|Both Arsen and his new Oscar nominated feature film "Halima’s Path" were awarded during the 22nd St. Louis International Film Festival, held from November 14th to 24th. Arsen received the Contemporary Cinema Award, which honors mid-career filmmakers doing challenging and innovative work. This is the third time that one of Arsen's films will represent Croatia for the Oscars; his previous two films - "A Wonderful Night in Split" and "No One's Son" were both Croatia's official entries for an Academy Award.
(Photo: Arsen with SLIFF's artistic director Chris Clark)
| Both Arsen and his new feature film "Halima’s Path" were awarded during the 22nd St. Louis International Film Festival, held from November 14th to 24th. Arsen received the Contemporary Cinema Award, which honors mid-career filmmakers doing challenging and innovative work. Previous winners of this award include Terry Zwigoff and Jason Reitman. The recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Awards were Oliver Stone and Jon Jost.
The Interfaith Jury gave Halima’s Path an Honorable Mention among the films selected for their artistic merit, contributing to the understanding of the human condition and recognition of ethical, social and spiritual values. There were 75 feature films and 63 documentaries screened in several festival programs.
One of the side events of the festival was a program of films from former Yugoslav countries called "20 Years Later - Films from the Former Yugoslavia: Ghosts of the Past, Visions of the Future" organized in cooperation with the University of Missouri in St. Louis. The opening movie of the program was Arsen’s debut feature from 2004, "A Wonderful Night in Split." More information: www.cinemastlouis.org
Arsen Anton Ostojic was born in Split, Croatia in 1965. He started making short films at the age of twelve, participating at various junior film festivals. At the age of fourteen his short film "The Stone Mason" was aired on TV as the best short by a teenager. From 1985 to 1990 he studied film and TV directing at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb, Croatia, where he received his Bachelor of Arts Degree. During his studies he made eight short films and documentaries among which are: "The Lute" (12 min.; aired on TV), "The Day the Socks Dried" (12 min.- participated at the Student Film Festival in Munich) and "Decorations" (20 min.- participated at four international film festivals and was awarded the Gold Medal for Directing at the Short and Documentary Film Festival in Belgrade, 1991). He was recognized as one the best student of the Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1987 and awarded the Annual Rector's Award.
From 1991 to 1994 he studied at the well-known Graduate Film Department of the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, where he received his Master of Fine Arts Degree. During his studies he received the prestigious W. T. Johnson Scholarship as the top student for his "superior academic record and exceptional creative ability". His 14-min. short film "The Bird Lover" successfully participated at 15 film festivals around the world. It was awarded the Audience Award at the Hamburg Short Film Festival in 1993 and Jury Award at the Schwenningen Film Festival in 1994. It was sold to several TV stations, including Canal Plus in France and PBS, where it was broadcast nationally in the United States.
His 15-min., 35mm short film called "Life Drawing", shot in New York in 2001, was screened at 10 film festivals around the world. It received the following awards: Best Short Film at the New York International Independent Film & Video Festival, 2002; Best Actor in Short Film and Best Actress in Short Film awards at the Las Vegas International Independent Film & Video Festival 2002; Best Acting Award at the Sulzbach-Rosenberg Film Festival in Germany, 2003.
In 2004 he wrote and directed a full-length feature film "A Wonderful Night in Split" starring rap singer Coolio and the late Croatian pop-star Dino Dvornik among others. The film was nominated for the European Film Academy Discovery-Fassbinder Award as the best first or second European film in 2004; it was the official Croatian entry for the 78th Academy Awards; it received a total of 24 awards and acknowledgements and it participated at about 40 film festivals (see the list of festivals and awards).
In 2006 he co-wrote and directed an original theater play "Billie Holiday" for the Croatian National Theater in Split, starring Ksenija Prohaska and Robert Kurbasa. The play stayed in the program for 4 seasons; it was also successfully shown in theater "Komedija" in Zagreb in 2009. It is still touring Croatia.
During 2007 and 2008 Arsen directed his second feature film “No One’s Son” based on a theater play by Mate Matisic, a well-known Croatian playwright. The film was the absolute winner of the 55th Croatian Film festival in Pula, winning 6 Gold Arenas (incl. for the Best film and the Best director) and the Critics' Award "Oktavijan". It was the official Croatian candidate for the 81st Annual Academy Awards. "No One's Son" is included in the Selection 2009 by the European Film Academy as one of the best European films in 2009. (see the list of festivals and awards). The film received a total of 16 awards and it participated in official programs of 20 film festivals.
In 2012 Arsen made his third feature film "Halima's Path" written by well known Bosnian screenwriter Fedja Isovic. Among a few other awards, the film received the Audience Award at the 59th Pula Film Festival with the record-breaking vote. Until the end of November 2013, the film participated in competition at 25 film festivals and was awarded 28 awards.
Since 1988 he worked professionally on 20 feature films as well as shorts and TV projects in Europe and the United States as a first or second assistant director, production manager or line producer. He was the Second Unit Director on "The Hunting Party" in 2007, starring Richard Gere and Terence Howard, directed by Richard Shepard.
For two years he taught filmmaking at the University of Applied Science and Technology in Salzburg, Austria where he was also the Head of the Video department (2002-2003). He is now an Associate Professor at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb, Croatia, teaching film production. He also taught at the New York Film Academy and at the Susan Grace Cohen Acting Studio in New York City.
Formatted for CROWN by Marko Puljic
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