Festival Trailer for Croatian Drama 'The Staffroom' Set at a School
"You've setup this meeting and cornered me!" Screen Daily has debuted an early festival promo trailer for this intense indie drama titled The Staffroom, the latest from Croatian filmmaker Sonja Tarokic tackling a sensitive topic - education and schooling. This is premiering in a few weeks at the 2021 Karlovy Vary Film Festival in Czechia, one of my favorite fests, and it looks like a serious discovery that should shake things up. The film is about a new counselor in a school named Anamarija, who tries to stay out of the power games played by the headmistress, teachers and parents. But as she gets to know the system better she realities she must sacrifice her integrity and play her own game. The film stars Marina Redžepović as Anamarija, with Stojan Matavulj, Nives Ivanković, Maja Posavec, and Sandra Lončarić. This is almost a thriller! It reminds me a bit of Maren Ade's film The Forest for the Trees, but with an entirely different focus. This one is all about integrity and how hard it is to fight against the system, but you have to keep on fighting anyway.
Here's the first promo trailer for Sonja Tarokic's The Staffroom, direct from Screen's YouTube:
Anamarija begins her job as a counsellor at a new school and gradually starts to find her footing in this unfamiliar environment. She begins to understand what kind of people the teachers are, watching first-hand the petty staffroom squabbles, bickering among pupils, communication with parents and, ultimately, the power games behind the scenes. The dynamic camera work, carefully choreographed scenes, and the precision direction highlight the strength of this self-assured debut from Sonja Tarokić about one person's struggle within the system and the effort required to preserve one's integrity. More broadly, the film represents a complex study of an institution whose staff have taken on one of the most responsible roles an adult can have – to educate future generations. The Staffroom, originally known as Zbornica in Croatian, is both written and directed by Croatian filmmaker Sonja Tarokic, director of the feature film Transmania previously, plus a number of other short films. Produced by Ankica Jurić Tilić. The film is premiering at the 2021 Karlovy Vary Film Festival this year. No other release dates have been set yet - stay tuned for updates.