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Once Upon a Youth + Q&A

Director Ivan Ramljak, 2020, Country Croatia, Duration 77,

Thirteen years after the unexpected death of his best friend, a hugely talented photographer called Marko, Croatian filmmaker Ivan Ramljak (Home of the Resistance, OCDF 2018) reconstructs the life they shared together using the photographs, home videos and memories Marko left behind. Meeting in Zagreb’s fervent mid-‘90s underground music scene, the two formed a close friendship, bonding over shared passions for art, adventures, student radio, experimental film, and obscure computer games. In Once Upon a Youth, Marko’s strikingly textured images combine with Ramljak’s poignant narrated remembrances to create a moving, multi-faceted evocation of a lost friend and a near-distant youth.

UK Premiere

Screens with: The Gratinated Brains of Pupilija Ferkeverk
Karpo Aćimović Godina | 1970 | Yugoslavia | 11’

About this short film, selected by the filmmaker, Ivan Ramljak says: “Requirements for the film I wanted to screen before mine were – it should be something I like very much, something from the ex-Yugoslav region which should be globally much more known than it is, and something the subject of my film, my dear friend Marko, liked, or would have liked. So, the perfect choice is this small psychedelic masterpiece by Karpo Godina, the ultimate Yugoslav author, since he is an ethnic Macedonian, who lived most of his life in Slovenia, but he worked as a DOP with the most important Croatian, Bosnian and Serbian authors (Zafranović, Čengić, Žilnik). He also directed his own films, the highlight of which was a string of incredibly innovative shorts made in the beggining of 70’s, the purple patch of Yugoslav film history, appropriately called The Black Wave. So, sit back, relax and enjoy this trip!”

Screening includes a Q&A with director Ivan Ramljak, hosted by Carmen Gray.

Please be advised a film in this programme contains discussion of drug misuse which some viewers might find distressing.

Presented in partnership with The Photographers’ Gallery.

Read a essay on Once Upon a Youth by Olaf Möller.

Available: Block 2 (Sat 12th Sept midday – Tue 15th Sept midnight BST)

Please note: this film is only available to view in the UK.

“Ivan Ramljak is a director, film critic and an independent curator. He has directed nine shorts and one medium length film. His most successful film so far was the short documentary Islands of Forgotten Cinemas (2016) which screened at more than 40 international festivals, and won 6 awards including the FIPRESCI prize for Best Eastern European dox at goEast FF in Wiesbaden. His debut medium length documentary Home of the Resistance (2018) had its world premiere at Cinéma du Réel and went on to screen at a dozen international festivals. Once Upon a Youth is his first feature documentary.”