Three Croatian films to screen at the Berlin International Film Festival
- by croatiaweek
- in Entertainment
Croatian cinematography will be represented by three films at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival which will be held from February 16 to 26.
Animated film Eeva by the auteur duo Lucija Mrzljak and Morten Tšinakova, which is a Croatian-Estonian co-production and will be shown in the Berlinale Shorts competition program, the feature-length hybrid documentary Između revolucija directed by Vlad Petrija a Romanian-Croatian-Iranian-Qatari production, which will have its world premiere in the Forum program, while in the Berlinale Special program, the feature-length feature film Bazen beskraja directed by Brandon Cronenberg, which is a Canadian-Croatian-Hungarian co-production, will have its European premiere.
In addition, Croatian actors Leon Lučev and Nika Petrović play roles in the foreign titles Disco Boy and Morska iskra, which will also shown at the Berlinale.
‘It is an exceptional honour for me to present the film at the prestigious festival as the author representing the Croatian animated film. I am grateful to the Estonian-Croatian combination that has proven to be very successful so far, as well as to the entire team that supported us during the production, and to HAVC, without whose support we would not have been able to realize the film,’ said author of Eeva Lucija Mrzljak.
The animation on the film was done by Goran Stojnić and Noemi Ribić along with Estonian colleagues Egert Kesa and Tarma Vaarmetsem. In addition to directing, Morten Tšinakov and Lucija Mrzljak also signed the editing, script (Tšinakov) and design (Mrzljak). The film was produced by Draško Ivezić (Adriatic Animation), along with Kalev Tamm from the Estonian studio Eesti Joonisfilm. Eeva is the story of the saddest day in Eeva’s life, when she suddenly becomes a widow.
‘We were very lucky to collaborate with a talented author duo for whom this is their third collaboration, the second with our studio. Lucija Mrzljak is the author of a strong author’s expression, and her distinctive illustrator’s handwriting is especially visible in Eeva, where she designed visual solutions based on Tšinakova’s script,’ said producer Draško Ivezić.
This is the first time since Croatia’s independence that a domestic animated film competes in the Berlinale Shorts program. The aforementioned program presents up to 25 titles with international and world premieres every year.
The feature-length hybrid documentary Između revolucija by Romanian director Vlad Petri is co-produced with Restart from Croatia, and will have its world premiere as part of the Forum program.
Između revolucija is a film made from archive footage that shows the lives and destinies of two women, former college colleagues and friends who both live in patriarchal societies – Maria is from Romania and Zahra is from Iran. It is a hybrid film that mixes archival footage and documents with fictional elements, and at the core of the story is their mutual correspondence.
The film was produced by the Romanian company Activ Docs, in co-production with companies from Croatia (Restart) and Iran (undisclosed). The Croatian co-producer is Oliver Sertić. The Croatian film crew consists of associate producer Vanja Jambrović, production assistant Zrinka Košar, additional footage cameraman Ana Hušman, additional music composer Filip Sertić, foley authors Siniša Krneta and Martin Semenčić, graphic designer Lena Telenta and others.
The director of the film is Vlad Petri, who co-wrote the script with Lavinija Branişte, and the editors are Dragoş Apetri, Cătălin Cristuţiu and Vlad Petri. The producer is Monica Lăzurean-Gorgan (Activ Docs). The film was supported by funds from the Romanian National Film Center CNC and the Croatian Audiovisual Center, with the support of the Doha Film Institute.
The Forum program is dedicated to contemporary international cinematography and avoids conventional distinctions, such as that between fiction and documentary. The program is independently curated and organized by the Arsenal Film and Video Arts Institute.
After its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival (USA) in January, the feature film Bazen beskraja directed by Brandon Cronenberg, which is a Canadian-Hungarian-Croatian co-production (the Croatian producer is Anita Juka, 4Film), will have its European premiere in Berlin.
This sci-fi horror film was included in the Berlinale Special program, dedicated to various works that ‘elevate film as an art form’.
The producers of the film are Karen Ella Harnisch and Andrew Cividino (Film Forge), Noah Segal and Christina Piovesan (Elevation Pictures), Rob Cotterill and Anita Juka (4Film), with associate producer Laura Sinovčić (4Film). The co-producers of the film are Daniel Kresmery and Jonathan Halperyn (Hero Squared). The film was supported by HAVC through grants intended for minority Croatian co-productions and through incentives intended for filming in Croatia (Filming in Croatia).
The film was partly shot in Šibenik, and more than 75 Croatian film workers were engaged on the set. Zijad Gračić, Alan Katić, Amar Bukvić, Romina Tonković and Dunja Sepčić contributed to the film’s cast, and more than 400 extras took part in the filming. Starring Alexander Skarsgård and Mia Goth, the film follows novelist James Foster as he unsuccessfully tries to write his second book while spending time on an all-inclusive vacation with his wife, Em. A fatal accident at the resort exposes a perverse subculture of hedonistic tourism, wanton violence and surreal horrors.
In addition to Croatian productions, Croatian actors will also be presented at the Berlinale.
Leon Lučev plays one of the main roles in the film Disco Boy, the feature film debut of the Italian director Giacomo Abbruzzese. The film is shown as part of the main competition program (Competition).
In addition, the young Croatian actress Nika Petrović played a role in the film Morska iskra (Sea Sparkle) by Belgian director Domien Huyghe, which opens the section intended for young people – Generation. Morska Iskra was created in a Belgian-Dutch co-production, and the associate producer is Siniša Juričić (Nukleus Film).