The Miner by Hanna Slak The Miner by Hanna Slak

In accordance with the rules of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), the Directors Guild of Slovenia has called upon the professional associations in the field of cinematographic production to propose their candidates for the expert jury consisting of eight members.

The members of this year's jury: Boštjan Virc, producer and screenwriter; Jure Teržan, colourist; Matija Šturm, producer; Marina Gumzi, producer; Jurij Gruden, director and screenwriter; Nataša Rogelj, production designer; Miha Tozon, director of photography; Matevž Jerman, publicist, critic, and editor.

Until the deadline (31 August 2017), the producers submitted a single film that matched the requirements for the candidacy application: the film MINER, directed by Hanna A. W. Slak and produced by Nukleus film d.o.o.

After watching the submitted film, the expert jury unanimously decided to propose the film MINER as the Slovenian candidate for the 2018 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.


Hanna Slak's film, inspired with the true story of the Central Sava Valley miner Mehmedalija Alić and his autobiography Nihče (Nobody), recounts the shocking story of a miner who fights for a decent burial of the victims of post-World War II summary executions.

In the film, Alija stands up to the world. In order to preserve his own humanity, he insists that the victims should be identified and buried. At the same time he faces his own memories and the tragedy that has befallen his nearest and dearest. Thus the story and its realistic protagonist touch upon two painful issues from the Slovenian space.

The film excels due to its exquisite rhythm, skilful dramaturgy based on the impact and clarity of the dialogues, heartfelt editing, as well as precise and effective sound design. The precise and realistic approach to the film expression itself characterises the film, and the clever depiction of the multiple levels of the protagonist's personal experience makes a profound impact on the audience.

The production design is unpretentious and exceedingly appropriate.

The main as well as supporting characters are depicted clearly, and the viewers can easily identify with them. Leon Lučev’s outstanding and multi-layered acting provides an in-depth insight into Alija's convictions and realisations, making his character extremely convincing. No system can put up with the restless Alija – a brave man willing to see things through, even when his own life is at stake. Alija's story could be the story of any one of us. The acting of Marina Redžepović in the role of Alija's wife has the capacity of drawing the viewers in and convincing them without resorting to pompous rhetoric. Both of the characters co-create a world that the viewers can easily identify and empathise with, and this is why the film project is so very convincing artistically – which is, after all, proved by the three Vesna Awards that the film has just received at the Festival of Slovenian Film: the Award for Best Direction, Best Editing, and Best Actor.

The expert jury has thus unanimously selected the film Miner, directed by Hanna A. W. Slak and produced by Nukleus film d.o.o., as the Slovenian foreign language Academy Award candidate.

Ljubljana, 19 September 2017

Last modified on 20-09-2017