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Croatian Film on 15th Author Film Festival

Jury of the 15. Author Film Festival in Belgrade, Serbia, lead by Russian film director Sergei Dvortsevoy, the chairman of the jury, Nadia Turnicev and Antonio Nuić-Croatian film director, in Belgrade Serbia awarded with Grand Prix Aleksandar Saša Petrović Award, for The Best Film of festival and 7,000 Euros prize, Croatian film “The Blacks”, directed by Zvonimir Jurić and Goran Dević,” for the film that successfully combines minimalism and insight dept.”The film already awarded in Cottbus and on Ljubljana Film Festival, just couple of days before.

Bergman once said that for something to be universal, before anything else, it should be local. Going down to earth to this issue, as extremely ambitious project Croatian film “The Blacks” aimed to have no ideology what so ever. The film shouldn’t be about solders and enemies of Croatian Army, it should be a psychological drama placed in period of 90s, during the civil war on the Croatian (or Bosnian) territory. It meant to be likeable by the audience, outside of Croatia and it has the ambition to be seen as endemic, locally put, and experienced as Kurosawa’s films. However, even if it can not be viewed as Kurosawa film the film explores guilt and nature of war and it is intimate and psychologically hard, and it speaks the language that anyone who actually live on war territories understand. It also has a visual experience, very little conversation and it brings a new aesthetic in post civil war films, made on territory of Balkan, similar aesthetics as Perišić’s film “Ordinary People” (Serbian civil war film).There is only one thing that is missing here, the film is having a lack of empathy and it does not provoke the viewer to sympathize with hero. The solders and what is going to happen with them is not something that viewers are worried about.

The festival beside awarded film showed another Croatian film “The Donkey” film awarded on Pula Film Festival 2009 and Croatian candidate for Oscar this year. Donkey or Kenjac on Croatian language is an expression for stubborn man, the expression more used for describing certain character of man. And the donkey’s (in film) a mute friend, a confession priest, as those men are not capable of saying what they feel. It is a film about mentality and certain dark temperamntal oddity, characteristic for people coming from that part of Herzegovina. Film that was very well recognized by Belgrade audience on the festival.

Festival was opened with Haneken’s „White Ribbon“, the winner of latest Cannes Film Festival, where author explores if the pre II World War fascism started with village religious moral and system of punishing, right there, exploring the guilt exposed by religious catharsis. Haneke’s well known by his contemporary approach in film projects and today Haneken is professor of a film directing on Vienna Film Academy. His career started as a screenwriter in Südwestfunku (ARD) 1967, but kept on as a television and theatre director 1970. He directed his first opera Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Don Giovanni in Paris. His unconventional interpretation today provokes very different reactions of criticism and audience. The program of the festival showed over 20 films, and consisted 6 additional programs: New Romanian Film, Homage to Cassavetes (20 years of his death and 50 years of his first film “Shadows”), Retrospective of Aleksandar Saša Petrović films and 15 years of his death.Then Retrospective of documentaries made by Sergey Dvorcavoya, a guest of festival and finally program called To Paint Film-film as an inspiration of painters. And finally music film program cupped with one premier of music documentary about Serbian artist and musician Koya and Discipline Kitchme "Fank-I-Lastiš Crnog Zuba", wonderfully shaped funk dubbing club sound performed by couple of modern Serb contemporary musicians, lead by Koya, Serbian helmer, most well known musician in ex Yugoslavian countries, an artist with a perfect way to improvise music.

Other awards One of the awards went to American film “The Messenger” by Oren Moverman, for its classic and very livery film. Best film for the author bellow 35 went to a film „J'ai tué ma mère“ directed by young Xavier Dolan from Canada, film „that honestly moves the emotions“. Jury Special Mention was given to a film “Soul Kitchen” directed by Faith Akin, for its intelligent comedy. Aleksandar Petkovic Petko Award, award of the Film Artists of Serbia Unit went to a „White Ribbon“ for the best shooting of late Christian Berger in Austrian Michael Haneke’s film „White Ribbon“, for authors’ contribution in the film that demonstrates a high professional arts, by holding to consecutively and superstruction of a film directing idea, so that it brings emotions with its elative-narrative expressivity. The FIPRESCI Jury Award went to a German author Faith Akin “Soul Kitchen”, for its clean approach to his hero-the outsider of contemporary society, when Akin is reassuring us to believe in future on a bright and optimistic way. The festival closed Sergei Dvortsevoy- the chairman of the jury and Romanian actress Anamaria Marinca, one of the prime guest of the latest Sarajevo Film Festival.
Radmila Djurica


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