Debut feature film ‘Quit Staring at My Plate’ by praised Croatian director Hana Jušić has won the FEDEORA Award for Best European Film at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival on Friday…
The film’s world premiere at the festival on 2 September drew a big audience and won a round of applause after it was screened in Sala Perla.
The story of “Quit Staring at My Plate” follows Marijana (Mia Petričević), whose life revolves around her family. They live on top of one another in a tiny apartment, driving one another crazy. Then her controlling father Lazo (Zlatko Burić) has a stroke and is left completely bedridden, and Marijana takes his place as head of the clan. Soon, she is working two jobs to keep everything afloat, while her mother Vjera (Arijana Čulina) and disabled brother Zoran (Nikša Butijer) do their best to scupper the ship. Driven to the edge, Marijana finds comfort in seedy sex with random strangers; and this taste of freedom leaves her wanting more.
“I grew up in the city of Šibenik, with its distinctive blend of Renaissance grandeur and post-industrial decay, in an environment very similar to the one depicted in the film. Although this film is far from being my personal story, all the characters are loosely based on my family, relatives, and neighbours. I have always felt that people are like warm little beasts – they need love and closeness, but they are often suffocating and cruel, especially to the ones they love,” says Jušić.
Jušić received the award at a ceremony on Friday in Venice with the film’s producer Ankica Jurić Tilić.
“The fact that the film made it into the programme at a festival like this exceeded all my expectations, and to win the critic’s award for best European film was really an unexpected bonus,” said Jušić.
Jušić obtained a degree in film and TV directing at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb. She also graduated in comparative literature and English language and literature from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. She has written and directed several short films and documentaries which have been shown at film schools as well as international festivals. Her short film Chill premiered at the Oberhausen Festival. The award-winning films Gnats, Ticks and Bees and Terrarium were followed by the short No Wolf Has a House, which screened at Rotterdam and was awarded Best Film at the London Short Film Festival 2016.