New Films by Zvyagintsev, Avranas, Trier and Coppola in Together Again
One of ZFF’s youngest and most popular sections, Together Again, for the fourth year in a row presents new films by directors whose debuts were screened in the main competition at previous festival editions. ZFF has been growing together with the filmmakers; last year it introduced the Golden Bicycle award and thus turned the Together Again section into a competition, and this year the line-up will be hosted by Art Cinema Croatia in Rijeka and compete for yet another prize – the Rijeka Audience Award.
ZFF is again this year hosting some of the greatest. Russian director Andrey Zvyaginstev, two times the main award winner in Zagreb – for The Return and The Banishment, is coming with the hypnotic thriller Loveless, this year’s Cannes Jury Award winner. A story about tragic consequences of a failed marriage in its final stage and child kidnapping is a grim portrayal of present-day Russia. A decadent society in a financial and ethical crisis is also the focus of the film Love Me Not by the prominent Greek New Wave director Alexandros Avranas, who came into the spotlight of the film world with a powerful domestic violence drama Miss Violence, screened at the 11th ZFF. A quiet flow of the story about a childless married couple hiring a young immigrant as a surrogate mother is interrupted by a tragic accident.
Following the brilliant titles Oslo, 31 August and Louder than Bombs, screened in ZFF’s sections, Norwegian director Joachim Trier and his latest work Thelma for the first time embark on the adventure of genre film, using elements of horror and thriller. The protagonist is a shy biology student who abandons her religious family to go study in Oslo, falls in love with her beautiful colleague and discovers she has telekinetic powers. Another director together with us again is Sofia Coppola, whose film Lost in Translation was screened at the 10th ZFF. This year we will be watching her latest film The Beguiled, a lavish period drama starring Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning and Colin Farrell, the winner of this year’s Cannes best director award.
The Italian directing duo, Antonio Piazza and Fabio Grassadonia, won the Golden Pram in the short film category at the 8th ZFF for the film Rita, and several years later their feature film Salvo was presented. This year they return with Sicilian Ghost Story, a tale about the mysterious disappearance of a boy in rural Sicily, interweaving mafia kidnapping with mythology. Romanian director Andrei Cretulescu won the 12th ZFF Golden Pram for his short film Kowalski. This year, Together Again is screening his feature debut Charleston, an unusual love story with elements of dark humour.
Also, Together Again includes the films by two Slovenian filmmakers. ZFF has had a long-standing relationship with Jan Cvitkovič for 15 years now – his short film The Heart Is a Piece of Meat was screened at the first ever ZFF, followed later by feature films Odgrobadoroba and Archeo. Cvitkovič’s latest film, the winner of four award at the Slovenian Film Festival (costume design, photography, original score and sound), The Basics of Killing, is a story about the conflict in an average family due to father’s accusations for sexual harassment of a minor. The other Slovenian filmmaker in this section, remembered by his short film On the Sunny Side of the Alps (5th ZFF) is Janez Burger. His latest film Ivan is a thrilling drama about wrong decisions and a woman finding her place in the tailor-made men’s world. The film is a Slovenian-Croatian co-production, screened out of competition in Together Again.