The satirical thriller Extracurricular is the new film by Ivan-Goran Vitez, presented at today’s press conference with a numerous crew.
The screening at the Arena this evening will be the Croatian and world premiere of the film. As Vitez said, it is a feature genre film with a theme of a school hostage crisis: “I look at what’s going on around us, and so I brought a high level of reality into this film. I deal with politics, education, problems in society… I think that apathy is the biggest problem of today’s society”, he said. The film has a lot of characters, and Vitez already had 90% of them in his head when he wrote the screenplay. He emphasised that he had selected fantastic actors who are, unfortunately, not hired that much.
Milivoj Beader plays the father, who is not happy with her personal life and causes a range of conflict at the school. “The process of working on the film was difficult, even though Croatia is full of such people”, Beader said.
Speaking about his role in the film, Željko Königsknecht said it was completely different than what he usually does in theatre and what he had done in films so far. He almost rejected the role at first, but Vitez convinced him to accept so he gave his whole heart and soul into it. “Our rough reality was my inspiration for the work on my part. I can say that this is a political science-fiction film with a social horror theme”, he said jokingly.
Marina Kostelac plays the role of the mother in Extracurricular. She said that Vitez came to the puppet theatre where she works with a drama group and offered her the role. She emphasised that working with him was pleasant.
Darko Janeš plays the police commissioner, who, as Janeš said, wears the uniform well. “I’m 62 years old and this is my first time at the Festival - as a pensioner - so I hope to win the award for best debutant”, Janeš said jokingly.
Đorđe Kukuljica plays the PE teacher, and says that it is much needed to watch the film. “I can’t wait for the audience to watch it”, he emphasised.
Lutvo Mekić, the DOP, said the scenes were filmed at a kindergarten, at a school and on the street, and that filming took 35 days.
Frida Jakšić plays the girl, the main character’s daughter, and working on this film was a lot of fun for her. She has only worked in theatre before, and film differs from theatre most, she says, in the number of times the same scenes are filmed - in theatre, there is no repeating until the next performance. “We had a nice time together on set, the director was very good and patient with us. I’d like to work on a film again”, said the young actress.
Franko Pavičić plays her school friend, a real action hero. He said that he plays the spirited, mischievous, but also fearless boy, much like himself in real life.
Anita Matić Delić plays the teacher, and this role was a whole new experience for her. “I was their teacher on set and after filming, as they turned to me for everything they needed”, she said and emphasised that she now appreciates how hard the job of a teacher is. She concluded by saying that working on this film has been a great life experience for her.
Marko Cindrić said that the atmosphere during filming was amazing, and that it was really nice to work with Vitez: “I followed his lead and enjoyed working with him because he knows exactly what he wants”, he concluded.
Petra Vukelić plays the role of the school pedagogue, and she said that even though her role was a small one, working on the film was really nice.
The film will come to cinemas on 21 November, and as Vitez said, it should be during the presidential election, which he is looking forward to. The film is dedicated to their dear colleague Ivo Gregurević, who, unfortunately, did not see it be completed.