The Slovenia Times

Intimate experimental docu wins best picture award in Portorož

Producer Špela Trošt and director Tomaž Grom at the awards ceremony of the 2023 Festival of Slovenian Film, where their film Don't Think It Will Ever Pass won the main award. Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Don't Think It Will Ever Pass (Ne Misli, Da Bo Kdaj Mimo), an experimental documentary in which Tomaž Grom tries to come to terms with his personal loss, won the Vesna Award for best feature film as the 26th Festival of Slovenian Film came to a close in Portorož on 8 October.

The jury described the winner as a unique film with a strong emotional charge that requires the viewer to be present. "It is experimental and enigmatic and at the same time subtle, honest and open to associations."

"The camera is in continuous motion and it seems it would find a new story whereever it would turn. It is constantly opening up new spaces, finding poetry in the banality of everyday life. Film as a ritual, as a necessity that transforms pain into beauty," the jury said.

Grom, who is a musician, also took home the Vesna for best original score. The film, which is without dialogue, was produced by Špela Trošt, production manager at the Sploh Institute, founded and headed by Grom as programme director.

In his acceptance speech Grom said he was thankful for situations "that allow us to discuss taboo topics". The subtitle of his film is 25 April - 26 January, the dates of the death and birth of his son. "Two important milestones for me. Also, the beginning and the end of shooting, with exactly nine months in between."

The Vesna awards for best live action feature and best screenplay went to Marko Šantić for Wake Me (Zbudi Me), which tells the story of a man suffering from temporary amnesia who wants to redefine himself after returning to his home town.

Through the perspective of memory loss, the film opens up a space for reflection on hatred, intolerance and nationalism. It is "a brave film, a very relevant one for our times, which talks about violence without reproducing it", the jury said.

The award-winning screenplay was penned by Šantić, Goran Vojnović and Sara Hribar, and the producers were Danijel Hočevar and Zala Opara from the Vertigo production company.

For the roles in this film, Jure Henigman and Jurij Drevenšek won best leading actor and best supporting actor.

The film took almost eight years to make, its director said, in what had been one of the most difficult periods for Slovenian filmmaking due to the Covid-19 pandemic and funding issues.

The Vesna for best leading actress went to Diana Kolenc for her role in Janez Burger's Observing (Opazovanje), while Vesna Pernarčič won the Vesna for best supporting actress for her role in Role Model (Vzornik), a film by Nejc Gazvoda.

Sara Gjergek took the Vesna for best editing in Maja Prettner's Woman of God, which also won the Fipresci Association of Film Critics Award and the audience award. The best director award went to Ivan Gergolet for the film The Man Without Guilt (Mož Brez Krivde).


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