Producers on the Move 2013 - Croatia
- After some documentaries, Zdenka Gold's first foray into fiction territory, A Stranger, premiered in this year's Berlinale Forum
After working for ten years as a freelance producer, Croatia’s Zdenka Gold established the production company Spiritus Movens in 2009, where she made two documentaries- Silvestar Kolbas' 20 Days in Tibet and Marko Stanić's See You in One Year. Her first foray into fiction territory, A Stranger by Bobo Jelčić, premiered in this year’s Berlinale Forum.
Cineuropa: What was your experience with A Stranger in Berlin, and its subsequent festival career?
Zdenka Gold: The Berlinale audiences positively surprised us, because they reacted really very well to the film. And the critics also received it warmly. A Stranger deals with specific Balkan post-war situation, and our main character is an anxious old man, so at first sight it doesn’t seem too appealing for a wide range of audiences. But it turns out that people like its intelligent humor, great acting performances by two regional film legends Bogdan Diklić and Nada Djurevska and fresh directing approach. At least, such was the experience of the Berlinale audiences – they laughed a lot in the right places, and no one left the screenings, and they asked very interesting questions at every Q & A session.
To be selected for the Forum meant very much to us, because finding a place in that section confirmed to us that we made an innovative film of high quality. After the Berlinale, a very strange thing happened and no one seems to be able to explain it rationally, especially after those positive reactions, namely that the film’s festival life did not start as expected. But I believe it will go out into the world after the Cannes market screenings and promotion. In any case, A Stranger is in for a very dynamic festival life in the Balkan region.
What are you currently working on?
At the moment, I’m working on several projects that are in different stages. I am mostly developing new projects and preparing some co-productions – one of these is a co-production with Serbia, the football hooligan drama Barbarians by Ivan Ikić, which is practically finished. Among the othernew projects, I’d mention two feature films – one is Family Dust by Nina Violić, which we are developing through EAVE. This film tackles the question of objectivity and how objective we are in our lives – maybe all our words and reactions derive from very subjective opinions and emotions? This (im)possibility of objectivity is presented through three different perspectives: the wife’s, the husband’s, and the child’s, and we follow them during the last half-hour before their marriage breaks up. This project received support from the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC) for project development. The other project, Breathing, a debut film by directing duo Marko Stanić and Denis Lepur, is a powerful love story. At the moment, I’m searching for co-producers and trying to close the financing for this film.
How do you see the current situation in Croatian cinema? In the past two years, there has been an increase in production, and three recent films became theatrical hits, which until recently used to be almost unimaginable for a local film in the country.
My view of the current situation is very rosy. Maybe I’m looking at it too optimistically, but the fact is that a lot of films are being made, local films are selling lots of tickets, and the festival life of Croatian films is very dynamic. The general atmosphere around local films is very positive.
What do you expect from Producers on the Move in Cannes?
I expect to broaden my professional network and position on the European production map, promote the projects that I’m working on and, of course, have a good exchange of ideas and communication with colleagues from all over Europe. Who knows, maybe it will spawn a new co-production as well?
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