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subota, 15. siječnja 2011.

'Šuma Summarum' Awarded Best Croatian Film Of 2010

This caught my interest, so I went to find out more about this film. This Croatian written/produced cinematic offer and shot on location in Croatia deserves to get more exposure I think. Unfortunately, that's not the case. The film wasn't in the theatres in Croatia for very long, but not because it was a stinker. The producers and the film 'Šuma summarum' (titled Forest Creatures in English because šuma in Croatian also means forest) just didn't get any exposure or funding to market and promote it. (The official title of the film is also a German used Latin phrase: "summa summarum", a homonym meaning "sum of totals", "sum of sums", "all in all" etc)

People who saw this suspense, dark comedy flick in Croatian theatres gave it great reviews. It was a welcome departure for many from some of the serious, typical Croatian films coming out lately, then just when it was creating a buzz and people were starting to talk about it, it was out of the theatres. (Must have been time to show Shrek pt 11 or The Nutty Professor pt 5, I surmise) It's word of mouth popularity was in part due to it's ability to take the viewer out of dealing with everyday issues. To momentarily be transported into a forest to watch a bunch of people scared out of their wits. The people behind the movie barely raised enough cash to bring this film to theatres, all in part from no funding being given by Croatian Television. (What's up with that?) Sadly, it's been called 'A great Croatian film that no one will see' by some movie critics. Chances are it won't even get to dvd, so if one come across it anywhere, try to watch this gem. If you're a slasher/dark comedy/suspense movie buff, then this is the one for you.

  Scenes from the film.

In a nutshell, staff of a marketing agency goes on a rafting/paintball team-building weekend. From the get-go things start to go wrong. Campy at times, with some "Yeah, I'm sure they would really go there." moments, but what dark comedy/slasher flick doesn't? Surprisingly, the film has been getting more exposure in other European countries than on home soil. (Personally, I think if it was directed/written by Roman Polanski or starred Johnny Depp, it would probably be an Oscar nominee) However there may be hope for this film yet, and similar Croatian produced independent films. 'Šuma summarum' is slowly being reintroduced back to theatres across Croatia in selected cities. Hopefully a trend for Ivan-Goran Vitez and other up and coming Croatian producers, writers and actors.

A scene from the film.

Some of the actors on the set between scenes

The film involves relationships between the characters before the trip to the woods, plot twists, suspense and political uncorrectness humour. This debut feature film from Director/Writer Ivan-Goran Vitez played at last years 57th Pula Film Festival. He is known for provocative shorts. The Death of the Seals (2000) and The Last (2005) were awarded at the Zagreb Film Festival in 2005 and as a director of the controversial and never publically screened documentary Small Hands (2001)  This film and other cinematic offers is something I would like to be shown on a regular basis at Croatian centers everywhere. Even if once a month, a movie day or night if you will.  Much more interesting than watching older people playing bocce ball, cards or bingo.  Hmmm?  Croatian produced films from Croatia being played at Croatian centers? What a frikin crazy concept.  They would never go for it.

Trailer for 'Šuma summarum'



The film "Forest Creatures" ("Šuma summarum") from director Ivan Goran Vitez, was declared the F.I.L.M. online magazine best Croatian film in 2010.


The film as announced this morning, was awarded the title FILM magnet 2010 winner, and a bronze sculpture in the shape of the letter 'F' by academic sculptor Vesna Planinc was given. The movie 'Forest Creatures' was filmed and produced by Kinorama and Propeler. It was presented at last year's 57th Pula Film Festival as well as Croatian cinemas.

Starring in the film are: Wili Matula, Hana Hegedušić, Ljubisa Savanović, N. Dangubić, Mark Makovičić, Zeljko Königsknecht, Sanja Hrenar, Jaksa Boric, George Grub, John Glowatzky, Vanja Matujec, Luka Peros, Vinko Kraljevic, Nina Violić, Luke Petrušić Quiet Medaković, Anita Matic Delic, Drazen Bratulic Goran Navojec.

'Forest Creatures', as described, was ahead of its time in its territory, a genre that can be described as a white trash action comedy.

 An action scene from the film.

This year's winners of special awards were Anita Matić and Drazen Bratulic for their charming, anecdotal and compelling supporting roles as Zrinka and Domagoj in the movie 'Forest Creatures'. Award has been awarded since 2004. and for 2009 the award went to film 'The Blacks' by Zvonimir Juric and Goran Devic.

Cast of Šuma summarum

* Boric, Jaksa as [Rinus]
* Bratulic, Drazen as [Domagoj]
* Glowatzky, Ivan as [Mislav]
* Kraljevic, Vinko as [Sinisa]
* Kukuljica, Djordje as [Ljudevit]
* Königsknecht, Zeljko as [Sanjin]
* Makovicic, Marko as [Edi]
* Matula, Vili as [Branko]
* Navojec, Goran as [Kuzma]
* Peros, Luka as [Mladen]
* Petrusic, Luka as [Muhlo]
* Savanovic, Ljubisa as [Nedim]
* Dangubic, Natasa as [Maja]
* Hegedusic, Hana as [Vesna]
* Hrenar, Sanja as [Nikolina]
* Matic, Anita as [Zrinka]
* Matujec, Vanja as [Iva]
* Medakovic, Mirna as [Judita]
* Violic, Nina as [Danica]

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