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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Slovenia / Australia

Sara Kern starts filming the first-ever Slovenian-Australian co-production, Moja Vesna

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- The filmmaker behind the 2017 Venice Orizzonti short-film winner Good Luck, Orlo! is shooting her first feature, starring Gregor Baković and Claudia Karvan, in Melbourne

Sara Kern starts filming the first-ever Slovenian-Australian co-production, Moja Vesna
Gregor Baković and Loti Kovačič in Moja Vesna

Last week, Slovenian filmmaker Sara Kern started filming her first feature, Moja Vesna (lit. "My Vesna" or "My Spring"), in and around Melbourne. It is the first-ever co-production between Slovenia and Australia. The writer-director, whose short film Good Luck, Orlo! was a festival hit in 2017 and 2018 after winning in Venice’s Orizzonti, has been living in Australia for several years now.

Kern's feature debut follows ten-year-old girl Moja, who, after the sudden death of her mother, becomes the unexpected grown-up in her fragmented family, immigrants in suburban Melbourne. She then seeks to reconcile her troubled, pregnant older sister, Vesna, and their disconsolate father, Miloš.

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One of Slovenia's most highly acclaimed actors, Gregor Baković (Gravehopping, Thanks for Sunderland [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
), plays Miloš, and Australian actress Mackenzie Mazur plays Vesna, after taking Slovenian language classes. Loti Kovačič, who plays Moja, was picked through a vast grass-roots call-out to the Slovenian community throughout Australia. The cast is also joined by Claudia Karvan, one of Australia's most recognised actresses.

The crew includes DoP Lev Predan Kowarski, who also lensed Good Luck, Orlo!, line producer Rachel Forbes, production manager Ira Cecić, first AD Andy Pante, production designer Maddison Haywood and costume designer Ellen Stanistreet. The film is being produced by Rok Biček, of Slovenia's Cvinger Film, and Sharlene George, of Australia's Sweetshop & Green, and has received support from the Slovenian Film Centre and Screen Australia, as well as Film Victoria and Slovenian national broadcaster RTV.

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

Gal Greenspan, co-managing director of Sweetshop & Green, adds: “We're thrilled to see this special project reach production. Sara is a very talented and unique filmmaker. Over the last few years, she has built an incredible world through the script, team and cast she's brought together for Moja Vesna. We look forward to sharing her first feature with audiences in 2022.”

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