Croatian Film the Showcase at Upcoming Festival – LA

Contemporary Croatian cinema will be featured next week when Croatian Cinema Today ( — a three-day festival sponsored by the American Cinematheque — begins at the Aero Theater in Los Angeles.

Five films will be featured during the program, which begins on Friday, May 16th. “The Living and the Dead”, director Kristijan Milic’s adaptation of Josef Mlakic’s anti war novel, will open the program, followed by a Question and Answer session with the filmmaker.

The complete schedule of the festival:

Double Feature
Saturday, May 17 – 7:30 PM

LA Premiere!
2006, 80 min.
Dir. Drazen Zarkovic

A bittersweet look at life in a small charming village on a tiny island where four card-playing friends play Tressette every night. With most of the island’s population relocated to bigger cities, the friends are faced with a dilemma when one of them unexpectedly dies. This in turn brings the old man’s daughter back to the island where she decides to stay and pursue new horizons. While the remaining three friends approach several people, including the local priest to take their friend’s place at the table, many of the islands secrets are revealed.

2006, 109 min
Dir. Hrvoje Hribar

One of Croatia’s best romantic comedies in years, we follow the poignant yet hilarious tale of an aging immigrant worker returning home from Germany, and a pretty young widow who falls in love with the handsome local priest from a bankrupt parish, struggling to come to terms with his own alcoholic past. He is not blind to her love, but is unable to choose between the young widow and his commitment to the church, until circumstances force him to. Director Hrvoje Hribar will be available for questions during the Q&A; after the film.
Double Feature
Sunday, May 18 – 7:30 PM

LA Premiere!
2007, 82min
Dir. Ognjen Svilicic

Armin and his father travel from their small Bosnian town to Zagreb, Croatia’s capital to audition in a movie. Armin’s father Ibro desperately wants his teenage son to be famous and makes him take acting classes much to Armin’s embarrassment, while Armin just wants to play the accordion. After numerous awkward moments, Armin finally realizes how much his father loves him. A deeply touching film about love and self respect, Svilicic’s film has garnered several awards and festival screenings and was Croatia’s submission to this year’s Academy Awards.

LA Premiere!
2006, HRT, 90 min
Dir. Branko Schmidt

Inspired by the true story of twelve illegal Chinese immigrants who drowned in the river Sava on the border of Bosnia and Croatia during the war of the 90’s. One Chinese girl survives the river and seeks refuge in an old house near by. The house belongs to the former Croatian soldier who was ferrying the refugees across the river. Initially, he’s reluctant to have her about but soon warms up to her when he realizes she’s the target of ruthless human traffickers. The language and cultural barriers between the two give an added dimension to the film as their love for each other unfolds, but the painful realization that it is hard to carry an inescapable burden: one’s place of birth remains.


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Christopher P. Duffy

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