1. How do you see short film? What does short film mean for you?
I love short film because by definition this format is a great platform for experimentation. It is nice to work with different people and be a part of all the experiences through which directors still search for new cinematic modes of expression. It is precisely this fact that makes short film an inherently free and unburdened form. It has definitely afforded me a lot of freedom.
2. Why does short film matter? What are its greatest strengths and virtues?
All it takes is one idea, one moment to tap into and connect with a short film, and I’m not referring to the twist or pun typical of a lot of short films. And then direct all of your energy into making the film work, in terms of both acting and directing. Again, it is very rewarding to approach it as a form of exploration, of finding one’s voice. There is also much less pressure in choosing the people you want to collaborate with later on, however, many people form bonds while making a short film that transfer onto future projects. Unlike short film, the feature format requires a continuous series of a million of these moments, which you hope will come to life together, so the authors have a much harder time maintaining an overview of the entire process. There is much more pressure.
3. What is your favourite short film and why?
The ideal person to answer this question would be Ivor Martinić because he has watched absolutely all the films available on www.croatian.film and in Croatia. As for me, I’m sure I will forget to mention some of them here and I haven’t even seen some of them, but there are definitely some amazing shorts being made in Croatia. I really like Marko Jukić’s Milk and Honey, as well as Tomislav Šoban’s films.
4. The role in The Staffroom is your first leading role in a feature film – what are the differences between working on short and feature film? Do you have a preference among the two?
The acting preparation process is the same, but the duration of the filming is what makes it different – I think that in short film you have a much wider area of control, you are able to have a wider grasp of what you’re doing, while on feature film, there is that, but also you have to trust and surrender to it. In a certain sense, there is a greater chance a situation will come up that you could not have anticipated and that surprises you. I cannot say I prefer working on one or the other, I like both processes.
5. Your early acting career is connected to The Staffroom director Sonja Tarokić and director Hana Jušić – Sonja Tarokić’s I'm a Self-Made Woman and Hana Jušić’s No Wolf Has a House are both available on www.croatian.film – how important is the relationship between director and actors? Is it easier or more challenging to work with someone if you are long-time collaborators and friends?
The relationship is very important of course. You may or may not be friends, in order to articulate something together. What matters is having mutual respect and trust. Personally, I also like it when I share the same sort of sense of humour with the director – then everything seems just right. So far, I have made most of my films with Sonja and we know each other so well that we hardly needed to exchange any words while shooting The Staffroom – we would just nod to each other occasionally. When we made No Wolf Has a House, Hana’s instructions consisted of a single word. In that sense it is easier working with someone you know, but then you are also afraid of taking too much for granted as well. Just like in any close long-term relationship, really.
6. What was the process like of getting into the character of Anamarija in The Staffroom? How did you prepare for the role and what was the most challenging in playing her?
During long rehearsals, and sometimes even during short ones, depending on who I was rehearsing with, I started getting a clear idea of the direction we were taking. We talked a lot and became really close. The biggest challenge was the fact that Anamarija is a sufferer, she constantly takes in a lot and this required investing a lot of energy. And I like that, it was beautiful making this film. There wasn’t a moment of boredom or that sort of empty tediousness that drains your energy.
7. We also recently had a chance to see you in theatre, in the play Drama about Mirjana and Those around Her directed by Ivor Martinić, and you are currently also preparing a new play at the National Theatre in Šibenik with director Arija Rizvić – do you prefer the stage or being in front of the camera? Where do you feel more at home?
I really like both the stage and the camera and currently I am feeling really good here in Šibenik – we are two weeks away from the premiere of Women’s Orchestra directed by Arija Rizvić. We are in double rehearsals and it’s very intense. Basically, it is really important to us to give it our best in this particular place and time. The entire crew are absolutely fantastic and I’m enjoying my time here.