THE STAFFROOMSonja Tarokic
Remarkable debut by Sonja Tarokic depicts a drama within a school staffroom where the whole society vividly mirrors. Premiered in Karlovy Vary Crystal Globe Competition where it won a jury award, the film swept five Golden Arenas at the national FF in Pula. Later on, the film travelled the world and was successfully received and awarded at many prestigious film festivals.
Croatia | 2021 | 126 min
PRODUCTION: Ankica Juric Tilic – Kinorama; KinoElektron
CAST: Marina Redzepovic, Stojan Matavulj, Nives Ivankovic, Maja Posavec
SCREENPLAY: Sonja Tarokic
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Danko Vucinovic
EDITING: Borna Buljevic
After finding a job in an elementary school, counsellor Anamarija, brilliantly interpreted by Marina Redzepovic, finds out that the system is not at all simple. It is a place full of plots and intricate relationships, where ego conflicts between teachers, parents, and the ambitious headmistress take place in a continuous dynamic. Although at first she tries to stay away and enthusiastically concentrates on the children, Anamarija eventually realises that it is impossible to be neutral. A turbulent relationship with an eccentric history professor who is shunned by other colleagues forces her to face the situation and decide if she is willing to sacrifice her integrity. A movie with a strong social message depicts the Croatian society through the school microcosm.
The screening will be followed by Q&A with actress Marina Redzepovic.
This film is based on several different experiences I’ve read about and talked about with educational workers or experienced myself in one way or another. I wanted to step away from the concept of „case-story“ and create the almost indescribable helpless feeling we have in the real life when we belong to a closed community and are no longer capable of pinpointing how a certain problem began and why it can’t be solved.
Festivals & Awards (selection)
International Films Festival Karlovy Vary, 2021 – Special Jury Mention, Ecumencial Jury Award |
Zagreb Film Festival, 2021 – Special Mention | Vilnius International Film Festival, 2022 – Best Actress Award to Marina Redzepovic | FEST, Belgrade 2022 – Best Debut | Pula Film Festival, 2022 – Grand Golden Arena for Best Festival Film, Golden Arenas for the Best Director, Best Actor, Best Editing, Best Supporting Actress, The award of the critic’s jury for Best Film in the Croatian Program | Herceg Novi Film Festival, 2022 – Best Director, Best Actress
Sonja Tarokic (Zagreb, 1988) has an MA degree in film directing, and a BA degree in literature. She is the author of several short films. On Shaky Ground (2014), a dissection of a Mediterranean family that goes through the breakdown of its paterfamilias was screened at Rotterdam IFF and awarded the best Croatian short at Zagreb Film Festival, while her other films (You Bitch!, I’m a Self Made Woman, Smart Girls, Red) were screened and awarded at numerous international festivals, such as Sarajevo FF, Vila do Conde, Angers Premiers Plans, NEXT Bucha – rest FF, Brief Encounters FF. The Staffroom is her first feature film, which was developed through TorinoFilmLab Script&Pitch 2015 and FrameWork 2016 program, winning the TFL Production Award.