Croatian titles at 24th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival

Three Croatian films to screen in different festival sections of the prestigious festival held in the Estonian capital, this year in hybrid format, 13th – 29th November. 

The second instalment of The Sun Trilogy, the fiction feature The Dawn, directed and written by Dalibor Matanić and produced by Kinorama, will have its world premiere in the Official Selection – Competition programme. The film’s crew will also be in attendance at the live-audience screening, scheduled for 27th Nov. The Dawn arrives after the success of The High Sun, also directed and written by Matanić and produced by Ankica Jurić Tilić (Kinorama). 

The rest of the film’s creative team consists of Marko Brdar as director of photography, Tomislav Pavlic as editor, sound designers Mirko Perri and Julij Zornik, Ana Savić Gecan as costume designer and Luca Servino as production designer. Nenad and Alen Sinkauz have authored the film’s soundtrack, while Tihana Lazović, Krešimir Mikić, Lara Vladović, Maks Kleončić, Nataša Matjašec Rošker and Marko Mandić make up the cast. The film’s producer is Ankica Jurić Tilić, with Andrea Paris, Matteo Rovere and Ines Vasiljević acting as co-producers. The film is a Kinorama production, co-produced by Ascent Film from Italy, while Cercamon acts as the sales representative. The film was created with support from the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, Eurimages, the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism – Directorate-General for Cinema and Audiovisual, the Friuli Venezia Giulia Audiovisual Fund, RAI Cinema and the Lazio region.

The Dawn traces Matija whose family is confronted with unresolved trauma, as their neighbours flee from the radicalism that divides them into the chosen ones and the undesirables. As Matija loses faith and struggles to find his true self, the dawn breaks over the valley, revealing that the only way to deal with trauma and evil is to face them head-on. 

Kata Gugić’s animated short Cockpera will screen in the Shorts Panorama programme. Kata Gugić directed the film, penned the script, also creating the animation, design and backgrounds. She also shot and edited the entire film. Compositing was done by Matea Kovač, while music and sound design were created by Vjeran Šalamon. David Šeb, Max Hozić and Lucija Jelušić lend voices to the characters. The film is a Zagreb Academy of Dramatic Art production, co-produced by Zagreb Film, with Tomislav Buntak acting as producer and Vinko Brešan as co-producer. 

Cockpera, a humorous animated opera inspired by one of Aesop’s fables, has already screened and received awards at numerous international and domestic festivals. 

PÖFF Shorts, the sub-festival dedicated to short fiction and animated films, will be held during Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, 17th – 25th Nov, also in hybrid offline-online format.

The PÖFF Shorts Animation Competition will feature Arka, the award-winning animated film by director Natko Stipaničev, who co-wrote the script together with Maša Seničić and Damir Juričić. The film’s producer is Igor Grubić (of Kreativni sindikat), whereas the animation for Arka, a story about a grandiose transoceanic cruise ship sailing the seas, was done by Pavao Stanojević and Natko Stipančev, who in addition created the design and backgrounds and is also credited with editing and sound design. The film’s sales representative is Bonobostudio, while the film received financial support from the Croatian Audiovisual Centre and the City of Split.By participating in PÖFF Shorts competition programmes, all titles earn a chance at a nomination for a British Academy Film Award (BAFTA), a European Film Academy Award in the short film category, and, as of this year, a nomination for the Academy Award. 

The Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF) was launched in 1997 and has since evolved into one of the biggest festivals in northern Europe. Since 2014, the festival holds the FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Associations) accreditation for its international competition programme, which puts it in the A-list category of festivals around the world.

The festival organizers emphasize that the film portion of the programme will be held entirely before a live audience, while it was announced in August that the industry section of the festival would take place in digital format only. 

For more details about the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, please visit the festival’s official website

Cover photographs: scenes from The Dawn, Cockpera and Arka

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