Two births are on the immediate horizon for Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic, the Croatian director whose Murina premieres at the Directors’ Fortnight today (Saturday July 10).
As she prepares for the world premiere of her first feature film, US-based Kusijanovic is 38 weeks pregnant and awaits the arrival of her first child any day.
After production ended in Croatia at the end of 2019, Kusijanovic commuted between the United States and Slovenia to work on shift. When doctors told him that May was the cut-off time for flying, the Dubrovnik-born filmmaker flew to Europe in May to prepare for the trip to the Croisette.
To get to Cannes, she drove for three days from Dubrovnik through Zagreb, Slovenia, and Brescia in Italy with her husband and mother. It has organized “hospital safety stops” in key cities in case medical care becomes necessary.
“I feel good to be here,” Kusijanovic said. “I danced last night at the evening of the Fortnight. “Life and cinema are the ultimate creations. Like people, films are made of blood, sweat, heart and tears and they become that physical totem pole that affects others to produce other emotions. It’s like having children.
Murina was produced by Antitalent and Spiritus Movens in Croatia, RT Features in Brazil, and New York-based Martin Scorsese’s Sikelia Productions, and focuses on a Croatian family facing a hidden history of violence. The main role is Gracija Filipovic, who starred in the short film by Kusijanovic and the selection of the Berlinale 2017 In the blue.
After the excitement of Cannes, the filmmaker will turn to her second feature film. “This is a woman from Croatia who disappears in the shadow of the metropolis, living in a tribe and confronting her role in the face of her husband’s infidelity.