Archive of films The Priest's Children / Svećenikova djeca

Croatia / Serbia
2012, 96 min

Section: Official Selection - Competition
Year: 2013

A young priest assigned to a community on a picturesque Dalmatian islet is appalled at its very low birthrate. When the confession of a local tobacconist reveals the reason why, he opts for a rather unusual method for rectifying the situation. The result is an increase in the number of unplanned pregnancies and consequent demographic growth. Except that not everything turns out the way the idealistic clergyman had envisaged.


When a young Catholic priest named Fabian is assigned to take over from his popular predecessor in a picturesque Dalmatian village, he is appalled to discover that, while there are plenty of funerals, hardly any children are being born. A confession from a local parishioner reveals the cause, and Fabian decides to try and improve the birthrate using somewhat unusual methods. The priest is actually successful yet, after a time, cracks start to appear in his plan, and his efforts gradually come to grief. The film is based on the comedy by Mate Matišić which prompted both enthusiasm and outrage on the Croatian stage at the end of last century. For its film adaptation Vinko Brešan opted for a distinctive set design and visual portrayal, which also govern the stylisation of the individual situations and the conception of the characters. The ironic perspective on the naive young priest who, with the purest of intentions, brings misfortune on several of his fellow citizens, allowed the atheist authors to criticise the Catholic church and the prejudices prevailing among the popular classes.

About the director

Vinko Brešan (b. 1964, Zagreb, Croatia) initially studied philosophy and comparative literature, followed by a course in film and television direction at Zagreb’s Academy of Dramatic Art. His short student film Our Stock Exchange (Naša burza) was awarded at Oberhausen in 1987. He debuted with the low-budget war comedy How the War Started on My Island (Kako je počeo rat na mom otoku, 1996). His next film, the comedy Marshal Tito’s Spirit (Maršal, 1999), received awards at the international festivals in Karlovy Vary (Best Director), Berlin (Forum – Wolfgang Staudte Award) and elsewhere. In 2003 he shot the war drama Witnesses (Svjedoci – Ecumenical Jury Award at the Berlinale, Philip Morris Award at KVIFF). His tragicomic love story Will Not Stop There (Nije kraj, 2008) won the Golden Arena at Pula and the FIPRESCI Prize at Karlovy Vary in 2009. He also directs for the theatre.


Interfilm Produkcija
Nova Ves 45/2, 10000, Zagreb
Tel: +385 146 672 90
Fax: +385 146 670 22

9, rue Bleue, 75009, Paris
Tel: +33 153 950 464
Fax: +33 153 950 465

About the film

Color, DCP
International premiere

Section: Official Selection - Competition
Director: Vinko Brešan
Screenplay: Mate Matišić
Dir. of Photography: Mirko Pivčević
Music: Mate Matišić
Editor: Sandra Botica Brešan
Producer: Ivan Maloča
Production: Interfilm Produkcija
Cast: Krešimir Mikić, Nikša Butijer, Marija Škaričić
Contact: Interfilm Produkcija, WIDE


Vinko Brešan

Film Director, Film Director

Ivana Ivišić

PR & Marketing

Sandra Botica Brešan

Film Editor

Krešimir Mikić


Marija Škaričić


Hrvoje Hribar

Film Institution Rep.

Ana Mikin

Film Institution Rep.

Vanja Sremac


Andrea Zlatar Violić


Katia Khazak

Loic Magneron

Sales Agent, Distributor


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