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These Are the Rules

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These Are the Rules
These Are the Rules Poster 01.jpg
Takva su pravila
Directed byOgnjen Sviličić[1]
Written byOgnjen Sviličić[1]
StarringEmir Hadžihafizbegović
Jasna Žalica
Hrvoje Vladisavljević[1]
CinematographyCrystel Fournier[1]
Edited byAtanas Georgiev[1]
Maxima film
Biberche Production
Trice Films[1]
Release dates
  • August 29, 2014 (2014-08-29) (Venice Film Festival)
  • January 29, 2015 (2015-01-29) (Croatia)
Running time
77 minutes[1]
BudgetHRK 8.2 million[2]
(c. 1.1 million)

These Are the Rules (Croatian: Takva su pravila) is a Croatian 2014 drama film written and directed by Ognjen Sviličić.


Maja (Jasna Žalica), Ivo (Emir Hadžihafizbegović) and their 18-year-old son Tomica (Hrvoje Vladisavljević) are an ordinary family from Zagreb. Maja and Ivo are nearing retirement and are struggling financially while Tomica is unemployed after graduating from high school.

One day, for no apparent reason, Tomica is attacked and beaten by a group of kids in the street. The next day, he suffers from a strong headache. His parents take him to hospital, but the doctors find only minor injuries. Soon after, Tomica collapses and slides into a coma, and it becomes clear that his condition is life-threatening. Maja and Ivo are suddenly thrown into a challenging situation, in which they decide to fight against the apathetic system.[3]


Production and themes

The film's screenplay is inspired by a real-life 2008 incident in which Luka Ritz, an 18-year-old high school graduate, died of injuries sustained in a seemingly senseless attack by a group of teens. His case received high-profile media coverage in Croatia and led to the establishment of the national Luka Ritz Award for the promotion of tolerance and non-violence in schools. In the words of Ognjen Sviličić:[4]

This event made me think about his parents, and how they dealt with this tragedy. I imagined ordinary people, who had always obeyed the laws and the rules. But now, when they are faced with this horrible tragedy, no one wants to help them, and they are unable to do anything about it. No one listens to them, no one cares, they are simply not important. These people represent the majority that suffers quietly, and also carries on through the injustices done to them. My story is dedicated to these people.


The film's world premiere took place on 29 August 2014, in the Horizons section of the 71st Venice International Film Festival.[2][5] It was the first Croatian film shown at the Venice Film Festival since Zrinko Ogresta's Red Dust in 1999.[6]


The film won the Jury Grand Prix at 2014's Les Arcs International Film Festival.[7][8] Ognjen Sviličić won the Best Director award at the Warsaw Film Festival in Poland. Emir Hadžihafizbegović won the Venice Horizons Award for Best Actor or Actress at the 71st Venice International Film Festival in Italy and had also won the Golden Arena for Best Actor at the Pula Film Festival in Croatia.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "These Are the Rules (Takva su pravila)". Cineuropa. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b "FNE at Venice IFF 2014: Croatia's These Are The Rules". 29 August 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  3. ^ "Takva su pravila". (in Croatian). Retrieved 29 August 2014.
  4. ^ "TAKVA SU PRAVILA (THESE ARE THE RULES) - OGNJEN SVILICIC". Retrieved 29 August 2014.
  5. ^ "Svjetska premijera Sviličićeva filma na Mostri". (in Croatian). Croatian Radiotelevision. 29 August 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  6. ^ "'TAKVA SU PRAVILA' Sviličićev film u konkurenciji festivala u Veneciji!". Jutarnji list (in Croatian). HINA. 24 July 2014. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
  7. ^ Fabien Lemercier (2014-12-19). "Les Arcs crowns The Fool". Cineuropa.
  8. ^ Elsa Keslassy (2014-12-19). "Yury Bykov's 'The Fool' Wins Top Prize at Les Arcs". Variety. Retrieved 2015-01-05.
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These Are the Rules
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