dialogues. Special mention went to Rino Barbir for Zof for its compelling combination of fiction and non-fiction, depicting an original character whose state of mind and emotions, though not justifiable, connect the audience with the complex nature of human behaviour.
The Golden Pram in the international short film program went to the Slovenian author Matjaž Ivanišin for That’s How The Summer Ended for its great narrative economy and mature vision and for trying to hide all the mysteries of life in its images. Special mention in the same category went to the Portuguese author Daniel Soares for a film of poetic imagery and tender approach What Remains, and which confronts us with the inevitable dialectics of life and the uncertainty of what is to come.
Eight unforgettable days of the anniversary edition provided numerous moments to remember, from sold-out or well-attended Croatian films The Uncle, Traces, Carbide, Safe Place, which will continue living with audiences after ZFF in Croatian cinemas, from the sold-out screening of May Labour Day by Pjer Žalica, the author whose film Fuse opened the first edition of ZFF, to the Irish debutant Colm Bairead presenting his drama The Quiet Girl, to the first Pakistani film ever shown in ZFF’s program, Joyland, which ultimately won the main award.
Lectures within Industry garnered a lot of attention: the masterclass by Cristiano Travaglioli, the European Academy award-winning editor who worked for Paolo Sorrentino, and the moderated conversation with a jury member, the Danish-Croatian actor Zlatko Burić – Kićo, who revealed to the audience in Tuškanac Cinema the details of his professional development and working with famous directors such as Robert Östlund and Nicolas Winding Refn.
A few films from this year’s program will be available in cinemas soon after ZFF. The Spanish Alcarràs and Captain Nova are already in cinemas, and soon we will also be able to see Safe Place (November 3), Triangle of Sadness(November 17), Carbide (December 22), and Traces, The Eight Mountains and Close (2023). The official distributor for the Triangle of Sadness, Captain Nova, and Alcarràs is Zagreb Film Festival.