ZagrebDox is on this week at Zagreb's Captol Cinema (Photo: ZagrebDox) ZagrebDox is on this week at Zagreb's Captol Cinema (Photo: ZagrebDox)

This year there are three debut films by Croatian filmmakers. In the biography category, there is Josipa, I Love You, a film that delves into the unusual relationship between the protagonist, a woman struggling with a history of sexual abuse, and the director who falls in love with his subject, thus taking on a leading role in his own cinematic debut. 

In the ADU, young filmmakers category, Renata Lučić’s As Far As Our Feet Take Us is an autobiographical video diary that documents the complex relationship between the filmmaker and her mother as her family disintegrates. The maternal relationship is also examined in the film Majči, by Josip Lukić. Here, the filmmaker documents conversations with his mother over the course of several summer days in Split.

Croatian filmmaker Bojana Burnać’s My Life Without Air is in the State of Affairs category. The film follows the story of a world champion breath diver and asks the question of how committed one is to truly live.

Happy Dox features Justyne Mytnik’s short How to Become a Pope, a warm-hearted comedy about a ten-year-old Polish boy who wants to become the Pontiff, but no one is taking him seriously. Here we also have Nedžad Begović’s Everywhere, a film about an artist at the end of his life and film career, making his last film, a “small travelogue”, that he hopes will bring him creative fulfilment.

Jean-Stephane Bron’s peek behind the curtains of The Paris Opera is featured in the Musical Globe program. It offers insight into the daily lives of people working and creating before and behind the curtain of its immense stage.

The Biography Dox features the Prince and the Dibbuk, directed by Poland’s Piotr Rosołowski and Elwir Niewier. The film is described as “a cinematic journey and a search for Michał Waszyński, a mysterious Polish director and an influential personality of the European film scene.” Michael Waszynski made more than 50 films, among them, hits starring Sophia Loren and Claudia Cardinale, but his true obsession was The Dybbuk, based on an old Jewish legend.

Bernadette Tuza-Ritter’s A Woman Captured is running in the Regional Competition. This film addresses slavery in the modern age through the story of 52-year-old Marish, a servant to a Hungarian family for more than a decade. Marish receives no wages, has no identity documents, works 20 hours a day, is not allowed to leave the home without permission, has no bed to sleep on and survives on the family’s leftovers.

The same competition also features Atelier De Conversation, by Austrian director Bernhard Braunstein, about a program at Paris’ Centre Pompidou that offers French lessons to people from all over the world.

The debut feature-length documentary Chameleons by Zagreb native director currently based in Sweden, Sophie Vuković, is a “poetic study of belonging in a globalized world” and reconstructs the author’s own life journey from the Former Yugoslavia to Austria and on to Sweden. It is featured in the International Competition.

In this same category, Dox is screening the debut film by Maja Arnekleiv, Mum’s Hair, which consists of 755 photographs, selected from a collection of 3,000 images Arnekleiv took of her mother who was suffering from cancer.

The ZagrebDox film festival runs through March 4 at the Captol Center Boutique Cinema in Zagreb. There will also be screenings March 2-4 in Osijek, Split and Rijeka.