North American Premiere
The uncle is expected to arrive from Germany any minute, and the young family of three is scrambling to put the finishing touches on their Christmas feast, falling in line just as the man of the hour pulls up in his Mercedes. As the uncle approves and disapproves of various details, they try to course-correct on the fly, but something is clearly very wrong with this picture.
Described as Michael Haneke’s Funny Games meets Yorgos Lanthimos’ Dogtooth, The Uncle certainly plays with home invasion elements and dysfunctional family dynamics. However, it ultimately invents its own rules in its meticulous construction of sheer terror, relying on a gradual expansion of repetitive narrative beats that each drop increasingly disturbing clues. Every hair, crumb, and glass shard on this production is in its intended place, adding to characters’ utter despair. The filmmakers maintain absolute control of narrative detail and lean into technical precision one comes to find comfort in, and ultimately crave as the full picture comes into focus.
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Ivan Kelava, Tomislav Vujić
Andrija Mardešić, David Kapac
David Kapac is a Croatian screenwriter, director, and creative producer. He started his career with short student films, and his graduation film, the medium-length horror film Zagorje Specialty (2011), premiered at the Pula Film Festival. After graduating, he worked in television as a director and creative producer. He returned to film in 2017, co-writing the screenplay for Party, which represented Croatia in the European Broadcasting Union’s Drama for Children project in 2018. The Uncle is his debut feature.
Andrija Mardešić is a Croatian director and screenwriter. His short films Iris (2009), Two All Alone (2015), and Steppe Fox (2019) screened at festivals in Croatia and abroad. He co-directed the omnibus Short Circuits for Croatian national broadcaster HRT in 2013. Mardešić wrote the medium-length horror film Zagorje Specialty (directed by David Kapac) and co-wrote the short children’s drama Party. Mardešić also works as a storyliner on TV projects in Croatia, and directed the TV drama Don’t Tell Anyone for HRT. The Uncle is his debut feature.