A Short Walk Through the Regional Competition


A list of 18 documentary films competing for the Big Stamp in regional competition includes a new documentary by Croatian director Goran Dević, a triple DOK Leipzig winner "I Had a Dream" and a selection of films screened at prestigious film festivals.

The regional competition line-up includes 18 documentary films, including a world premiere of Goran Davić’s latest documentary, a triple DOK Leipzig winner and a series of titles screened at prestigious festivals like IDFA, Berlinale, Sundance, Visions du Réel, Locarno and Hot Docs.

Goran Dević’s latest film In the Name of the Republic of Croatia follows Marko Francišković in an attempt at presenting a radical political programme and the legal-psychiatric repercussion which followed after this political activism. Hungary 2018 by Eszter Hajdú, previously screened at IDFA,is an important and symptomatic film for the current European and regional political situation which takes us behind the scenes of democracy in the politically devastated Hungary, focusing on the rise of nationalism and rightist extremism in Europe. Easy Lessons by Dorrotya Zurbó is another Hungarian title in regional competition. The film was screened in Locarno and follows 17-year-old Kaifa who fled her native Somalia to avoid arranged marriage and is now trying to integrate into the Hungarian society.

The triple DOK Leipzig award-winner I Had a Dream, directed by Claudia Tosi, is film about two Italian politicians and their coping with the Italian political climate in which women are not welcome. The two of them testify to the changes which until recently could hardly be imagined: the death of politics and the rise of populism. Another Italian entry in the regional competition is The Stories of Half-Light by Luca Magi, which won an award at Visions du Réel, and Una Primavera (dir. Valentina Primavera), which premiered at DOK Leipzig.

Screened at Hot Docs and winning a special mention at Visions du Réel, Mladen Kovačević’s climber story 4 Years in 10 Minutes has been selected for ZagrebDox’s regional competition as well. This intimate portrayal of an extraordinary journey and adventure of the first Serbian climber to climb Mount Everest is made of accidentally found amateur video materials and protagonists’ journal entries, discovered 17 years later. Another film, Caisă by Alexandru Mavrodineanu, focuses on sport. It is a story about persistence, resilience and survival in a cruel environment inside and outside the gym.

The programme also includes the Serbian-Swiss co-production Taurunum Boy by Jelena Maksimović and Dušan Grubin about ‘dangerous’ Zemun boys, their fun days, simple dreams and unrequited loves, and the Belgian-Montenegrin documentary Separation, Vivid Dreams by Bojana Radulović which was screened at IDFA and DOK Leipzig. Other two competition titles are two Slovenian documentaries Fundaments in which director Peter Cerovšek follows the making of a luxury hotel through his kitchen window, recording at the same time the fragments of his failed relationship which randomly sneak into the filmed material, and How Much Do You Love Yourself? by Nina Blažin about homeless Viktorija who is planning a new life.

After screening in official sections of Berlin International Film Festival, in ZagrebDox’s regional competition we will be watching the Kosovar documentary In Between by Samir Karahoda and the Canadian-Bosnian The Stone Speakers by Igor Drljača, which premiered in Toronto. The Magic Life of V, directed by Tonislav Hristov also arrives from Berlinale and was screened at Sundance.

Opposite Dević’s documentary, three other Croatian titles will compete in regional competition. Directors Marija Ratković Vidaković and Dinka Radonić made the Croatian-Swedish co-production IKEA for YU, which was screened at DOK Leipzig. It is a film about the family of co-director Marija, who still foster Yugoslav ideals and a coming-of-age story, a story about separation from parents and accepting one’s own value system.

The End of Darkness by Ranko Pauković focuses on Sakiba, one of the last workers in the Breza mine, and explores what it means to be a miner at the end of the fossil fuel era, as well as what it means to be a woman in modern-day Bosnia and Herzegovina. Neighbours by Tomislav Žaja portray people with mental illnesses who leave the institution after decades spent in isolation and are trying to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives.