”Eighth Commissioner” Film is Croatian Candidate for Oscar

Lauren Simmonds

Good news for the popular Croatian film ”Osmi Povjerenik” (Eighth Commissioner).

As tportal writes on the 3rd of September, 2018, the Croatian film ”Osmi povjerenik” (Eighth Commissioner), by Ivana Salaj is the Croatian candidate for an Oscar, in the category of ”best foreign language film”, as was decided upon by the Commission of the Croatian Film Association (HDFD).

This association selects a feature feature film every year that will take pride of place as the Republic of Croatia’s representative in the prestigious and glamorous American film awards, and this year the decision was made by a fifteen-year commission with a secret ballot, by a majority vote in the second round.

The screenplay of Salaj’s well-received film is that of the award-winning bestseller Renato Baretić, a story located on the isolated ”island of Trećić”, the inhabitants of which do not have a need for political authority, or for the church.

This seemingly idyllic life is then harmed somewhat by the arrival of an ambitious yet particularly arrogant young politician (Frano Mašković), who arrived there as part of his punishment after a scandal broke loose about his sordid involvement with a prostitute, which could of course harm his political party and ambitions within it.

As the Croatian Government’s eighth commissioner, Mašković faces the daunting task of having to successfully organise elections and establish power on the island, with the help of a peculiar translator (Borko Perić) from the island itself – speaking in a blend of Italian, Croatian and Australian English.

Croatian actor Ivo Gregurević takes the role of a cruel father, Nadia Cvitanović plays a Ukrainian girl, otherwise a white slavery victim who found peace and shelter from her persecutors on the distant island, Goran Navojec, who is her protector, and the popular Filip Šovagović plays the role of a mildly unstable lighthouse worker.

There are also Iva Mihalić, Mate Gulin, Špiro Guberina and others, and the islanders themselves play an important role, of which ninety percent are from the island of Brač, close to Split, where the film was shot.

At this year’s Pula Film Festival, the film won several Golden Arenas for the best supporting male role (Borko Perić), for visual effects (Tomislav Vujnović, Antonija Patljak, Siniša Mataić and Sandrino Požežanac), costume design (Morana Starčević) for scenography (Ivana Škrabalo) and for music (Alen Sinkauz and Nenad Sinkauz). At the Beach Film Festival in Ohrid (Macedonia), the Eighth Commissioner was deservedly proclaimed to be the best feature film.

The final list of Oscar nominees will be announced on January the 22nd, 2019, and the award ceremony is set to be held just over one month later, on February the 24th.


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