Slovenian films at the 72nd festival in Cannes – Urška Djukić's live-action short at the opening of the "Cannes Directors' Fortnight" programme
The Slovenian author and director Urška Djukić will appear at this year's opening of the »Cannes Directors’ Fortnight 2019« programme of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival with her live-action short "The Right One", featuring, among others, the Slovenian actress Doroteja Nadrah and director of photography Lev Predan Kowarski. On this occasion, Djukić stated the following: "The complex process of finding a common language with my co-director has turned out to be an outstanding experiment that has prompted me to create with a profound and bold feeling of trust. The work was inspiring, encouraging, educational, and, above all, honest. I am very thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this crazy experience, which will certainly have a strong impact on my further creative work." The film was co-directed by Gabriel Tzafka, a representative of Denmark and Greece. Apart from Nadrah, the film also features the actors Mirjana Karanović and Muhamed Hadžović.
Five pairs of international directors and directors from the region – including Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia – have participated in the project. Five short films have been created in the context of the project "Southeast European Factory", based on the "La Factory" concept signed by Dominique Welinski. They will be screened in the "Directors' Fortnight" programme on Wednesday, 15 May at 16:45 hours, in Theatre Croisette. Another screening will follow on Sunday, 19 May at 11:30, in Cinéma Alexandre III.
The films were made with the support of the Slovenian Film Centre, Film Center Serbia, Macedonian Film Agency, Film Centre of Montenegro, and the Ministry of Culture and Sports Bosnia and Herzegovina in cooperation with the Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo and produced by the Sarajevo Film Festival (established by the Obala Art Centre).
At this year's edition of the Cannes Festival, the Slovenian Film Centre will present four Slovenian feature films at the film market (Market Screenings 2019) between 14 and 25 May. The market film screenings are mainly intended for the festival selectors, who can ensure that the films have the best possible international festival premieres.
The first film to be screened will be Don't Forget to Breathe by the director Martin Turk. The film focuses on the fifteen-year-old Klemen, who lives with his elder brother Peter and single mother in a small and remote rural town. Klemen's well-established routine of spending time with his beloved brother on the tennis court and by the nearby river is interrupted by Peter's sudden and passionate love affair with his gorgeous peer Sonja, which triggers a torrent of conflicting emotions and reckless actions in Klemen. The film is scheduled for Wednesday, 15 May at 13:30, in Hall H; and for Saturday, 18 May at 11:30, in Hall B. It was produced by Ida Weiss from the Bela Film production house and co-produced by Quasar from Italy, Studio Dim from Croatia, RTV Slovenija, and RAI Cinema. The film's sales agent is Intramovies from Italy.
The film Half-Sister by the director Damjan Kozole is slated for Sunday, 19 May at 11:30, in Hall B. The 33-year-old Irena is getting a divorce and looking for an apartment. When she finds out that her half-sister Neža is coming to Ljubljana for postgraduate studies, Irena asks her father, whom she has not spoken to for several years, if she could stay with her half-sister temporarily. The father agrees. Neža feels betrayed. The estranged half-sisters have only talked a few times in the past 27 years, and now they share a one-room apartment in Ljubljana. They ignore each other at first, nervously smoking on a tiny balcony. Their communication is restricted to reproaches, cursing, and short discussions about veganism and psoriasis. Both of them are full of contradictions and frustrations, but they are much more alike than they would ever admit... Half-Sister is a film about people who do not know how to communicate with each other or show any feelings of sympathy. It was produced by Danijel Hočevar from the Vertigo production house and co-produced by Sisters and Brother Mitevski Production from North Macedonia and Film House Baš Čelik from Serbia.
The third film is All Against All by Andrej Košak. A political drama with elements of a thriller discusses politics, electoral fraud, and the decay of moral values takes place in the fictional town of Rovte in the foothills of the idyllic Alps. Franta, a corrupt mayor, is about to lose the election. After a TV debate, where he fails utterly, Franta calls his mistress Jožica in desperation. She advises him to seek the aid of Fleischmann, a criminal who is the only one capable of solving the problem on such short notice. There are only four days left until the election... Scheduled for Monday, 20 May at 11:30, in Hall B. Produced by Zoran Dževerdanović from Blade Production and co-produced by RTV Slovenija and Mind Productions from North Macedonia.
The fourth film is I Am Frank by the director Metod Pevec. Frenk and Brane are brothers, but they could hardly be more different. Frenk is a "social dinosaur" – a good man, yet also a more or less ineffective barstool apostle who keeps arguing for the remainders of the communist ideology. Even though he is over fifty years old, all he owns is an antiquated moped and a children's accordion. Brane, on the other hand, has successfully adapted to the liberal capitalist circumstances and is far from sentimental. Had it not been for their father and an unusual heritage, they might have remained brothers... However, this way they get entangled in a conflict that only exacerbates their differences. During this clash of male egos, they forget all about the old times when they both played in a band together as well as fail to recall the woman that they both loved once. Nonetheless, it is she who once again comes between them. I Am Frank is yet another film produced by Danijel Hočevar from the Vertigo production house. Co-produced by Interfilm from Croatia, Small Moves Films from North Macedonia, and Backroom Production from Serbia.
Finally, Rok Biček, the head of the Cvinger Film production house, is this year's Producer on the Move. On this occasion, Biček said: "I am humbled by the trust in me that the Slovenian Film Centre and the European Film Promotion have expressed by including me among the twenty promising European producers. I intend to make the best of this opportunity to forge new co-production connections and promote the films that are currently being produced by Cvinger Film. This includes two first films, Vesna by Sara Kern and Cent'anni by Maja Prelog; the new film by Olmo Omerzu; as well as my new feature Dark Mother Earth."
Biček's directorial debut, the feature Class Enemy, received the Fedeora Award at the Venice International Film Critics' Week 2013; while his documentary film Family won and received the main award at the Locarno Critics' Week in 2017. He also co-produced the film Winter Flies by the director Olmo Omerzu, who received the Best Director Award in Karlovy Vary last year; as well as the multiple award-winning feature Consequences by Darko Štante.
All the films were created with the financial support of the Slovenian Film Centre.
In 2019, Slovenian cinematography will be presented, for the tenth time, in the South-East European Pavilion, together with the film institutions and filmmakers from Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Montenegro, Croatia, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Slovenia. The Slovenian part of the pavilion will function as the meeting point for all Slovenian filmmakers, who are coming to Cannes to present their already completed projects, seeking partners for their projects in development, and establishing all kinds of business contacts in the field of film.
In cooperation with the Slovenian Tourist Board, the Slovenian Film Centre will once again present to the global film community the opportunities that the Slovenian film locations can provide to the film industry in combination with the advantages ensured by the cash rebate measure.