The world premiere of the Slovenian minority co-production Small Body at the Cannes Critics’ Week

June 7, 2021

The film is an Italian-Slovenian-French co-production, with Mitja Ličen as the Slovenian director of photography.

Yesterday, Cannes unveiled the Critics’ Week programme, which includes the Slovenian minority co-production Small Body, the debut feature of the Italian director Laura Samani that has qualified for the competition programme of seven selected films. On this occasion, the director stated the following: “If things do not have a name, they do not exist. Agata defies the established order of her time. She is a heroine who challenges the laws of society in the name of an unwritten law that is far more mysterious and unfathomable: absolute love. Her immense desire is to give her daughter a name so that she can let go of her once they become two separate beings. Agata’s journey to the shrine is a gradual descent into the underworld, a path that leads her to the surprising discovery that there is a thin, unfathomable line between life and death, between reality and magic.”

The film that is about to have its world premiere is an Italian-Slovenian-French co-production, with Mitja Ličen as the Slovenian director of photography. Mitja Ličen has received several awards for his previous work, including three Vesna Awards: for his features History of Love (2018) and The Tree (2014), directed by Sonja Prosenc, and the short film Paradise (2019), which he also co-directed with Sonja Prosenc.

The film was created with the participation of a number of Slovenian filmmakers, including a Slovenian technical team consisting of fourteen members. Furthermore, during the development stage of the project, the technical post-production of the photography, pre-production, and sound post-production were partly carried out in Slovenia. The Slovenian co-producer of the film is Danijel Hočevar from the Vertigo production house, with Zala Opara as his assistant, while Matija Kozamernik is the production manager.

Italy, 1900. The young Agata gives birth to a stillborn child, who is therefore condemned to spend eternity in Limbo. Agata hears of a place in the mountains where infants can be brought back to life for just one breath and baptised so that their souls can be saved. She heads out on a journey with her daughter’s tiny corpse hidden in a box and meets Lynx (Lince), a solitary boy who offers to help her. Together, they embark on an adventure that will bring them both closer to a miracle that seems entirely impossible.

Apart from the director, the screenplay was co-written by Marco Borromei and Elisa Dondi. Starring Celeste Cescutti as Agata and Ondina Quadri as Lince / Lynx. Also featuring Marco Geromin, Giacomina Dereani, Anna Pia Bernardis, Angelo Mattiussi, Luca Sera, Teresa Cappellari, Marzia Corinna Mainardis, Marisa Rupil, and the Slovenian actor Ivo Ban. Music by Fredrika Stahl, editing by Chiara Dainese, and sound by Luca Bertolin, Riccardo Spagnol, and Nathalie Vidal. Set design by Rachele Meliadò, costume design by Loredana Buscemi, and makeup design by Arianna Ferrazin.

The leading producer of the film is the Italian Nefertiti Film; the producers are Nadia Trevisan and Alberto Fasulo; while the French co-producer Thomas Lambert comes from the Tomsa-Films production company. The film was made with the financial support of the Slovenian Film Centre, the Friuli Venezia Giulia Audiovisual Fund, MIBACT, the international funds Eurimages and Creative Europe – MEDIA sub-programme, as well as Rai Cinema, CNC, ARTE/Cofinova, Torino Film Lab Production Award, the Re-Act and When East Meets West development funds, and in collaboration with Viba Film Studio.

In 2018, at the development stage, the film received the prestigious Production Award at the Torino Film Lab and an award at the When East Meets West co-production meeting.

In the introduction, which presents the film selection, the following was written about the film Small Body: “A breathtakingly beautiful film which proves that a great filmmaker was born.”

The 60th-anniversary edition of the Critics’ Week will take place from 7 to 15 July. The audience will have the opportunity to see thirteen features selected from among 1,000 films: seven in the competition programme and six at special screenings. Meanwhile, ten of the 1,620 short films that applied were chosen for the short film competition programme. Head here for more information on the entire Critics’ Week programme. In the coming days, we will keep you informed about the rest of the Slovenian film participation at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Source: Slovenian Film Centre