Branko Istvancic  
Film and TV director
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Croatia, 2011/12, color, DVCAM / Super 8 mm
Documentary, 52 minutes

director: Branko Istvancic
screenwriters: Branko Istvancic and Miroslav Kirin
director of photography: Bojana Burnac
editing: Branko Istvancic
music composer: Dalibor Grubacevic
producer: Nenad Puhovski
production: Factum

The film was funded with the support of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre

The protagonist attempts to re-establish a normal post-war life, searching for family photographs lost in the war on the territory of former Yugoslavia. This poetical documentary pushes the boundaries of the traditional aesthetics and narrative structures of filmmaking.

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The vital idea behind the film 'Album' is the protagonist's attempt to re-establish a normal post-war life, searching for family photographs lost in the war on the territory of former Yugoslavia. In this poetic film essay, parts of which were filmed by a Super 8 camera, writer Miroslav Kirin is making an attempt at reconstructing a family album with photos destroyed in the war, when his family was forced to leave their home in occupied Petrinja. After the war he finds unusual 'compensation': having returned, instead of his family photographs, he finds an undeveloped negative left by the unknown Serbian family who lived in his house during occupation. Ironically and emotionally, these photos become a part of his family album.

Dopo la guerra, il protagonista cerca di riportare la vita a una sua normalita, andando alla ricerca di fotografie di famiglia perse durante il conflitto che si e combattuto nella ex Jugoslavia. In questo esercizio poetico e visivo, girato in parte con una telecamera Super 8, lo scrittore Miroslav Kirin prova a ricostruire un album di famiglia con foto che sono andate distrutte durante la guerra, quando la sua famiglia e stata a costretta a lasciare la propria casa in una Petrinja occupata. A guerra finita, riceve una "ricompensa" inaspettata: non le fotografie della sua famiglia, ma un negativo non sviluppato, lasciato da una sconosciuta famiglia serba che ha vissuto nella sua casa durante l'occupazione. Ed e cosi che, con una certa ironia e molta emozione, queste immagini entrano a far parte del suo album familiare.


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Regarding the project for the film "Album", Branko Istvancic embarks on a somewhat different, but still a very personal exploration. After many "big" and "dramatic" films about war, Istvancic wants to concentrate the whole of human suffering onto one, yet significant, detail - family photographs which have disappeared in the maelstrom of war thus speaking about a specific variety of culturocide - the destruction of past without which people simply cannot exist.
Nenad Puhovski, producer

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Miroslav Kirin was born in 1965 in Sisak, Croatia, and lives in Zagreb. He is the author of five olumes of poetry: Od nje do vječnosti [From Her to Eternity], 1989, which won the prestigious Goran Prize for poetry; Tantalon [Tantalon], 1998; Zukva [Zukva], 2004; Poslije renesanse [After the Renaissance], 2004; and Jalozi [Jalozi], 2006, and the novel Album, for which he was awarded the Jutarnji List Prize for the best fiction in Croatia in 2001. Kirin is also the co-author of the screenplay for the art documentary Album (2011), directed by Branko Ištvančić. His most recent book The Excavated (2012) is a collection of photo-essays on the found photographs and corresponds with his first prose book Album. His poetry and fiction have been translated into English, German, Hungarian, Romanian, and Russian. His work is represented in numerous national and international anthologies of contemporary poetry. He is the member of the Croatian Writers' Society (HDP) and the Croatian PEN center. He also translates poetry and fiction from English.



ALBUM trailer with English subtitles from Branko Istvancic on Vimeo.

Zagrebdox 2011 (national premiere)
Revija dokumentarnog filma Fibula 2011, Sisak, Croatia
Filmski festival 2011, Herceg Novi, Crna Gora
Alpe Adria Film Festival 2012, Trieste, Italy

International Super 8mm Festival Szeged 2012

The protagonists of the film are those who share the same desire - to locate family photographs, a quest that in effect intertwines their destines into an almost identical drama in which we tackle the question of the former socialist regime, the war in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and the present situation, all through a somewhat surprising point of view of interesting persons and life paths. Their common problem must, at its very end, have elements of insight into the broader social situation in the area of ex-Yugoslavia, a metaphor of today's complicated interpersonal relationships (co-existence and score settling) and misunderstandings between countries. By balancing between personal drama and by elevating its content to a higher level through "samples" set in relationships so that they contextualize the present moment, our primary task is to point out the sheer significance these photographs have for our protagonists, and to film everything they are ready to go through to retrieve them or to face the fact that the photographs are irrecoverably lost.
Branko Istvancic, director

"I protagonisti del film sono quelli che condividono il medesimo destino: ritrovare fotografie di famiglia. Si tratta di una ricerca che intreccia i loro destini in un dramma che e pressoché lo stesso, e che ci invita a confrontarci con la questione dell'ex regime socialista, la guerra in Croazia e Bosnia-Erzegovina e la situazione attuale. Il tutto attraverso il punto di vista, per certi versi sorprendente, di percorsi esistenziali e personali particolari. In definitiva, il problema comune di queste persone dovrebbe farci riflettere sulla situazione sociale piu ampia che interessa il territorio della ex Jugoslavia, ponendosi come metafora delle complesse relazioni interpersonali dell'oggi . e delle incomprensioni fra i vari paesi."
Branko Istvancic, director

Album was on Training workshop and pitching forum for documentary film projects ZagrebDox PRO, from February 26th - 28th 2008

The first screenings (national premiere) on festival ZAGREBDOX International Documentary Film Festival Zagreb, Croatia, February 27th - March 6th 2011