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 S one strane(2016) on IMDb

20 years ago, Vesna moved her family to Zagreb, away from the events that almost destroyed their lives. However, an unexpected call will bring back the memory of a secret that she has been trying to hide all these years.

Production companies: Interfilm, Zillion Film.
Producer: Ivan Maloča
Screenplay: Mate Matišić, Zrinko Ogresta
Cinematography: Branko Linta
Editor: Tomislav Pavlic
Production designer: Tanja Lacko
Music: Mate Matišić, Šimun Matišić

Cast:

Ksenija Marinković, Lazar Ristovski, Tihana Lazović, Robert Budak, Toni Šestan, Vinko Kraljević, Alen Liverić, Marija Tadić, Ivan Brkić, Tena Jeić Gajski.

DIRECTOR

Zrinko Ogresta
/director/screenwriter/

(October the 5th, 1958 – Virovitica /Rep. of Croatia) screenwriter and director, professor of film directing at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb and a member of the European Film Academy in Berlin. Graduated from The Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb, Department for Film and TV Direction, January 1982.

Praised for their strong visual style, well articulated mise-en-scène and nnovative storytelling, his films focus on the anxieties that lurk behind the well cultivated burgeois facade of the characters, using their emotional and psychological fractures to bring to light the complexes that haunt the society in general, while subtly analysing social and political forces behind it.

Ogresta’s films were screened and awarded at renowned international and local festivals (Venice, Karlovy Vary, London, Montpellier, Haifa, Denver, Milan, Pula…). Some of the most notable prizes are the Nomination for European Film Award in the category of best young director ( Krhotine / Fragments, 1991), Prix Italia, Grand Prix Pula FF and GP Rome IFF MEDFILM (Isprani / Washed out, 1995/1996), Grand Prix Haifa IFF, GP Rome IFF MEDFILM, Best director & Audience Award Pula FF (Crvena prasina / Red dust, 1999) Crystal Globe Special Jury Prize at the Karlovy Vary IFF, Grand Prix Denver IFF, GP Milan IFF, GP Pula FF (Tu / Here, 2003/2004), Audience Award Motovun IFF (Iza stakla / Behind the glass, 2008)…

 

  • Fragments 1991. – Jadran film / CRO
  • Washed out 1995. – Jadran film / CRO
  • Red dust 1999. – Interfilm/ CRO
  • Here 2003. – Interfilm/ CRO
  • Behind the glass 2008. – Interfilm/ CRO
  • Projections 2013. – Interfilm/ CRO
  • On the other side 2016. – Interfilm/ Zillion film/ CRO
  • I’ll be back soon 1984. – Zagreb film
  • The forbidden toy 1985. – Zagreb film
  • Can 1986. – Zagreb film
  • Scenes from the Battalion Battlefield I, II, III (1991) – HTV
  • Dolly – The Shards of My Childhood (1992) – HTV
  • Duet for one night (1983.) – TV Zagreb
  • Two tickets for the city (1983.) – TV Zagreb
  • Visit (1985.) – TV Zagreb
  • Stormy night (1987.) – TV Zagreb
  • Swimming course (1988.) – TV Zagreb
  • Leo and Brigita (1989.) – TV Zagreb
  • Millions of dollars (1990.) – HTV
  • Elevator (2006.) – 4 FILM & ZAGREB FILM
  • Nikola (1978.) – ADU Zagreb
  • Intermezzo (1979.) – ADU Zagreb
  • Do you want tea? (1980.) – ADU Zagreb
  • Emergency exit (1981.) – ADU Zagreb
  • Enemies (1981.) – ADU Zagreb

FESTIVALS AND AWARDS

Berlin International Film Festival, Panorama Program, 2016 – Special recognition by the Europa Cinemas Label jury

FEST – Belgrade International Film Festival 2016 – best film in the category of minority co-productions, best director in the category of minority co-productions, award “Nebojsa Djukelic” for best film of the neighboring countries

Hong Kong International Film Festival 2016

Karlovy Vary Film Festival 2016

International Festival de La Rochelle 2016

Transilvania International Film Festival

The Al Este de Lima Festival

Art Film Fest Slovakia 2016

Art Film Fest Slovakia 2016

”More”

Pula Film Festival 2016 – Great Golden Arena for Best Picture; Golden Directing Arena (Zrinko Ogresta); Golden Screenplay Arena (Mate Matišić and Zrinko Ogresta); Golden Arena for Best Supporting Actress (Ksenija Marinković); Golden Arena for Best Supporting Actor (Lazar Ristovski); Golden Arena for assembly (Tomislav Pavlic); Golden Sound Design Arena (Martin Semencic and Ivan Zelic); award by the Croatian Society of Film Critics “Octavian”

Al Este del Plata 2016 – Special Recognition

Haifa International Film Festival 2016

Thessaloniki International Film Festival 2016

Ljubljana International LIFFe Film Festival 2016

CPH PIX 2016.

Arras Film Festival 2016

Stockholm Film Festival 2016

Bratislava International Film Festival 2016

Black Nights Tallinn Film Festival 2016

Mostar Film Festival 2016 – Best Actress Award

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Five Lakes Film Festival 2016

Sarajevo Film Festival 2016

Herceg Novi Film Festival 2016 – The Great Golden Mimosa (Best Movie)

Espoo Ciné International Film Festival 2016

Film Meetings in Nis 2016 – Best Foreign Actress (Ksenija Marinković), Best Supporting Actress (Lazar Ristovski)

Adventure Film Festival Zadar 2016 – Best Actress (Ksenija Marinkovic)

‘Love Is Madness’ International Film Festival 2016

Oostende Filmfestival 2016

International Film Festival Film by the Sea 2016.

”More”

Leskovac International Film Directing Festival – LIFFe 2016 – Zivojin Grand Prix Zika Pavlovic

BFI – London Film Festival 2016

CinEast – Central and Eastern European Film Festival 2016

Warsaw International Film Festival 2016

Goa Indian International Film Festival 2016

Palm Springs International Film Festival 2017

Chennai International Film Festival 2017

Trieste Film Festival 2017

Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2017

Bengaluru International Film Festival (Cinema of the World) 2017

Balkan Florence Express 2017.

A l’Est du Nouveau Film Festival 2017 – Grand Prix for Best Picture; Audience Award

European Union Film Festival Chicago 2017

Cleveland International Film Festival 2017

LET’S CEE 2017 Film Festival

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Press

ON THE OTHER SIDE’: BERLIN REVIEW

 

The perils of the past keep echoing through the cinema of the present, and On the Other Side is the latest film to contemplate the contemporary consequences of historical conflict. In Croatian filmmaker Zrinko Ogresta’s seventh feature, a Bosnian war survivor reluctantly reconnects with the man who forced her to fear for her safety, flee her home, and forge a new life. That he happens to be her husband significantly complicates matters.

OGRESTA DOESN’T JUST MAKE HER CHARACTERS CONFRONT THEIR MULTIFACETED SITUATION, BUT, ALMOST BY STEALTH, MAKES THE VIEWERS FACE THE MANY SIDES TO EVERY STORY AS WELL.

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At face value, the newest addition to Ogresta’s resume — joining the likes of European Film Award nominee Fragments and Karlovy Vary special jury prize winner Tu — recalls another recent effort involving a wife wronged in war-torn times, Christian Petzold’s Phoenix. On the Other Side also shares that film’s struggle with forgiveness and search for normality, understanding how long-held affection can resurface even after acts of violence or betrayal. After premiering in Berlin’s Panorama section, this Croatian-Serbian production may similarly mirror its German predecessor’s warm international reception, particularly on the festival circuit.

The parallels continue, with both features dedicating their bulk to the psychological impact of their protagonists’ ordeals; however On the Other Side doesn’t simply transport familiar elements to a new setting. Instead, it takes yet another communal component — the minutiae of everyday routines, especially in providing slivers of solace during trying periods — and burrows into it more deeply. As co-written with playwright Mate Matišić, Ogresta’s film is one of precision and repetition, and not only in a narrative that follows the threads of connected conversations. Order reigns visually as well, as seen in recurring, setting-specific shots that highlight the movie’s focus on control in the face of looming chaos.

Flitting between her humble apartment, her roving nursing duties, and the commute between the two, Vesna (Ksenija Marinković) certainly does all that she can to adhere to a regular schedule. Assisting her son Vladimir (Robert Budak) and his wife Nives (Tena Jeić Gajski) by babysitting her young grandson may help break up the monotony of her days, as does helping her soon-to-be-married daughter Jadranka (Tihana Lazović) secure post-university work, but a pattern remains — until a phone call disrupts her carefully constructed existence.

The voice on the end of the line bears the name of Žarko (Lazar Ristovski), and beckons an unwelcome blast from the past. And yet, though Vesna is initially hesitant to talk to the war criminal she remains married to but hasn’t seen for more than two decades, she starts to feel sympathetic towards him as they keep conversing. Her children disapprove; Vladimir rages about the stigma it could brand his own son with, while Jadranka’s job search is jeopardised by the family name and heritage.

Tension emanates from the film’s many clashes: of a husband and wife reunited under less than happy circumstances, of their offspring fretting about the past’s influence on their future, and of the deeds of a previous life resurfacing into a challenging present. Indeed, On the Other Side makes for anxious viewing. However, in enlisting acclaimed theatre performers Marinković and Ristovski, Ogresta ensures that the stress that seeps through the feature does so with a subtle touch. Their astute, inward-looking portrayals bubble with pressure, yet also seethe with empathy. That’s a delicate balance, but a pivotal one in an effort concerned with the interplay of extraordinary backgrounds and ordinary people.

Of course, with Ogresta ever the meticulous and restrained director, they’re not the only part of the feature designed to linger. Or lurk, as cinematographer Branko Linta’s camera does, and editor’s Tomislav Pavlic’s sense of pacing, too. Shooting from afar, peering through windows, curtains and doorframes, and containing each scene within uninterrupted long takes imbues the film with a wholly disquieting mood. There’s never any doubt that that’s by design; On the Other Sidedoesn’t just make its characters confront their multifaceted situation, but, almost by stealth, makes its viewers face the many sides to every story as well.

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Sarah Ward

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