Estonian director’s new film will be part of Serbian festival’s 14-strong competition including My Mother, 45 Years and Heil; festival to fete five Spanish directors.

Roukli, the new film by Estonia’s Veiko Õunpuu, will have its world premiere in the 22nd edition of European Film Festival Palić (July 18-24).

This year’s festival will open with Magnus von Horn’s The Here After, while the main competition consists of 14 films, including recent Karlovy Vary titles The World Is Mine by Nicolae Constantin Tanase and Heil by Dietrich Brüggemann, as well as Cannes entries Rams by Grimur Hakonarson, Nanni Moretti’s My Mother, Panama by Pavle Vučković and Berlin title 45 Years.

The perennial Underground Spirit Award will be bestowed upon five Spanish film-makers: Ion de Sosa, Chema Garcia Ibarra, Luis Lopez Carrasco, Miguel Llanso, and Velasco Broca.

“At the time the world economic crisis struck Spain, leaving behind negative impacts on its cinema, a group of directors based in Madrid found their way to make extraordinary films within minimal funds due to their huge creative strength,” programmer Petar Mitrić said of the decision.

“The linking point for these five authors was similarity in their style and themes while depicting the picture of contemporary Spain and experimenting with the sci-fi genre.” 

Side-bar programmes at the festival include Parallels and Encounters, dedicated to Eastern European cinema; Young Spirit of Europe; homages to Roy Andersson and Želimir Žilink; as well strands Eco Dox, New Hungarian Film, and New Slovak Film.

Õunpuu returns to Palic

The festival has been a staunch supporter of Estonian film-maker Õunpuu, having screened all of his feature films.

The director, whose films have world-premiered at Venice Horizons (Autumn Ball, 2007), Sundance (The Temptation of St. Tony, 2010), and Berlinale Forum (Free Range/Ballad On Approving The World, 2014), described why he opted for the mid-scale Serbian festival for his new film:

“The big festivals are good for the business. This film has nothing to do with business. I mean we’re happy if a lot people see it or if it makes money, but then again it is not a film for all the people and small is beautiful.

“In Estonia we’ll have a premiere at a smallest festival called Ruhnu Rahu, on a tiny island Ruhnu, where only 50 people live and where only 200 visitors can fit in. You see, we have no obligations with this film to do anything we don’t want to. We are completely free to just have fun.”

The film’s producer Tiina Savi told Screen: “The overall budget is approximately €45,000. We gathered the money through a crowdfunding campaign and after the shooting we applied for some post-production support from Estonian Cultural Endowment and added some of our own money.

“In addition, of course it is not possible to put into numbers the endless help from our friends and families and from the people of Veiko’s home village where the shooting took place. Everyone pitched in with whatever they had.

Roukli belongs to the people who made it. There are altogether 13 crew members (including 6 actors) who will equally share whatever the release of this little gem will bring them. This is truly beautiful and refreshing way of creating film.”