From Grain to Painting

Co-production countries: Serbia, Vojvodina

Duration in minutes: 75

Format: HD, DCP

Director: Branko Istvancic

Producer: HRT, Atalanta

Director of photography: Branko Cahun

Screenwriter: Branko Istvancic

Editor: Branko Istvancic

Synopsis: The documentary film FROM GRAIN TO PAINTING explores the culture and artistic expression of the Croatian national minority in Vojvodina region. The film focuses on straw-girls, folk artists from Backa, who found their medium of choice in ecological material of straw, using it to create paintings, sculptures and applied art objects. The film depicts the connection between their everyday lives and artistic expression, their specific social and national position. Main subject matter deals with minority issues, human rights, social justice and has international potential. The film protagonists are famous straw-girls Ana Milodanovic and Jozefa Skenderovic, art historian Bela Duranci, priest Andrija Kopilovic and writer Naco Zelic. Through a series of interviews and authentic footage, the film promotes a renaissance of this craft which slowly, but definitely vanishes. One of the characters in Istvancic’s film is Ivo Skrabalo, the recently deceased Croatian film critic, historian and director, who made a film on this subject in 1971, Slamarke divojke (Strawgirls), one of the best Croatian documentaries of all times. Filmmaker Branko Istvancic, the director of live-action (The Ghost in the Swamp, 2006) and award-winning documentary films (The Cormorant Scarecrow, 1998), born in Subotica, where a large part of the film takes place, devoted a lot of attention to the poetic atmosphere and visuals. A special accent was placed on the frame composition, its richness in content and meaning, authenticity of colours and visuality, as well as on the ‘girls’ paintings’. The message is clear: life and art are not separated; they comprise one unique life…

Year of production: 2012

Co-producers: Szabolcs Tolnai

Financiers: City of Zagreb, Croatian Audiovisal Centre (HAVC), Regional office for education and culture in Vojvodina (Serbia), Adris Foundation in Croatia and INA donation

Looking for: distribution, networking

Trailer link

Film website

Contact person: Branko Istvancic