Berlinale Winner and New Regional Hit in ZFF’s Travelling Film Packet
This year’s Spanish Academy Award candidate, Alcarràs by Catalan director Carla Simón, will be available to audiences across Croatia in the ZFF Travels program – from Dubrovnik and Korčula, Nova Gradiška, Opatija, Pula, Rijeka, Rovinj, Slatina, Split, Šibenik, to Varaždin, Zabok, and Zadar. This acclaimed atmospheric drama about a family of farmers who are threatened by an uneasy future is the first film in Catalan language which won the main award at Berlinale – the prestigious Golden Bear, so Alcarràs is already a historic film. The film, named for a small town in western Catalonia, revolves around the Solé family who took care of a large peach orchard for generations. However, the land’s owners intend to cut down the orchard and install solar panels. As summer goes on, the multi-generational family starts to realize their way of life and work is drawing to a close. Made up from amateur actors, some of whom are farmers themselves, the film’s cast deftly portrays a way of life in tune with nature’s cycle and local traditions, while cinematographer Daniela Cajías successfully captures the synesthetic values of late summer. Building her film as a subtle and gentle elegy about a way of life suppressed by capital and mass production, Simón inconspicuously incorporates current economic and social issues.
The new regional hit in the making, May Labour Day by Pjer Žalica, is also part of the ZFF’s traveling film package. The start of the film’s distribution in Bosnia and Herzegovina was marked by a record: May Labour Day was first in viewership in cinemas in Bosnia and Herzegovina, having been seen by more than 10 000 people in its first weekend. This impressive number is the best result made by a Bosnian film in the last decade. The film, which had its world premiere this summer at Sarajevo Film Festival, is also the final part of Žalica’s films which depict the impact of recent history on the lives of people in Bosnia and Herzegovina today (Fuse, 2003; Days and Hours, 2004; Focus, Grandma, 2020). The film follows Armin who returns to Bosnia after ten years of working in Germany. He’s recently married and wants to surprise his father Fuda, but he disappeared. The neighbours claim he was arrested, but no one knows why. The newspapers say he was a war crime suspect. While the neighbourhood wants to celebrate Labour Day, Armin is trying to find out the truth. The film is a co-production project of five regional states and the Croatian co-producer is Propeler Film.
The ZFF Travels program will offer audiences the French hit The Passengers of the Night by Mikhaël Hers in which Charlotte Gainsbourg gives yet another masterful performance. This easy, seductive drama evokes the charming spirit of 1980s Paris and is a nostalgic portrait of a family.
Children and youth will enjoy the Dutch sci-fi hit Captain Nova about a scientist returning to the past to prevent a climate disaster. But her mission is complicated by the fact that time travel has rejuvenated her, and no one takes little girls seriously. This thrilling sci-fi adventure, full of important messages about the environment, friendship, and courage, is suited for ages 8+.