Wednesday at ZFF

Mexican Edition of ‘Dead Poets Society’ — ‘Radical’, bubbly Macedonian ‘Housekeeping for Beginners’, winner of the Venetian Queer Lion, and ‘Priscilla’ by Sofia Coppola


On Wednesday at CineStar Branimir we have two films from ZFF’s main program. Sundance Audience Award winner, the Mexican Radical by Christopher Zalla is being touted as the Dead Poets Society of a poor Mexican town. The film centers around a professor (Eugenio Derbez – CODA) who uses unconventional methods to lift his students out of crime and hopelessness. The film screens at 6.30 PM.

Housekeeping for Beginners by Macedonian-Australian director Goran Stolevski screens out of competition at 9 PM with the producer Marija Dimitrova and coproducer Ankica Jurić Tilić in attendance. The center of this witty and touching drama is an unusual family whose members are not related, but share explosive characters. The film won the Queer Lion Award in Venice and is this year’s Macedonian Academy Award candidate. Before Housekeeping for Beginners, we will mark the 70 years of Zagreb Film with the screening of a true film lovers’ treat, Zvonimir Berković’s short film My Flat from 1963.

The Great 5 program in Kinoteka Cinema at 5 PM brings us a new film by popular German director Christian Petzold. Silver Bear winner at this year’s Berlinale, Afire is a slow burn drama about a young writer whose inflated ego is slowly melting during the summer vacation in the Baltic idyllic.

At 7.30 PM in Kinoteka we are screening Priscilla by Sofia Coppola from the Together Again program with the phenomenal Cailee Spaeny in the role of Mrs Presley (Coppa Volpi award for best actress – Venice Film Festival). At 10 PM we give the reins to the short film competition program. The Croatian short film is represented by Under the Rug by Paško Vukasović and Let Love In by Kristina Barišić, and the international short film is represented by the Chinese A Tortoise’s Year of Fate by Yi Xiong and the Polish A Dead Marriage by Michał Toczek.

The 6 PM slot at MSU is reserved for a movie fairytale from a nightmare Sweet Dreams, the second feature film by Bosnian director Ena Sendijarević (Take Me Somewhere Nice — ZFF 2019). This ruthless satire of lavish aesthetics is set in Indonesia and follows the breakup of the sugar plantation’s owner’s family in the last days of Dutch colonial rule. Marco Bellocchio’s Kidnapped from the Great 5 program screens at MSU at 8.30 PM. The great Italian director’s newest title brings the story of a true event from the 19th century when the Catholic Church kidnapped a Jewish boy because the family maid baptized him in secret, and the law stated he should be brought up in the Catholic faith.

PLUS program aimed at teenagers brings two films. In Kinoteka Cinema at 2 PM we have the Israeli film Delegation by Asaf Saban, and at MSU at 4 PM we have the Dutch Kung Fu Lion by Froukje Tan, whose protagonist is a kung fu student in Rotterdam.

In collaboration with the Croatian Screenwriters and Playwrights Guild (SPID) and the MIDPOINT Institute, a masterclass by Slovene-Czech director OImo Omerzu (Industry program) will take place at Dokukino KIC at 6 PM. Omerzu will use his films (screened at ZFF) to talk about the peculiarities of cooperation between director and screenwriter, with a specific focus on actor improvisation. Through excerpts from Omerzu’s films, which feature professional actors, teenagers/amateur actors, and animals, we will find out how he works with them and how he manages in situations when a dog has the lead role.