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Screen & Stage

Sweet Dreams

Feature film

'Bizarre and hilarious... A hysterically dark coming-of-age story ... It's the kind of neutral-hued, brutal nostalgia that only formerly Communist countries can pull off, and it's delightful from beginning to end.' - Annie Wagner, THE STRANGER

35 mm, 120 minutes. (novel King of the Rattling Spirits is based upon the film)

Shooting started on April 4th, 2000.


The premiere was at 4th Slovenian Film Festival March 30, 2001.

Film won:

  1. Award for the best feature film
  2. Award for the best actress – Veronika Drolc
  3. Award for the best screenplay – Miha Mazzini
  4. Synchro film award for the producer of the best film – Franci Zajc
  5. Slovenian film critics’ award for the best film
  6. Stop magazine award for the best actress of the year – Veronika Drolc

International awards:

  1. Special award for achievement at the 3rd film festival in Motovun, Croatia (2001)
  2. Golden Palm for best film at Mostra de Valencia XXII (2001)
  3. FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) film prize at the Troia Film Festival in Portugal (2002)
  4. “Der Heinrich” award at The Braunschweig Filmfest, Germany (2002)

A long time ago,
in the swinging sixties,
in a small appartment,
Uncle Vinko did the twist …

Vinko twisting …

Years later his relative was browsing the family photos …

For a long time, I wasn’t sure why I didn’t like going to the theatre. Which is, erm, morally dubious around these parts, to say the least. But then I realised I was not interested in small figures running to and fro, arranging themselves in perfect compositions. I don’t care about that. What I want to see are faces. An expression, a look – in short, a close-up.

And where are faces exhibited better than in old family albums? Moreover, their owners are mostly already dead or at least have completely transformed faces. And what used to be the biggest enemy of faces getting ready to be immortalised was not technology, but photographers. With their retouching efforts they made everybody beautiful – they erased any flaws and added anything which might need adding. They made small, tiny wax figures out of everyone. So I know what to expect from family albums and I am rarely surprised.

Imagine: you are turning yellowed pages; from your fingers falls the dust of the decaying glue, which still barely holds the photographs in place. The retouched faces staring solemnly out. Figures, in their Sunday best, held strictly erect. The first page, the second, the thirtieth. And then, with a page to itself, a photograph – and on it two people; not in the middle of being photographed for posterity, not in the middle of being immortalised, but in the middle of living.

Hm, this must be the Twist. What if I were to imagine a boy, growing up in a family of stiffs, who has a single relative, let us say an uncle, who is a real live wire. And what if… This is how my script for Sweet Dreams was born.

All I wanted to say is this: a good photograph is one hiding at least a feature film in it.

After five years of struggle, a lot of effort and the faith of many people uncle Vinko danced again …
Danced like he had never danced before.

Sweet dreams are made of this.

Vinko & girls

Film photos

The making of the Sweet Dreams

Promo leaflet (PDF file)