Vesna Award for Best Feature Film
Don’t Think It Will Ever Pass
Directed by: Tomaž Grom
Production: Špela Trošt (Zavod Sploh)

Jury statement: Don’t Think It Will Ever Pass is an entirely unique and highly emotionally charged film that calls for an open-eyed audience. Experimental and enigmatic, and yet subtle, honest, and associatively open. With an ever-moving camera that seems to be able to find a new story wherever it steered. Constantly unfolding new spaces and finding poetry in the banality of everyday life. Cinema as a ritual, as a need that transforms pain into beauty.


Vesna Award for Best Feature-length Fiction Film
Wake Me
Directed by: Marko Šantić
Production: Danijel Hočevar, Zala Opara (Vertigo)

Jury statement: Wake Me addresses a relevant topic from a telling angle: memory loss, to raise the issue of hatred, intolerance and nationalism, leaving no doubt as to its stance. All the elements of film language are effectively combined to create an evocative whole. A brave and, in this day and age, highly relevant work that speaks of violence without reproducing it through images.


Vesna Award for Best Director
Ivan Gergolet
for The Man Without Guilt

Jury statement: In The Man Without Guilt, Ivan Gergolet digs deep into human nature and the moral issues pertaining to humans. He is concise in guiding the two leading actors, unfurling their complex inner lives through gestures, looks,and touches. At the same time, he manages to subtly raise other important issues from asbestos to class differences and the identity of the Slovenian community in Italy. In the manner of slow cinema, he takes his time to develop the plot while keeping us in suspense by remaining mysterious and ambiguous. The result is an ambivalent work that stays with us long after we have left the cinema.


Vesna Award for Best Screenplay
Marko Šantić, Goran Vojnović and Sara Hribar
for Wake Me

Jury statement: The screenplay for Wake Me addresses an important and sensitive issue with clarity and responsibility while adding elements of wit to make it more human. The screenwriters pay attention to every character, developing them with precision and giving them space for complexity through unexpected situations. They render the hopelessness of the vicious circle of hatred as a clever circular structure where the end could be the (film) beginning.


Vesna Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Diana Kolenc for the role of Lara
in Observing

Jury statement: Diana Kolenc as Lara in Observing gives an extraordinarily minimalistic performance, her expression internalised, discrete, simple and focused. With sparse reactions, she manages to convey a wide array of meanings. Even when she is not in the foreground, her body language has presence; one could say she has inhabited the film. Her interpretation is one with the style and genre.


Vesna Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Jure Henigman for the role of Rok
in Wake Me

Jury statement: The character of Rok starts off as a tabula rasa, an empty vessel that Henigman gradually fills as he discovers his true identity. In the process, he portions out emotions in a nuanced way, organically shifting between contrasting states, from aggression to tenderness, from wit to tears, adding layers to his character through various relationships with perceived ease to gradually transform him.


Vesna Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Vesna Pernarčič for the role of Špela
in Role Model

Jury statement: As the down-to-earth big sister Špela, Vesna Pernarčič uses the short time available to her to realise her character in full (and to perfection). From the moment she appears, her charisma makes a strong impression. Her role piques the audience’s interest by expanding the story with some family background.


Vesna Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Jurij Drevenšek for the role of Damjan
in Wake Me

Jury statement: Jurij Drevenšek gives a full-blooded, precise performance as Damjan the antagonist, taking a clear position within the film and vitally adding to the context of the plot. He makes clever choices of the acting tools to endear the character to the audience, while making no excuses for him.


Vesna Award for Best Cinematography
Marko Brdar
for Safe Place

Jury statement: In Safe Place, the cinematography becomes a vital element of dramaturgy, eliciting strong feelings through precise shots, pronounced compositions, the use of depth, shadows, darkness and colour, and the layering of images. Each shot is a considered work of art that takes the aesthetic of the film to a whole new level.


Vesna Award for Best Original Music
Tomaž Grom
for Don’t Think It Will Ever Pass

Jury statement: With a repetitive, minimalist motif and thundering silences, music in the experimental film Don’t Think It Will Ever Pass is a poignant signal of the passing of time, evoking intense reactions and mixed feelings.


Vesna Award for Best Editing
Sara Gjergek
for Woman of God

Jury statement: With her editing in Woman of God, Sara Gjergek builds a clearly structured, perceptive dramatic arc to take us into the life of the main protagonist. From the material, she manages to pick out all the key stages in her life to raise important family issues. This is a compact film with a host of information that unfurl in a playful rhythm to convey an intriguing, compassionate story.


Vesna Award for Best Production Design
Špela Jelovčan and Vasja Kokelj
for Observing

Jury statement: The production design in Observing aesthetically adds to and supports the genre of the film. Elements such as carpet stains, piles of rubbish, old furniture, empty spaces, a mousetrap etc., tell and at the same time give context to a broader story of the outside world. Meanwhile, the effective cold colour palette creates a contrast with the red uniforms of the paramedics.



Vesna Award for Best Costume Design
Katarina Šavs
for Role Model

Jury statement: The costume design in Role Model appears fresh and brave, boldly characterising without being afraid of clichés but instead using them to its advantage. In the massive micro universe of a school, it manages to tell one individual from another and identify their character.


Vesna Award for Best Make-up
Lija Ivančič
for Wake Me

Jury statement: The make-up in Wake Me vitally adds to the identity of the film, effectively placing characters in the local setting and accentuating their personalities and backgrounds while cleverly avoiding typification.


Vesna Award for Best Sound
Julij Zornik and Igor Popovski
for Observing

Jury statement: The sound in Observing often works as a trigger and, in the absence of music, becomes a vital director’s tool. The expressive soundscape built out of numerous elements such as medical devices, sirens, telephones, children crying etc., creates an authentic atmosphere and a pervasive feeling of unease.


Vesna Award for Best Minority Co-production
Safe Place
Directed by: Juraj Lerotić
Slovenian co-producers: Vlado Bulajić and Lija Pogačnik (December)

Jury statement: Masterful in all its expressive tools, Juraj Lerotić’s debut is not just a painfully personal, but also highly innovative, sensitive, and substantially considered work. Using an intimate experience, this precise study of human fragility exposes the (in)effectiveness of the system.


Vesna Award for Best Documentary
Directed by: Petra Seliškar
Production: Petra Seliškar (Petra Pan film)

Jury statement: Scientists have proven that Nietzsche was right in saying, “what doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger”. According to research, 70% of people who have faced difficult challenges or traumas see some form of positive psychological growth and development. Petra Seliškar’s Body follows Urška’s life and her decade-long struggle with – or, more precisely, against – her own body. Tracing her phases of autoimmune diseases, it shows her body through its fragility and beauty as a metaphor for human limitations. With microscopic shots and grandiose landscapes depicting a lake and an island, it allows for additional reflection on the place of humans in nature. Body is a feat of filmmaking in which the filmmaker consistently builds a portrait of a woman who manages to retain optimism and cheerfulness in the face of all her troubles. This is a must-see film. One which, in the words of Gilles Deleuze, tells you that “illness is not an enemy”. And not only that. It is a film that proves there is no duality between the spirit and the body.


Vesna Award for Best Short Fiction Film
How I Learned to Hang Laundry
Directed by: Barbara Zemljič
Production: Klemen Dvornik (Filmservis)

Jury statement: “Do you know anything at all?” “Not much!” This is a dialogue from the beginning of the film, indicative of its sparsely worded continuation. A film that tells more with condensed body language than it does with words. And yet in its small spaces, with only three characters (or rather two and a half), it carries a pulsating stream of feelings, hidden traumas, adolescent delusions, and disappointments. Why so? We never learn the causes. What we can see is that there is no happy ending for this protagonist. She leaves just like she has arrived, with a kerchief on her head. But this is just a front. She is no domesticated cat as he imagines her to be, and he is no safe haven as she has expected him to be. Old people would say: They didn’t see eye to eye; and young people would say: Fuck! We feel bad about the depiction of this terrible, nowadays common, discrepancy between people and between the sexes. The film ends with her on a railway station, a symbol of change, arrivals and departures, and the Ana Karenina syndrome. Thanks to the director – and very likely to a well-considered script, the film flows smoothly, with excellent camerawork, a fine soundscape and sound mixing, and, not least, an outstanding performance from the female lead! Let us end with a question: what happened to the handful of spoons which the female protagonist took from the male protagonist’s kitchen drawer as she left?


Vesna Award for Best Animated Film
Little Women
Directed by: Nika Jurman
Production: Nika Jurman

Jury statement: While the barbies of Hollywood are enjoying their luxurious lives, the little women of Slovenia fight to get into an art residency that will solve their fundamental life problems for a few months by giving them sustenance and a roof over their heads. Little Women is a film of contradictions. While plastic puppets deal with the problems of real people, the simple animation offers striking, sophisticated technical details.


Vesna Award for Best Experimental Film

The members of the jury chose not to present the award for best experimental film as none of the films in competition received a unanimous vote of support.


Vesna Award for Best Student Film
Directed by: Kristian Bernard Irgl
Production: Jožica Šmid (UL AGRFT)

Jury statement: Although merely a short student exercise, this film has all it takes. Extraordinary in ways more than one, it is a work that would make any seasoned professional with kilometres of film stock behind them proud. It contains all elements of a superior film: a good idea and a good script, camera, direction, but especially outstanding performance from all three protagonists. The director subtly plays with the audience’s emotions, bringing the plot cleverly to a dramatic climax.


Vesna Award for Special Achievement
Directed by: Damjan Kozole

Jury statement: Pero is a conceptual work that speaks of passing, respect, friendship and loyalty in and beyond the world of cinema, using five completely different approaches. Damjan Kozole brings together the fragments and testimonies left behind the late film and theatre actor, guiding us in self-reflection through his directing techniques. A painfully beautiful tribute to a great actor and a forthright goodbye from a friend.


Vesna Award for Special Achievement
Directed by: Alex Cvetkov
Jury statement: The jury for short fiction, documentary, experimental, animated, and student films gives this special mention to draw attention to elements of quality cinema in the film Soil. The plight that sends a young couple towards a precarious fate of a migrant family, and the complications on the way, are conveyed skilfully in the manner of a genre film. What makes Soil stand out from among other migrant films is that it shows the roots of what drives people to leave their homes, rather than just their suffering. The protagonists’ performance, especially from the female lead, and good camerawork contribute substantially to effective comprehension of their story.


Vesna Audience Award
Woman of God
Directed by: Maja Prettner
Production: Boštjan Virc, Nataša Vugrinec (Studio Virc)
Average score: 4,82





Slovenian Art Cinema Association Award
The Man Without Guilt
Directed by: Ivan Gergolet

Jury statement: From its first shot, The Man Without Guilt exposes the self-destruction of the Slovenian community outside the country’s borders, which, combined with environmental issues and the power and indifference of capital, results in an overall collective downfall. Although the film is set across the border to Italy, the issue could be applied to any such Slovenian community. The topics of disregard for one’s language and culture, and subjugation to majority superbly unfold through the narrative and characters, supported by a highly subtle aesthetic and expressive shots. Remember: we breathe dust.


The Association of Slovenian Film Critics Award for best Slovenian feature film in the Official Competition
Woman of God
Directed by: Maja Prettner

Jury statement: One of the film’s strong points is its deft use of observational documentary techniques employed by the director to follow, for several years, the protagonist as she overcomes, with love and dedication, the problems of past and present, from childhood sexual abuse to the challenges of motherhood and professional injustices she suffers as a Protestant pastor. The film goes deep in showing how the pastor, Jana, bravely rebels against social expectations and Church dogmas, going against the current and gradually transforming into a heroine who stands up for herself.


IRIDIUM Award for best feature debut
The Man Without Guilt
Directed by: Ivan Gergolet