Two Croatian minority co-productions, the Icelandic-Danish-Croatian film “Sparrows” by Runar Rúnarsson and the Slovenian-Croatian feature-documentary film “Houston, We Have a Problem!” by Žiga Virc, were selected as the national candidates for the 89th Academy Awards – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the category of “Best Foreign Language Film”.
The Icelandic Oscar nominee, “Sparrows”, premiered at last year’s prestigious San Sebastian Film Festival where it received the “Golden Shell” for best film, after which the film was presented at several prestigious festivals in Toronto, Warsaw, Sao Paulo, Thessaloniki and more. The film then went on to win another 18 awards. This is the story of a sixteen year old who, after moving to a small town, has to adjust to new life circumstances. This film was also nominated for the 29th European Film Award.
The Slovenian candidate for the Oscar is the feature-documentary film “Houston, We Have a Problem!” which explores the myth of a secret American controversial purchase of the Yugoslav space program in the early sixties of the last century, worth billions of dollars. The script was written by Žiga Virc and Bostjan Virc, with assembly by Vladimir Gojun and Croatian co-producer Sinisa Juricic from Nucleus film. The film was co-produced by Slovenia, Croatia, Germany, the Czech Republic and Qatar, and produced by House Studio Wirz, Nucleus Film, Sutor Kolonko and broadcaster RTV Slovenia, HBO Europe, WDR and Film Institute in Doha. It was first presented at the 15th Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year, and since then has been displayed at a dozen international festivals.
Both films have been co-financed by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre.
The popular Oscar Award ceremony will be held in Los Angeles on February 26, 2016.