Croatian screenwriter and director Zrinko Ogresta (1958) is one of the members of the Fiction Competition Jury. His films are characterized by strong visuals, well-articulated mise-en-scène and inventive storytelling.
The film Washed Out (Isprani, 1995) won him the Prix Italia and film Here (Tu, 2003) was awarded at Karlovy Vary IFF a Special Jury Prize. Currently he teaches directing at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb and he is a member of the European Film Academy. Just a few months ago he completed the movie On The Other Side, a film about the family of a Yugoslav army officer of Serbian origin, who lived in Croatia until the Homeland has begun, and then he went to “the other side.” His wife and children remained in Croatia. After the war, he was sentenced for war crimes and he served his longtie sentence in the Hague. After 20 years he contacted his wife trying to revive their relationship…
You are one of three judges of the Fiction Competition Jury. Together with Judit Bárdos and Christopher Goodwin you will decide about the winner. Do you already have „your“ (own, personal) winner?
Yes, of course I have my personal tips. But I haven´t asked my collegues yet so I don´t know what the decision will be.
How does the jury work? Do you discuss together with your collegues or do you just vote?
During the festival we meet each other and talk about each of the films. I know the favourites of my collegues, and I think that our opinions are pretty close so I think that we will not vote for a long time.
Have you seen any other movies apart from the competitive ones?
No, because we had no time. In 3 days we saw 9 movies. And it is pretty much. But I would like to say that I was on numerous festivals and the selection of movies of IFF Bratislava was excellent. 7 of those 9 films are really good. And it is not a common situation at other festivals. I think that you can see the taste of the programmer. Mr. Dukić (Nenad Dukić – one of festival programmers) did really a very good job.
You are the professor of film directing at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb. How does the work with young filmmakers influence your films? You teach, but does the teaching influence you as well?
This is an interesting question. Absolutely. That is the main reason for why I teach. It can sound absurdly but I think that it is something that… In a way of thinking, not physically, I feel still young. And it is because of the contact with young students, young generation. I think that it is very helpful for both sides.
You have visited various film festivals all around the world. What would you say about the festival audience in Slovakia?
For me it is not a big difference. In such kind of festivals you always have specific kind of audience. We watch non-commercial movies and those people are cinefils. During the screenings I felt that they were really enjoying the film and they understood it. I think it is a very common situation in film festivals.
Do you know any Slovak movies?
Well, I am not very familiar with your films. I haven´t seen many of them. But I know the movies of the director Martin… I can´t remember his last name. There is something similar between us. I think that with one of his films he was awarded the same price as I got several years ago in Italy – Prix Italia. It is really a big price for TV films. That´s why I noticed him.
(Martin Šulík, film The Garden/Záhrada, 1996).
So you saw some Slovak films, could you tell me if you feel the historical connection between Slovak and Croatian culture, our historical background?
No, I can´t. I really haven´t seen enough to compare it.
What are you working on right now?
I have just finished my new movie a few months ago. I hope that it will be on a programe at one of the most important festivals in next few months. The title is On the other side. You can check in on imbd. The premiere will be very soon.
By Anna Predmerská