World premiere of Hana Jušić’s Quit Staring at My Plate at Venice festival

Set in a celebratory atmosphere at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival, the Venice Days programme screened the world premiere of Hana Jušić’s Quit Staring at My Plate in the Perla theatre, on Friday, September 2nd.

Accompanying director and screenwriter Hana Jušić on the red carpet were actors Mia Petričević, Nikša Butijer, Arijana Čulina and Karla Brbić, editor Jan Klemsche, cinematographer Jana Plećaš, colorist Edoardo Rebecchi, Danish co-producers Peter Hyldahl and Maria Møller Christoffersen from Beofilm and producer Ankica Jurić Tilić from Kinorama (Zagreb).

I was really excited before the screening because this was my first encounter with the audience. I’ve received compliments from journalists, who watched it during the press screening, and, of course, from the festival team who had selected my film, but I did not know how the public would react. Now that the film has finally been screened all I can say is: I’m happy,’ said Hana Jušić.

Renata Santoro, the Venice Days head selector, said that they had viewed more than 800 films before making their final selection. ‘My first impressions after watching Hana’s film was that it was incredibly strong. I immediately thought that this was one of the most complex and interesting debut films we’ve had an opportunity to see in the last few years. I was captivated by all segments of the film and shared my feelings with my colleagues who also fell in love with it. Quit Staring at My Plate was also the first film we invited to Venice Days which instantly raised the bar for other films,’ said Santoro.

Following the screening, there was a discussion held with the audience, whose comments were more than positive: ‘I really liked the film even though it left me slightly shaken. I come from the same sort of reality and during the war I left to Italy. To see the reality I had escaped rattled me. I have to say I was especially impressed with the acting, and the film’s author is a young and talented director whom I would like to take the opportunity to thank for reviving Croatian film culture – Croatian film is obviously heading in the right direction,’ said an audience member.

Quit Staring at My Plate is a film about growing up and family relations. The film’s hero is Marijana (Mia Petričević) whose life revolves exclusively around her family. After her dominating father (Zlatko Burić) is left bedridden after having a stroke, Marijana takes over as the pack’s leader. While her irresponsible mother (Arijana Čulina) and her slow brother (Nikša Butijer) make the situation more difficult, Marijana works two jobs in order to support her family.

Hana Jušić wrote and directed the film, the cinematographer is Jana Plećaš, the editor is Jan Klemsche, and the producer is Ankica Jurić Tilić from Kinorama. Co-producers are Peter Hyldahl, Morten Kjems Hytten Juhl and Maria Møller Christoffersen from Beofilm (Denmark) and HRT (Croatian Radio Television). Development and production was subsidized by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, while production was also supported by the Danish Film Institute and the multi-national European fund Eurimages. The international sales agent is New Europe Film Sales (Poland).

The 13th edition of Venice Days gives out several awards (Venice Days Award – jury prize, BNL People’s Choice Award – audience award, Label Europa Cinemas), while all debut films screening in any of the Festival’s programmes compete for the Luigi De Laurentiis Award – Lion of the Future.

The 73rd Venice International Film Festival is taking place until September 10th. For more information on its parallel programme, Venice Days, please visit this link.

Cover photos; film team (from left to right: Jan Klemsche, Hana Jušić, Mia Petričević, Karla Brbić, Ankica Jurić Tilić, Arijana Čulina, Peter Hyldahl, Maria Møller Christoffersen, Nikša Butijer, Jana Plećaš); Jan Klemsche, Karla Brbić and Mia Petričević; Mia Petričević, Hana Jušić, Nikša Butijer; film team 

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