Tihana Lazović comes from Zadar, a small town on the coast of Croatia. She started acting when she was sixteen and studied at the Academy of Dramatic Arts of Zagreb. She played the piano for ten years and thought she would become a musician, but one day, she decided to go to an audition and the rest is history… She won the Best Actress Award at the 2015 Pula and Cottbus Film Festivals for her role in Dalibor Matanić’s “The High Sun” (“Zvizdan”). Her debut in Vinko Brešan’s hit comedy “The Priest’s Children” was followed with an acclaimed role in Lukas Nola’s “Hush”. In the Panorama Section at this year’s Berlinale, she stars in Zinko Ogresta’s “On the Other Side”. In addition to her work in Film, Tihana also works in the theater and is the lead singer of the jazz band One, Two, Trio.
One of the this year’s ten European Shooting Stars, she talks to Tara Karajica about her career, the current situation of the Croatian film industry, women in Film, and her next projects.
The High Sun was your big international break and your performance was highly praised by critics. Can you comment on that?
T.L.: Actually, the big break was my first feature film in which I played the leading role – Hush… by Lukas Nola but The High Sun was my first international big break, yes. I’m very proud of The High Sun because it was the first Croatian film in thirty years in Cannes, so it was a really big deal for all of us. And, I don’t know… I love that film! The people who worked on it… And, the shooting was great. It was definitely my big break and it is the reason why I am here.
You also play onstage and you sing in a jazz band…
T.L.: Yeah! I have my band and we’re all filmmakers; producers, actors and myself. It’s my passion. I mean, music is my first love…
And the theater, do you prefer it to Film?
T.H.: I work in theater and I work on Film. It’s as if you asked me which kid I love more! So, I do both.
I think we have great actresses in Croatia, but I think the men work more. I don’t know why.
What are your thoughts on the current situation of the Croatian film industry?
T.L.: I think it is much better than it used to be because we now have so many films at big festivals like the Berlinale, the Venice Film Festival, or Cannes… And, I think it’s going well. I mean, it’s hard to be here as a Shooting Star because I am from a small country, a small film industry and they’re all from big ones. I’m the only one from Eastern Europe. But, I’m proud of it.
And, what about women in the film industry? Also, how is it for women in the Croatian film industry?
T.L.: I think we have great actresses in Croatia, but I think the men work more. I don’t know why. We have so many great actresses who don’t work at all. So, it’s not a good situation, but I am very lucky to be able to work with great directors.
What do you expect of the European Shooting Stars?
T.L.: This program is very nice because you introduce yourself to the world. Honestly, the best part of it is to meet other Shooting Stars and people from other countries. I think it can help a lot to meet casting directors and agents. For example, I am the only one without an agent here.
And, you have a film here at the Berlinale…
T.L.: Yes! On the Other Side (S druge strane). It’s a film by Zrinko Ogresta. I have a supporting role and the premiere was last night. It was very nice! Like I said, I’m proud of Croatian cinema.
What are your next projects?
T.L.: At the moment, I am working in a TV series that Dalibor Matanić is directing and that’s all for now. I hope to go abroad as well.
This interview was conducted at the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival.