Dora Šustić

Scriptwriter

Born:

3.9.1991, Rijeka, Croatia

Education: 

MA candidate in Screenwriting, Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU)

APP in Screenwriting, Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU)

BA in International Relations, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Place of Residence:

Prague (Czech Republic), Rijeka (Croatia)

Writes in Languages:

Croatian, English

Biography

Dora Šustić obtained her BA in political studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences in Ljubljana, Slovenia. In 2012, she moved to Prague where she currently studies screenwriting for MA degree at FAMU. Her poems, fiction and non-fiction have been published in several international literary journals. In 2009, Society of Croatian Writers awarded her as one of the best young poets. In 2016, during a writing residency in Istanbul, she completed a poetry book Istanbul Streams. She wrote and directed several short films and is now working on feature film screenplays.

Sample of previous work

Projects in development

BOŽICE / VIRGINS

feature fiction
developed script

When a pious 37-year-old virgin, a village’s dummy, sleeps with a junky and becomes pregnant, she has to fight against all odds, gossips and judgments, to keep the baby that she believes is the child of God.

Attached to the project: director
Looking for: producer, co-producer

KeywordsCroatian South, Catholicism, sexuality, motherhood, heroin addiction

BLOK 5 / BLOCK 5

feature fiction
developed script

In spite of their mutual differences, a group of skateboarding kids has to unite, in order to save their playground from being turned into a parking lot.

Attached to the project: director, producer
Looking for: co-producer

Keywordscoming-of-age, children, adventure, collectivism, social issues, urbanism

LILA I SMOKVE / LILA AND THE FIGS

short fiction
synopsis

Alma brings her old father who’s suffering from Alzheimer’s back to his native village, set on a small Croatian island. For him to die in peace, she has to retrace and relive a memory from his early years, uncertain whether it really is a memory, or pure fiction.

Attached to the project: director
Looking for: producer, co-producer

Keywordsdeath, solitude, memory, magic realism

More from Projects

KARMAKOMA

short fiction
synopsis

During the summer heatwave, two girlfriends travel through deserts and wilderness of a new exotic country and on the road befriend two locals. Eager to lose her virginity, one betrays the other and causes the destruction of not only friendship, but something even more profound.

Attached to the project: director
Looking for: producer, co-producer

Keywordsroad movie, loss of virginity, friendship, heat, violence

OSTRIŽENA / THE LAST MAN OF MARIJA PRAZER

short fiction
first draft of the script

A beautiful young widow returns to her native village and her mother’s hair salon. Roza, convinced that the widow cursed her husband, falls into the swirl of jealousy in which she loses her mind, and her hair. 

Attached to the project: director, producer
Looking for: co-producer

Keywordsjealousy, womanhood, Croatian South, revenge, magic realism

Filmography and Awards

2018 PUPANJE / BLOOMING, short film, writer/director

2018 PERSEPHONE, short film, writer/director/editor

2017 MAJDA’S POSES, short film, writer/director – Best Pitch Award, Kratki na brzinu Croatian Short Film Festival

2015 ŽENY/LADIES, short film, writer/director

 

My five favourite films

  1. La teta asustada (2009)
    by Claudia Llosa
  2. Samo jednom se ljubi (1981)
    by Rajko Grlić
  3. A Woman Under the Influence (1974)
    by John Cassavetes
  4. Hiroshima, mon amour (1959)
    by Alain Resnais
  5. Cries & Whispers (1972)
    by Ingmar Bergman

Favourite scene I wrote

INT. BOZICA’S HOUSE, LIVING ROOM – NIGHT

Corpse of LUKA (33), tall boney man of decadent appearance, is lying on the floor dressed in a suit. Gentle FEMALE HANDS are washing his motionless arms covered with tattoos and stab wounds.

BOZICA (37), fragile tiny woman conservatively dressed, with hair twisted in a neat bun, soaks the cloth in a bucket of water. She is humming Catholic song, pleading God to save Luka’s soul. Her facial expression gives away an impression of calmness, blissfulness.

She is wiping his hands, feet, forehead, gently touching his closed eyes, nose, cheeks. She buttons up his white shirt. The living room is in darkness, only the candles keep flickering.

BOZICA stuffs Luka’s nostrils, ears and mouth with cotton. She ties his hands and feet with a thin red rope, and places a rosary between his palms.

BOZICA covers the mirror in the living room with a large black cloth. 

Night vigil. Luke’s body is surrounded by tiny candles floating on olive oil in glasses, laid on the floor. Bozica lights the last of the candles.

BOZICA
For your soul to float lightly.

Bozica kneels down in front of Virgin Mary statue in the centre of the room. The Virgin is glorious, with small lamps around her crown, and flowers and pictures at the foot of the statue. Bozica stares at her meekly, dedicated.

BOZICA (CONT’D)
The souls of the just are in the
hand of God, and they shall not
suffer. To the ones who do not know
God it seems as if they are dying,
as if their departure is a matter
of misfortune; but we know they are
finally in peace.

My favourite film quote

“I thought that small talk was too small, I thought big talk was too pretentious, I thought music was noise, and I thought art was bullshit.”


Opening Night  (1977)