Notes from a Studio_04

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The last two months in our studio have been marked by hyperproduction and hyperdistribution!

-          FINISHED – Travelling Country was co-produced with the Bulgarian team from Compote Collective. It is the result of a wonderful collaboration by an excellent crew of animators and artists: Ivan Bogdanov and Vessela Dantcheva (the team responsible for our most popular film, Father), followed by Jelena Oroz, Petra Zlonoga, Darko Vidačković, Ivan Košutić, and sound designer Andrea Martignoni. The film is a parable of the recurring nature of human stupidity, which usually comes hand in hand with greed, malice and opportunism. Any similarity to our society is intentional!

-          IN PRODUCTION – We are currently working on many new films. However, we would like to single out those that that are soon to be released.

-          Astronaut of Featherweight, directed by Dalibor Barić, is a dark vision of a hypercapitalist society in which body is a commodity, and money brings immortality.

-          Hedgehog's Home by Eva Cvijanović (National Film Board, Bonobostudio) is moving full steam ahead. We are further inspired by the upcoming curriculum reform, which sees Branko Ćopić's poem return to Croatian classrooms. The story is simple: a hedgehog teaches four forest hoodlums – wolf, bear, boar, and fox – that there truly is no place like home. This puppet film was made by a great international crew, including Rade Šerbedžija and Darko Rundek. The project was presented at the Animateka IAFF in Ljubljana at the end of last year.

-          Speaking of trees and animals, recently we have started working on another project – a new film by Špela Čadež, Nighthawk (working title: Badger on the Road) (Finta Film, Bonobostudio). In the best tradition of Aesop's Fables, the story reveals some truths about the human character. The subject is serious, and its treatment is Lynchian. Needless to say, we are eagerly awaiting its completion! The director Špela is known for her successful animated film Boles, which won 35 awards at numerous festivals, including the Animafest and DOK Leipzig. It was also nominated for the Cartoon d'Or.

-          DISTRIBUTION is blooming, and spring has just arrived! The Cinema Club Zagreb (KKZ) brings five new films, inspired by the Genre Film Festival and the notion of anti-film: Unknown Energies, Unidentified Emotions by Dalibor Barić refers in its title to the never realised edition of the GEFF; X Tape by Dragan Mileusnić and Željko Serdarević deals with human sexuality in the manner of Eyes Wide Shut; in The End/Land, Tomislav Šoban attempted to make a film without film, i.e. an anti-film; in Dota, Petra Zlonoga explores „film through film“; in Machinae Novae 002, Darko Vidačković refers to cybernetic theories that had inspired the third edition of the Genre Film Festival.

-          Another three animated/experimental films are arriving from Croatia. That is a total of eight new Croatian films that are soon entering the festival circuit! Planemo by Veljko popović (Lemonade 3D / Krupni kadar, 3D2D animatori) is a film about an individual who is ejected from his own system. It premiered at the HAFF in Utrecht. It is joined by two films by Croatian female artists: the experimental film Almost Nothing by Ana Hušman (Pangolin) explores the relationship between nature and culture, while Peter’s Forest by Martina Meštrović (Kreativni sindikat) also deals with the artificial boundary drawn between the natural, normal, and the excluded, the uncommon.

-          Of course, we are still giving our full attention to our recently released films. Train by Olivier Chabalier (GASP!, Bonobostudio) and Travelling Country have yet to begin their festival journeys. On the other hand, Here There by Alexander Stewart and Sonámbulo (Unité centrale) by Theodore Ushev are doing quite well on the international scene. As Stewart’s “log entry”, we would like to mention the OIAF, DOK Leipzig, Slamdance, IFFR, and Ann Arbor FF. A record should also be made of 10 awards, 80 festival competitions, 2 television acquisitions, and numerous nominations and special programs for Sonámbulo (also available for viewing on demand).

-          Finally, we would like to bring to your attention the “Croatian Modern Art Award T-HT@msu.hr” EXHIBITION taking place at the Zagreb Museum of Contemporary Art. Vladislav Knežević’s film A.D.A.M., produced by Bonobostudio, will be screening as part of competition until the end of March.

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