Ljubljana – The Orchestra by Matevž Luzar has been selected as Slovenia’s candidate vying to make the list of 2023 Academy Award nominees for best foreign movie. The feature film brings a story about exuberant members of a wind orchestra travelling to a brass band music festival held in a small Austrian town.
It was selected by an eight-strong jury after watching six films entered for the national Oscar candidate competition, the Slovenian Association of Filmmakers said on Thursday.
“Every orchestra is made up of people, each with their own problems and dreams. Luzar’s film orchestra is made up of people we believe in and who bring us universal human emotions: joy, sadness, fear, compassion, unrealised dreams and hope.
“A witty and visually elaborate film with a convincing cast – this is not only the story of the Zagorje Orchestra, but also of people who believe in life,” the jury said.
The story follows a mining brass band from the town of Zagorje ob Savi on its way to a twin town in Austria from five perspectives – those of two bus drivers, that of the troubled teenagers and the wives who have stayed at home, that of the suspicious Austrian hosts, and finally that of the orchestra as a whole.
Playing in the lead roles are Gregor Zorc, Gregor Čušin, Jernej Kogovšek and the Wind Orchestra from Zagorje ob Savi.
Luzar, who was born in 1981 in Zagorje ob Savi, also wrote the screenplay, Simon Tanšek is director of photography and Nadja Bedjanič is costume designer.
Julij Zornik designed sound, while set design is the work of Katja Šoltes and editing of Jelena Maksimović.
The award-winning film was co-funded by the Slovenian Film Centre and public broadcaster RTV Slovenija and produced by Gustav Film with several co-producers taking part.
It is the second feature film directed by Luzar, who is also a screen writer, after his debut Happy to Die (2013).