PRODUCTION: Lea and Darija Completes Filming

By Goran Kovac

    Branko Ivanda finished the last day of shooting on his feature film Lea and Darija on 12 December 2010. The film is a drama with biographical elements about two child film stars from Zagreb in the late 1930's, Lea Deutsch and Darija Gasteiger.

    Shooting began on 15 June and ended on 28 July 2010. The last day of the shooting was moved to December because of the need to shoot in winter conditions. The film was shot on location in Zagreb and the surrounding area and in Koprivnica.

    Lea and Darija is based on the screenplay by Branko Ivanda and Drago Kekanović, who were inspired by the destinies of the two girls, members of the Croatian National Theatre. They thrilled audience with their dancing and acting talent and became child stars. But their happy childhoods and great friendship was interrupted by the beginning of the persecution of Jews in Zagreb. They were forever separated by the last transport of Jews to Auschwitz in 1943.

    The main roles were played by two 12-year-old girls, Klara Naka and Tamy Zajc, both winners of European and world tap dance championships. More than sixty actorsappear in the film, among which areShooting StarZrinka Cvitešić, Sebastian Cavazza, Linda Begonja, Vedran Živolić, Ana Vilenica, Radovan RuždjakandBranko Završan, and two singing stars, Sanja DoležalandMarko Tolja.

    The production team includes director of photographyMirko Pivčević, set designer Ivo Hušnjak, composer Alfi Kabiljo, Barbara Bourek, editor Marin Juranić and producer Lidija Ivanda. The production consultant was Branko Lustig, the winner of the Academy award for Schindler's List and Gladiator.

    The film is currently in post-production and the premiere is expected in the summer of 2011.

    The film was produced by Ars septime d.o.o from Zagreb in co-operation with Croatian Radiotelevision, Zagreb Film and Art Rebel 9 from Slovenia.

    The film was co-funded by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia and the Croatian Audiovisual Centre.

    Branko Ivanda's last feature film The Horseman (2003.) was nominated best film at festival Mar del Plata, Argentina in 2004.