2nd Cherry Pop Festival Recap

Three days of the 2nd Cherry Pop Festival are behind us, and wow, what an amazing time we had. 

From the 16th until the 18th of November, the audience could enjoy the following:

  • 33 short films in 2 competitions (more about the winners below)
  • 3 long feature documentaries exploring the relationship between sex and work 
  • 2 dance performances
  • Erotic quiz by Mario Kovač
  • Intimacy workshop: Imagination, desire and boundaries
  • Roundtable discussion on regulation of sex work in Croatia
  • After party

Through inclusive and thought-provoking programming, the festival aimed to create a space where individuals can engage in meaningful conversations about sexuality, breaking down barriers and promoting a more open and informed society.

The accompanying film program Cherry Pick presented 3 documentary titles dealing with sex work: “Mutzenbacher” directed by the Austrian filmmaker Ruth Beckermann, “Whores’ Glory” by Michael Glawogger, and the documentary film “Straight A’s!” by Dana Budisavljević, whose screening was also the most attended program of the festival.

Find more about the winners of the Student and Main competition below.

Overall we featured a diverse range of activities all aimed at fostering a deeper understanding of the festival theme – exploring the relationship between sexuality and sex work.

Winners of the Main Competition

Sweet Cherry

House Of Whoreship directed by Holly Laura Bates, Australia

Jury statement:

“We award House of Whoreship the main prize for its non-judgemental and non-moralistic representation of sex work. Its lack of overdramatization is so refreshingly suvbversive, not only with respect to a culture that sees sex work as something inherently tragic and doomed, but also to films that confuse excessive emotional weight with authenticity. 

Sex workers are workers: their life can get tough. Yet amidst all the hustle and bustle the two protagonists manage to navigate through a tricky emotional situation with grace and emotional maturity that imbue the film with well-earned optimism. This is a film by sex workers for sex workers. All we have to say is – finally!”

Special Mention

Two Years directed by Gabriel Lapierre, Canada

Two years film on Cherry Pop Film Festival

Jury statement:

“The jury gives a Special mention to the documentary film Two years, which, in a highly aestheticized depiction of the sexual act, succeeds in translating the romantically intimate ideal into reality, with tenderness and sincerity, visually erasing the boundaries of the body and gender and merging them into a magical unity of pleasure and gratitude for the same.”

Special Mention

Y directed by Matea Kovač, Croatia

Jury statement:

“The second Special Jury Mention goes to the intricate and highly artistic animated film “Y” directed by Matea Kovač.

This ethereal and tantalizing ode to a broken relationship between two female lovers creatively intermixes hand painted images of female bodies, enticing with their curvatures while battling through emotionally symbolic straight yet distorted lines.  

Weaving in and out of love, pleasure, devotion, pain, disenchantment and acceptance “Y” is like a Rorschach test to those nostalgic feelings we have from time to time yearning for our lost lover of the past.”

Winners of the Student Competition

Sour Cherry

Joža directed by Jan Krevatin, Croatia

Winner of 2nd Cherry Pop Festival in Student competition

Jury statement:

The film, which stands out for its thought-out simplicity and precisely directed acting, leaves a strong impression of completeness and a high degree of believability. It is an unconventional film for the short film terrain which surrounds it, the direction is completely subordinated to the actor, and precisely pointed long shots showcase the resourcefulness and dexterity of its two young mains. In addition to being distinguished by bold but subtle directorial decisions, this film is clearly the result of a nimble, intuitive and well-coordinated team of students who at all times know how to keep every scene interesting and lively. This film simply and unobtrusively handles an important and current problem through the main female character, who represents resistance to symbolic social supremacy and calls for a reaction.”

Special Mention

5/3/0 directed by Danilo Stanimirović, Serbia

Jury statement:

“We highlight a film that successfully builds a terrifying and cold world around the central character through a carefully designed structure and carefully placed encounters supported by accurate dialogues. The jury highlights the casting of secondary characters, especially the role of a persistent and intrusive taxi driver. The excellent performance of the main actress and the rigid, determined directorial actions simultaneously draw into a shocking experience and leave the viewer in the position of a powerless and worried observer.”

Special Mention

Post Socialist Bodies directed by Laura Teresa Lintner, Serbia

Jury statement:

“In the selection, a particular film stood out with a synergy of movement and spoken word. Danceability, tactility, and adaptive rhythmicity accompany the narrator’s dense poetic thoughts. This is the work of an author who speaks about an important and current topic in a striking way.”

The Festival’s  Sweet & Sour Cherry sculptures and our “Cherry” sculpture were hand-made by Karlo Glogoški & Andrea Radmanić of TreWolo.

The Academic Film Club organized the festival, and the program was implemented in partnership with Dokukino KICCultural Information Center, and Pogon. Cherry Pop Pan-Erotikum was realized in collaboration with the Center for Psychotherapy and the non-profit organizations Kruzej and Skladište.
Cherry Pop Festival was supported by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre and the City of Zagreb, sponsored by LELO and the Cannabis Museum in Zagreb, as well as the bookstores Ljevak and Fraktura.
Cherry Pop logo white variation

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