Almost a year has passed since Murina, directed by Dubrovnik-born Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović, began its run of success at major international film festivals, beginning with the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, where it took home the Caméra d’Or. The award recognizes the Best First Feature Film.
Before Murina, Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović directed the short film Into the Blue, awarded at international film festivals in Berlin and Sarajevo, which also starred her muse, Croatian actress Gracija Filipović. In a spiritual sequel to Into the Blue, Murina tells the story of Julija (Filipović), a teenage girl who decides to replace her controlling father with his wealthy foreign friend during a weekend trip to the Adriatic Sea.
The main locations of the film include the idyllic island of Koločep, the starkly beautiful Kornati archipelago, and the pebble cove of Dubovica near Hvar.
The debut feature film by Alamat Kusijanović, who also wrote the screenplay, was produced by legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese, who recently shared his feelings for the Croatian film:
”When RT Features brought me Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović’s short film Into the Blue, I was quite impressed: here was a director with a picture she needed to make, who was clearly in it for the long haul. When I read the script for the feature that Antoneta developed from the short, I wanted to help get it into production. It was a long road: Antoneta was in the midst of editing when COVID arrived, it set her back for a whole year, but she got there.
I’m so impressed by Murina: by the raw immediacy of the conflict between father and daughter, which feels like it could only happen in such an elemental setting; by the psychosexual tensions between all the characters, so beautifully acted; and by the sheer physical force of the picture.
I’m excited for audiences to see Murina for themselves, and to witness the emergence of an extremely talented young filmmaker”.
Murina, in addition to taking the prestigious award at Cannes, was also recognized at the Hamptons International Film Festival, the Slovene Film Festival, and the Sofia International Film Festival, as well as being screened at numerous important film festivals around the world, such as the Toronto Film Festival. Unfortunately (and controversially), the film directed by Alamat Kusijanović was not selected by the respective committee to represent Croatia in the last edition of the Academy Awards.
Almost a year after its premiere in Cannes, the multi-award-winning Croatian film continues to tour the world, and this time it hits US theaters on July 8 this year, something that the renowned New York Times has highlighted by including it in their Summer 2022 watchlist.
The film’s success also came through individual accolades. Murina’s lead, the talented young actress Gracija Filipović, was honored at the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival with the Shooting Stars Award, given to the 10 best young actors on the continent. Likewise, director Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović has been officially announced as part of the jury of the 28th Sarajevo Film Festival, along with Austrian director Sebastian Meise, French director Lucile Hadžihalilović, Serbian actor Milan Marić, and Israeli producer Katriel Schory.
Congratulations to Antoneta, Gracija, and the entire Murina cast and crew for all the continued success!
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