Executive produced by Martin Scorsese, with Hélène Louvart (“The Lost Daughter”) as cinematographer, “Murina” will play on opening night of the First Look Festival at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York.
“Murina” is a tense and sensual tale about a restless teenager, Julija, whose urge to break free from her oppressive father and isolated existence in coastal Croatia is triggered by the visit of a family friend.
Variety‘s Jessica Kiang wrote in her review that “If Patricia Highsmith had ever written a coming-of-age story set on the rocky, clear-watered Croatian coastline, it might have looked a lot like Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović’s bright, brooding debut.”
The movie also boasts a breakthrough performance by Gracija Filipovic, a promising young actor and professional swimmer who was one of this year’s 10 Shooting Stars at the Berlinale. She previously starred in Alamat Kusijanović’s short “Into The Blue,” which was nominated for a Student Academy Award, and won awards at Berlin and Sarajevo, among other festivals. “Murina” was produced by Scorsese’s Sikelia, RT Features and Antitalent.
“It’s no wonder Murina took home the Camera d’Or at Cannes, as it’s rare to see such confident directing in a first feature,” said Kino Lorber’s senior vice president Wendy Lidell Murina, who negotiated the deal with Thania Dimitrakopoulou at The Match Factory.
“Kusijanović infuses this seaside coming-of-age tale with a powerful undercurrent of awakening sexuality, mounting tension and a wave of feminist fury aimed squarely at the shackling influence of a sexist society,” added Lidell.
The helmer, who developed “Murina” with support from the Cannes Film Festival’s Cinefondation residency program and the Jerusalem Film Lab, said it was “a privilege to be part of the Kino Lorber family, which cultivates many important filmmakers and keeps their work available to audiences and always relevant.”
Kusijanović, who was born in Dubrovnik and got an MFA in screenwriting and directing from Columbia University in New York, is also an alumna of the Berlinale Talent Lab, Sarajevo Talent Lab, La Femis Producing Atelier and the Marcie Bloom Fellowship.