Croatian filmmakers awarded at 79th UNICA Festival in Dortmund

UNICA is an international festival of amateur films, and Croatia was represented this year by four short film as chosen by Diana Nenadić. The selection includes the documentaries Birthday by Tadija Tadić and Verticals by Lorna Kunčić, the animated film Island by Tea Nucak and Marko Jukić’s feature short film Milk and Honey

Lorna Kunčić’s film Verticals won a Gold Medal in the main competition, as well as the Young UNICA prize for authors younger than 25 years old. The film was developed through Restart’s School of Documentary Film. It is about unusual life callings and transformations from weakness into strength and art. They are proof that happiness lies near fear, that the mountain is a reflection of ourselves, and the view from the top is fantastic.

Tadija Tadić’s film Birthday won a Silver Medal in the film school competition. The film is produced by the Academy of Dramatic Arts, and is the story of Rudi, who, after losing his job, decides to follow his dream and open a boxing gym. In order to cash in on his efforts and investment, he works energetically from morning until night with dozens of groups each day. One of those days is also his birthday.

This year’s festival jury included Croatian film director Sunčica Fradelić. What makes this festival special is the public voting after which the winner is announced. This form of public and transparent principle is the biggest distinction of this amateur festival. That is why UNICA also has a didactic-pedagogic character, allowing viewers, participants and the authors themselves to directly comment on the works screened. The jury emphasized that Croatian films, even though they display many issues, are professionally shot and that the young authors competing in the amateur programme are practically professionals.

The festival screened 140 films from 28 countries. Along with medals, the festival also awards Best National Programme, which went this year to Ukraine, the Prix INTERNATIONAL CICT-UNESCO 'Delmiro de CARALT', and the Young UNICA Award for authors under the age of 25. Along with the main programme there is also the World Minute Movie Cup – a competition for films up to one minute in length.

For a full list of winners please click here.

Cover photos: scenes from Verticals & Birthday

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