Croatian premiere of the ‘Barefoot Emperor’ at the closing of ZFF

The official program of the longest Zagreb Film Festival to date ends on Saturday, November 16th, with the award ceremony and screening of the film The Barefoot Emperor, the new film by directorial duo Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth, completely filmed in Croatian and in Croatian co-production!

The film will be presented at the Croatian premiere in Tuškanac Cinema by producer, screenwriter and director Jessica Woodworth, actor Titus De Voogdt, Bulgarian co-producer Stefan Kitanov, Croatian co-producers Boris T. Matić and Lana Matić (Propeler Film), costume designer Morana Starčević, composer Alen Sinkauz, composer and actor Nenad Sinkauz, and actors Darko Stazić and Hassan Abdelghani.

After opening with a film about an old, idealess mayor, Zagreb Film Festival ends with a story about the last Belgian king who becomes the first emperor of the nationalist New Europe, and Tito’s famous villa on Brijuni, where the Barefoot Emperor was filmed, becomes the place of the definitive collapse of the idea of a united Europe.

The Croatian audience is familiar with the directorial duo which uses sophisticated humour and political satire. We have followed their films at ZFF from Khadak (2006), the first part of the famous trilogy followed by Altiplano (2009) and The Fifth Season (2012). In the sequel of their successful King of the Belgians they bring new (mis)adventures of the unusual ruler (Peter Van den Begin) in a constant (and unsuccessful) search for self-discovery which in the previous film led him to a truly painful race across the Balkans.

According to the author’s words “in light of recent events in Europe, the king’s odyssey seems like an unfinished job”, so that’s why the sequel followed – another sharp-witted political satire with numerous historical references in which mockery is abundant and absurdities convincing.

Barefoot Emperor was made in a Belgian-Croatian-Dutch-Bulgarian co-production and was completely filmed in Croatia, on Brijuni as the main set location, and in Pula. The film stars Peter Van Den Begin, Titus De Voogdt, Bruno Georis, Lucie Debay, Geraldine Chaplin, Udo Kier, Siniša Labrović, Darko Stazić, and Alen Sinkauz.

Composers Alen and Nenad Sinkauz will also be guests of another Saturday ZFF event within the INDUSTRY program in the Croatian Music Institute at 1 PM, as part of the Who’s Playin’ Over There panel, open to the public. They will talk with leading domestic film composers about original music as an element of dramaturgy. We’ll find out in what way they encapsulate the film’s atmosphere, which methods they use to bring characters closer to us, or how they emphasize a certain mood leading us through the film. Alongside the Sinkauz brothers, the panel will be made up by composers Jura Ferina, Pavle Miholjević, and Hrvoje Štefotić.

The rich festival program continues on Sunday, a day after winners are announced alongside screenings in Tuškanac Cinema, Museum of Modern Art, Cultural Centre Travno, and National University Dubrava.