Last Press Conferences for Films in This Year’s Croatian Programme Held at Valli Cinema
The last two conferences were held for films in competition in the Croatian Programme: The Head of a Big Fish, directed by Arsen Oremović, and The Staffroom, directed by Sonja Tarokić.
Director Oremović presented his film crew at the press conference for the film The Head of a Big Fish: producers Maja Vukić and Katarina Prpić, editor Tomislav Pavlic, and actors Lana Barić and Neven Aljinović Tot.
The director said he felt that Sviličić’s book would be great material for a film as soon as he read it. He emphasised that it was very important to him to have the acting in the film be very natural, and that he likes working with non-professional actors to have the entire process seem as natural as possible. He also followed the same thinking when casting the leading actress, Lana Barić, who he thinks is a representative of “natural acting”, even though she studied to be an actress. Lana said working on this film was a wonderful experience, and that the atmosphere on set was very relaxed. She emphasised it was important to her to create a role that was independent of the male character, and then build on it together with Arsen and Nikša, because she is personally, but also professionally, less motivated if her role is to support the male role. I think we have seen enough of female roles supporting leading male roles in Croatian film, she said. Neven Aljinović said that he related to his character right away, and that his life experience helped him in building his character, as he is not an educated actor. Editor Tomislav Pavlic said that he tried to make all three characters equal when editing and to give them enough time in the film. Producer Maja Vukić emphasised it was a pleasure to work with a great team that Arsen Oremović put together, even though they were shooting at the height of the pandemic. Other than the actors, she also mentioned the role of production design, costume design, cinematography, make-up, sound, and music in the film, saying that everyone has done an extremely good job. Katarina Prpić rounded off the press conference by saying she hopes the film will find its way to the audience. That will not be easy, but we will do our best because we believe it is time for the audience to get a chance and learn how to watch these, I dare say, art films in the true sense of the word, she said.
The press conference for the film The Staffroom saw participation from director Sonja Tarokić, producer Ankica Jurić Tilić, director of photography Danko Vučinović, and actors Marina Redžepović, Stojan Matavulj, Sandra Lončarić and Maja Posavec.
Sonja Tarokić said this project was a very long process, as she started writing the screenplay six or seven yers ago, after which it grew and developed to its final stage through her work with producer Ankica Jurić Tilić. She also said that all of the obstacles one is bound to have in such long processes have only motivated the crew even more. Reactions from the audience, especially from people who work in education, are varied, but there are more of those who are thankful that someone spoke about the topic that is such a topical issue today, the director said. Marina Redžepagić said that the fact she had previously worked with director Tarokić worked in her favour, because she could trust her completely. She said her role was very challenging and emphasised that in building her character she did not lean on anything she already knew, but instead relied on an emotional approach, which she said was very demanding, as she had to explore the most vulnerable parts of herself. Sandra Lončarić is happy about the reactions from the audience, because it sparks up conversations about this very topical issue. Producer Ankica Jurić Tilić agreed and said they had received very positive reactions from those working in education even before they started shooting; while Stojan Matavulj called this topic an eternal one. The director of photography said the entire process was very intense, which he realised only when he saw the film for the first time, after they wrapped. Producer Jurić Tilić said that the film has already had an abundant festival life, which will continue after Pula Film Festival.
The films The Staffroom and The Head of a Big Fish will be screened this evening at the Arena at 9.30 and 11.45 p.m., respectively.
The programmes, as well as the detailed schedule of screenings and all other information can be found on the official webpage of the Festival: www.pulafilmfestival.hr.