Regional Hits on ZFF: Father, Tereza37, Full Moon, Oasis and Focus, Grandma

This year will be remembered by few good things, but when it comes to new films in the Croatian and regional cinematography, we are proud to name the following films from the program of the 18th Zagreb Film Festival. In Serbia, they are the new film by one of the most important contemporary regional authors, Srdan Golubović, Father starring Goran Bogdan, and the exceptionally interesting and in many respects pioneer in its approach, the feature debut by Ivan Ikić, Oasis. In Croatia, it is the absolute winner of Pula, Tereza37 by writer and main actress Lana Barić directed by Danilo Šerbedžija, while in Bosnia and Herzegovina it is the long-awaited new film by the director of the legendary classics Fuse and Days and Hours, Pjer Žalica – Focus, Grandma, as well as the debut by Nermin Hamzagić, nominated for the European Film Academy award in the European Discovery 2020 category, Full Moon starring Alban Ukaj.

From its very beginnings, ZFF’s main program has been dedicated to debut films, so the competition program also features the films Oasis, the winner of the Europa Cinemas Label award for best European film in the Venice Days selection at the Venice Biennale, and Full Moon, which won two awards at the Cottbus Festival (Prize of the Ecumenical Jury and award for best actor – Alban Ukaj).

Father, the newest film by Srdan Golubović, which will open this year’s festival, and which is shown out of competition, premiered in February in the Panorama program of the Berlin International Film Festival, where it won the audience award and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury. The film’s great success continued this summer in Pula, where it won the audience award, becoming the first film in Pula Film Festival’s history to receive the average score of 5,00 from the audience. With an impressive acting interpretation in the title role of the film, which critics dubbed the “Balkan Paris, Texas”, Goran Bogdan convincingly embodied a desperate father, a loser from the social margins turned hero of our time.

An inheritance battle, the stumbling block of every self-conscious Balkan family, is the focus of the new dark comedy by Pjer Žalica, Focus, Grandma, shown in the program Together Again. The film also features set-ups which turn into a ruthless war for the family house, which will render the family unable to see the real war conflict on their doorstep, thus making the breakup of a family a metaphor for the breakup of a country. In the brilliant roles of this peculiar “domestic drama” are veterans of Bosnia and Herzegovina theatre Jasna Žalica and Emir Hadžihafizbegović, along with Croatian actresses Alma Prica and Jadranka Đokić.

The film Tereza37 by Danilo Šerbedžija, shown in the Special Screenings program, will close this year’s edition of the festival. This warm, funny and at times devastating generational drama about a woman in her late 30’s who is trying to find a bit of happiness in the decaying ambience of modern Split. She starts to question her routine marriage, which sparks a series of life-changing events.

The free online screenings of the Festivals in the Spotlight program, in which programmers of several European festivals picked films especially for Zagreb Film Festival’s audience, features numerous regional titles. This year’s program is realized in collaboration with Sarajevo Film Festival, Sofia Film Festival, Venice Film Festival – the Horizons program, Human Rights Film Festival, Mediterranean Film Festival Split, and Herceg Novi Film Festival. The SFF’s program will feature the omnibus SEE Factory/Sarajevo Mon Amour, which premiered in Cannes in the Directors’ Fortnight program, while the Herceg Novi FF will present the features Ajvar by director Ana Marija Rossi and Breasts by director Marija Perović, and the praised debut feature by Ivan Salatić, You have the Night.