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In Focus – Croatia

Croatian cinema is passing through an intensive, exciting period of change and generational transition. The old guard of accomplished directors continues bravely depicting predominantly politically relevant topics. In contrast, a new generation of mainly female directors deals with inner drama within family or gender specificities, bringing new voices and fresh cinematic approaches.

This new generation of Croatian directors has already left their mark on the European film scene. Awards, like the Palm d’Or in Cannes, prizes from Berlinale, Karlovy Vary, Locarno, Sarajevo, EFA, Pula and Motovun FF are all underlining the quality of the upcoming future masters.

Especially female authors a.o. Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic, Sonja Tarokic, Tiha Gudac, Vedrana Pribacic, Lana Baric, Dubravka Turic, just to name a few upcoming stars, as well as several enormously potent and successful producers such as Ankica Juric Tilic and Zdenka Gold, marked the European film scene. One of the latest successes is the thriller The Uncle created by a male duo of debut directors David Kapac and Andrija Mardesic. It lucidly explores, in Croatia, a rarely taken-up genre of dark psycho-thriller with a marvelous set of actors (Goran Bogdan, Ivana Roscic) led by veteran Miki Manojlovic.

Croatian local topics in skillfully made documentaries are successfully crossing borders, getting admiration and awards abroad, screened at IDFA, Hot Docs Toronto, Sheffield, Sarajevo etc. The latest accomplishment is the nomination of the film Bigger Than Trauma by the female duo Pribacic/Puhlovski for the prestigious Spanish Goya Awards 2022. One of the latest successes is also a short surreal poetic horror by Ante Zlatko Stolica.

We are bringing in this Focus program thirteen fiction features, documentaries and shorts. Many of which are debut works of talents whose names will soon be writing the history of world cinema.

Only at the Eastern Neighbours Film Festival in Filmhuis Den Haag between 23 – 27 November.

The program is supported by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC).