PRODUCTION: Sara Kern Starts Shooting First Slovenian/Australian Coproduction Moja Vesna

    Slovenian actor Gregor Bakovic and Loti Kovačič in Moja Vesna by Sara Kern Slovenian actor Gregor Bakovic and Loti Kovačič in Moja Vesna by Sara Kern credit: Jane Zhang

    LJUBLJANA: Slovenian screenwriter/director Sara Kern, who has been living in Australia for several years now, started shooting her debut feature Moja Vesna in Melbourne on 6 April 2021. This is the first Slovenian/Australian joint ever to be produced.

    After the sudden death of her mother, 10-year old Moja becomes the unexpected grown-up of her fragmented family, immigrants to suburban Melbourne, seeking to reconcile her troubled pregnant older sister Vesna and disconsolate father Miloš.

    The story is based on Kern's short film Vesna Goodbye (2020), which premiered at the Sarajevo FF 2020 and received the Vesna award for best audiovisual work at the 23rd Slovenian Film Festival in Portorož.

    The title role of Vesna is played by American-Australian actress of Polish ancestry Mackenzie Mazur. Highly regarded Slovenian actor Gregor Bakovič plays her father, the acclaimed Australian actress Claudia Karvan plays her mother, while the role of Moja is played by Loti Kovačič, a non-professional actress who was cast through a vast grassroots call-out to the  Loti Kovačič as Moja in Moja Vesna by Sara Kern, credit: Jane ZhangSlovenian community throughout Australia.

    The film crew includes other Slovenians, including cinematographer Lev Predan Kowarski, with whom Kern already collaborated on Good Luck Orlo! (2016), her short film that premiered at the 73rd Venice FF.

    “We are very grateful to our Australian and Slovenian colleagues, who have been instrumental in bringing this first ever Slovenian/Australian coproduction to life in Melbourne. It will be fascinating to see director Sara Kern and Slovenian cinematographer Lev Predan Kowarski teaming up again to work their magic and create another gem in Australia,” says producer Rok Biček.

    The film is produced by Rok Biček through Cvinger film, and Gal Greenspan and Sharlene Georg through Australian Sweetshop & Green. The project is supported by the Slovenian Film Centre and Screen Australia, co-financed with the support of RTV Slovenija and Film Victoria (Australia), and developed through the Torino Film Lab and Cannes Cinéfondation Residence.

    ”The budget is estimated at 1.3 m EUR”, Rok Biček told FNE, adding that the sound and picture postproduction will take place in Slovenia through 001, Teleking and FS Viba film.

    The 25-day shooting will take place around Melbourne in April and May 2021. The film is expected to premiere in film festivals in 2022.

    Born in Ljubljana in 1989, Sara Kern graduated in film directing from the AGRFT. She worked as a screenwriter for the Slovenian National Television’s Children and Youth Programme for several years before moving to Australia. Her short film Good Luck Orlo! (2016) received Štiglič's View for directing, an award from the Directors Guild of Slovenia.

    Production Information:

    Director Sara Kern, credit: Jane ZhangCvinger film (Slovenia)
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    Sweetshop & Green (Australia)

    Director: Sara Kern
    Screenwriter: Sara Kern
    DoP: Lev Predan Kowarski
    Editor: Hayley Miro Browne
    Production designer: Maddison Haywood
    Costume designer: Ellen Stainstreet
    Sound: Julij Zornik
    Cast: Loti Kovačič, Mackenzie Mazur, Gregor Baković, Claudia Karvan, Flora Feldman