The main character of this documentary is the ‘stone picker’ – one of the last practitioners of an old and dying trade. When requested, he works in an old stone-pit, but without use of machinery. He does not work this way because he is capricious or stubbornly sticks to the tradition. Major physical effort is required to achieve this, as well as a sophisticated methodology, original strategy and many hand-made tools. This is precisely why he is such a suitable character for a documentary with no dialogue. This documentary is trying to answer how such a hard way to earn a living can produce such a unique and wonderful person.
Branko Ištvančić was born in Subotica in 1967. He graduated in film and TV directing from the Academy of Dramatic Art in Zagreb in 1999. He made his first 8mm documentary films at the age of 13 and has been pursuing documentary filmmaking ever since. The London First Film Foundation included his student film Saying Goodbye (1993) among the six most important films by young European directors. He is the winner of two Oktavian Awards for best documentary film, a Zlatna uljanica Award and the award for best director at Croatian Film Days, as well as several awards from festivals abroad. His documentary The Cormorant Scarecrow (1998, screened at 2016 ZagrebDoxu) was chosen as one of the best Croatian documentaries, while his debut fiction film The Ghost in the Swamp (2006) was one of the biggest-grossing Croatian fiction films. The short film, Recycling (2009), was part of the Zagreb Stories omnibus. His documentaries Stone Picker (2005) and Album (2011) have already screened at ZagrebDox.
2005, 19', color, video
Vido Bagur, Branko Ištvančić