New Films by Lászlo Nemes and Debra Granik in Together Again
Zagreb Film Festival’s main competition sets out to discover new talented directors and the Together Again section is dedicated to following up on their creativity. Since 2016 this section has become a competition and the finest film is presented the Golden Bicycle Award.
The magnificent line-up of this year’s ZFF homecomers includes the new film by the winner of the 13th ZFF Lászlo Nemes and the long-awaited second film by the American director Debra Granik, who ‘discovered’ Jennifer Lawrence in her outstanding drama Winter’s Bone (2010). Sara Hribar and Marko Šantić in the amazing meta-film Lada Kamenski speak about the destinies of unwanted women, and the Bosnian and Herzegovinian director Aida Begić is presenting an important film about invisible children, starring little Syrians from a Turkish orphanage. Two great comedies in the line-up are directed by the Israeli-Palestinian director Sameh Zoabi and the Slovenian-Czech director Olmo Omerzu.
Sunset is the second feature film by Lászlo Nemes, the director of the acclaimed film Son of Saul (Palme d’or, Academy Award, BAFTA and Golden Globe for best foreign language film, ZFF’s Golden Pram). This atmospheric drama is set in 1913 Budapest and focuses on Irisz, a girl trying to resolve the circumstances surrounding the death of her parents and find her lost brother in a seemingly refined and progressive and in fact false and dark world ahead of the First World War. Opposite the fantastic Hungarian actress Juli Jakab, the film stars the Romanian actor Vlad Ivanov (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, Dogs).
Debra Granik’s new film, Leave No Trace, Will, a war veteran with PTSD and his underage daughter Tom live in a forest outside Portland as homeless, with no touch with other people. They live happily, all until one day a forest ranger spots them and exposes them to the police and social services. A touching portrayal of the closeness between a father and a daughter at the same time provides an amazing insight into the struggle of those who do not fit on or do not wish to fit in with the society.
Films by Sara Hribar and Marko Šantić were shown at previous ZFF editions in the short film competition program Checkers and this year the directing duo returns with a new feature, Lada Kamenski. In the film a director (Frano Mašković) invites to his apartment three renowned actresses (Ksenija Marinković, Nataša Dorčić, Doris Šarić Kukuljica) to pick one for the role of his beloved aunt, a former Kamenski factory worker. Blurring the lines between the real and the imaginary, the film pays tribute to all the women who for some reason are no longer eligible on the labour market. In Pula the film won the best debut (Hribar), best female role (Šarić Kukuljica) and best screenplay awards.
Together again with us is Aida Begić, known for her features Children and Snow (awarded at the Critics’ Week in Cannes). Her latest film, the Bosnian and Herzegovinian Academy Award entry, Never Leave Me, speaks about the children we see daily on the streets of our cities, but who remain invisible to us. This touching film about friendship and endeavours of three refugee orphanage boys stars little amateur actors Isa, Ahmad and Motaz, whom the director met when she was preparing the film in Turkey.
The Slovenian-Czech director Olmo Omerzu is known for his terrific drama Family Film, shown in the 15th ZFF main competition, and this year we will be watching his new film Winter Flies, the Czech entry in the Oscar run. The comic coming-of-age drama follows two mischievous adolescents in search of the adventure of their lives. Together Again also screens the new film by Sameh Zoabi, included by the influential Filmmaker magazine on the list of 25 most interesting personalities of independent film, and the 4th ZFF showed his short film Be Quiet. The comedy Tel Aviv on Fire is a heart-warming and original take on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the point of view of a chaotic soap opera production. The film premiered in the Horizons section at Venice Film Festival and won the Interfilm award for interreligious dialogue promotion and a best actor award for Kais Nashif.