Croatian titles in competition at 66th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen

Two Croatian films to screen in the official international competition of the 66th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen. For Renata Poljak’s Porvenir this will be the world premiere, while Katerina Duda’s Currents will also screen at the festival. The festival was supposed to be held in the German city of Oberhausen, 13th – 18th May, however, the event has been cancelled. Instead, some of its programmes will be available online.

Renata Poljak’s short documentary-experimental Porvenir will have its world premiere at the 66th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen. In it, the director continues exploring the theme she already dealt with in her earlier works (Partenza), examining the departure of Croatian emigrants, driven by poverty and famine, to South America during the early 20th century. The director’s great-grandfather was one of the Croatians who founded the town of Porvenir, located on an island in the Chilean Patagonian Archipelago, where he eventually died. In the film, the author wonders whether our bodies remember the destinies of our ancestors and whether we are destined, generation after generation, to flee our homelands in search of a better life.

In addition to directing the film, Poljak also wrote the screenplay and produced the film (REA Association for Contemporary Artistic and Architectural Productions). The film’s director of photography is Boris Poljak, Alen and Nenad Sinkauz co-sign the music, with Iva Ivan as sound designer, and Damir Čučić as editor. The film is distributed by Bonobostudio.

This is Renata Poljak’s second film to have its world premiere at ISFF Oberhausen – last year, her documentary-experimental film Yet Another Departure premiered in competition at 65th edition in Oberhausen. 

In addition to Porvenir, Katerina Duda’s Currents will also screen in ISFF Oberhausen international competition. It is a story about a large, once lavish, space of an abandoned office building, in which the only thing that remains are the plants, which have become one with the architecture. The gardener who still grooms them, prepares the ones in the flower pots to be moved. The only other person in the building is a firefighter, guarding the empty building, making the rounds and repairing the place – for no one. 

Currents premiered at last year’s Mediterranean Film Festival Split, where it won the award for Best Croatian Short Film in the Croatian Shorts competition.

In addition to directing and writing the screenplay, Katerina Duda co-signs the cinematography of the film together with Dražen Žerjav, with Iva Ivan as editor and Srđan Popović as sound designer. Currents was produced by Restart (Vanja Jambrović, Tibor Keser, Oliver Sertić) and co-produced by the Miroslav Kraljević Gallery (Ana Kovačić, Lea Vene).

Both films were created with the support of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre.

The 66th edition of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen will not be held 13th – 18th May, as was previously scheduled, in order to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The festival was supposed to screen over 500 films from 70 countries, however, so far the festival, which will perhaps be held entirely online, has announced only the films from its International Competition programme.

Due to financial and organizational constraints, it is impossible for us to move the festival to another date, which is why we are in the process of deciding which festival programmes can be offered online, which ones we might have to postpone until next year and which ones will have to be cancelled entirely,” said ISFF Oberhausen Director Lars Henrik Gass

Find out more about ISFF Oberhausen at the official festival website

Cover photographs: scenes from Porvenir and Currents

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