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Croatian Film Program at Silver Lake Fest

New Croatian Film will play at the Silver Lake Film Festival, a selection of six recent award-winning films (all with English subtitles) by filmmakers of various generations, styles and motivations. Deeply rooted in its national literature, Croatian films are an integral part of the Central European style and artistic expression, in which life, and primarily family life, is portrayed realistically without sugar-coating, sky-high budgets, and forced action.


WHAT IVA RECORDED ON OCTOBER 21, 2003/Sto je Iva Snimila 21, Listopada 2003 (US Premiere) Fri., March 24, 9:30 pm (Croatia, 2005, 92mins.)
Director: Tomislav Radic; Screenwrwiters: Ognjen Svilièiæ, Tomislav Radiæ

Proclaimed by the Croatian Film Critics Association as the Best Croatian Film of 2005, a teenaged girl receives a digital video camera for her 14th birthday and decides to film her birthday party, while her stepfather is using the party as an opportunity to negotiate with a possible new business partner. Events begin to spin wildly out of control, as her family and guest begin drinking and arguing, while the camera complacently records their antics.


SORRY FOR KUNG FU/ Oprosti za King Fu (Los Angeles Premiere) Sun., March 26, 9:30 pm (Croatia, 2004, 71mins.)
Director: Ognjen Svilièiæ; Screenwriter: Ognjen Svilièiæ; Producer:
Vesna Mort

Winner of the Grand Prix at the Warsaw International Film Festival, this comedy examines the cultural divide: Returning to Croatia after a long absence in Germany unmarried and pregnant Mirjana must face her traditional family and the rumors surrounding her circumstances.
Circumstances get very complicated when Mirjana gives a birth to a boy with Asian features.


WHAT IS A MAN WITHOUT A MOUSTACHE?/Sto je Muskarac bez Brkova (U.S. Premiere) Wed., March 29, 8:15 pm (Croatia, 2005, 109 mins.)
Director: Hrvoje Hribar; Screenwriters: Renato Baretic, Hrvoje Hribar;
Producers: Hrvoje Hribar, Mirko Galiæ

An international hit and winner of the Audience Award at the 2005 Zagreb Film Festival. A romantic comedy about a young widow, an aging immigrant who has returned home from Germany, and a priest from a bankrupt parish with whom she falls in love, all of whom are struggling to come to terms with the post-war environment, complete with its prejudices and illusions.

LONG DARK NIGHT/Duga Mracna Noc
Sun., March 26, 1:30 pm, reception to follow with Goran Visnjic (Croatia, 2004, 195 mins.)
Director/Screenwriter: Antun Vrdoljak Producers: Antun Vrdoljak, Goran Višnjic, Jadran Film, Mirko Gali

Croatia's official submission for the 2005 Academy Awards for Best Foreign-Language Film, LONG DARK NIGHT is an emotional portrait of an entire country caught in the devastation of WWII, and the consequences brought onto one small village of Croatians of German ethnic background during the 1940's – 1950's. Iva (Goran Visnjiæ), a college student devoted to his family and friends, finds himself forced to fight with the communist partisans when war erupts and his best friend, Mata, ends up fighting on the opposite side with the Nazi-allied Ustasha. The path of these two former friends – both troubled by their respective choices – mirrors the complex and difficult transformation of Croatia during that time.


A WONDERFUL NIGHT IN SPLIT/Ta Divna Splitska Noæ
Mon., March 27, 7:45 pm
(Croatia, 2004, 100mins.)
Director/Screenwriter: Arsen-Anton Ostojiæ; Producer: Jozo Patljak

Croatia's official submission for the 2006 Academy Awards for Best Foreign-Language Film. It's New Year's Eve on the narrow cobblestoned streets of the ancient port town of Split on Croatia's Adriatic Coast and everyone's up for a celebration. Stylishly shot in black and white and constructed around three very human stories, Ostojic's debut feature follows a smalltime drug dealer involved with a war widow and her son, a young female junkie in crisis mode and a depressed American sailor, and a teenage couple. Shot entirely in the hauntingly beautiful Ghetto of Split, these three love stories unfold, and each character will have irreversibly changed hir or her life by the stroke of midnight.


WITNESSES/Svjedoci
Thu., March 30, 5:45 pm
(Croatia, 2003, 90mins.)
Director/Screenwriter: Vinko Brešan; Producer: Ivan Maloèa

Winner of the Special Jury Prize at the Medfilm Festival Roma, Peace and Ecumenical Film Award at the Berlin Film Festival and many other prices at the festivals around the world. In a small Croatian town defending itself against the Serb army, this story unfolds from a number of different view points. A grieving wife and mother mourns the death of her husband, while her young son murders a Serbian man in his home. The woman's other son suffers from a war wound, while his girlfriend conducts an investigation into the Serbian man's death. Brešan's political drama explores ethnic hatred and moral ambiguity against the backdrop of war.

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