REFLEXES 2021: Intimate Essays and Engaged Hybrids

The Croatian film section, Reflexes, features six experimental works exploring different forms of personal and social frictions.

This year’s edition of the 25 FPS Festival of Experimental Film and Video, which will be held from 23 to 26 September 2021 at the Student Centre in Zagreb, brings, in addition to the international competition programme, a cross-section of current trends on the Croatian experimental scene in the traditional programme section Reflexes. The section will screen six films by Croatian authors of different generations and sensibilities, which use innovative film procedures to evoke different phenomena of personal and social friction.

The award-winning multimedia artist, Renata Poljak, returns to the festival with a new short film Split – a meditative film reflection in which the vistas of the devastated old Split in the midst of a pandemic serve the director to tell a very intimate and painful parting story.

On the other hand, the creative duo Davor Konjikušić and Nika Petković, in their exceptional essay The Cove, use the backdrop of the harsh rocky landscape of a Kvarner bay to explore the ways in which space remembers and permanently imprints man’s actions – in this case his unremembered crimes.

In the programme we will be watching two intriguing achievements from a very prolific film club scene: Martina Lončar will present the film Everything Came to Me Late in Life – an enigmatic and poetic essay that impressively combines reality and fiction, while Mateja Zidarić in Pleiades, an innovative new media hybrid that she filmed completely on a computer screen, reaches for mythology and the Moon craters as metaphors for her inner turmoil.

Tobacco Shop, the directorial debut of Dora Slakoper, a journalist and film editing student, arrives from the Academy of Dramatic Art, using stylised editing procedures to depict the dehumanising working conditions of tobacco shop employees, while young student of directing, David Gašo, in his bubbly autobiographic sketch Laci’s Great Escape directs a spectacular escape from the family nest in the manner of American slapstick comedies.

Croatian films in the Reflexes section compete for the Green DCP Award given by the 25 FPS Association for Audiovisual Research.

Film stills: Laci's Great Escape, Pleiades, Split