A Wonderful Night in Split

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Ta divna splitska noć
Directed by Arsen Anton Ostojić
Produced by Jozo Patljak
Written by Arsen Anton Ostojić
Starring Dino Dvornik
Marija Škaričić
Nives Ivanković
Marinko Prga
Vicko Bilandžić
Ivana Roščić
Music by Mate Matišić
Cinematography Mirko Pivčević
Edited by Dubravko Slunjski
Release date(s) July 21, 2004, Croatia
Running time 100 mins
Language Croatian, English

A Wonderful Night in Split (Croatian: Ta divna splitska noć) is a 2004 Croatian drama film directed by Arsen Anton Ostojić.


The film is set over the course of a New Year's Eve night in the Croatian port city of Split, where it follows three parallel plots. The first plot line features a small-time drug dealer Nike (Marinko Prga) and a young widow Marija (Nives Ivanković); the second plot line deals with a drug addict called Maja (Marija Škaričić) who decides to have sex with an US Navy sailor called Franky (Coolio) in exchange for some heroin; the third one shows a young couple, Luka and Anđela (Vicko Bilandžić and Ivana Roščić) who spend the night desperately looking for a place to celebrate the New Year by having their first sexual experience. The plots are connected through Dino Dvornik's concert, where all of them pass through at some point, and through the omnipresent fireworks that dot the night sky over the course of the film.


Production and reception[edit]

Since the film was designed as a visual commentary of social problems that Split is well known for in Croatia, depicted here as always involving drugs and awkward relationships, the whole film was shot in black-and-white photography. The resulting effect is an atmosphere of anxiety and depression, set to contrast the colorful mood of open-air New Year celebrations in Split's main square. The film won the Golden Arena awards for Best Cinematography (Marko Pivčević) and Best Film Editing (Dubravko Slunjski) at the 2004 Pula Film Festival, as well as the Birch award for best directing debut and the Oktavijan critics' choice award.

The film's cinematographer, Mirko Pivčević, was nominated for the Golden Frog award at the Camerimage festival, the most renowned European festival dedicated to cinematography, and the film was also shown at the Sarajevo Film Festival as part of their regional program, where it won the Jury Prize for Best Film, and for Best Actress (Marija Škaričić). It has also earned the director, Arsen Ostojić, a nomination for the European Discovery of the Year at the European Film Awards, as well as the Best Feature Film award at the 2006 RiverRun International Film Festival.

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