The Pula Film Festival in Croatia is one of the most interesting festivals in the world. Not only is it Croatia’s premier festival, but the screenings take place inside a Roman amphitheatre. One of the films that will be screening in this year’s competition is Rebecca Daly’s emotional drama Mammal.

Mammal will compete with top films from around the world, including Athina Rachel Tsangari’s Greek drama Chevalier,  Carlos del Castillo’s Between Sea and Land, Mia Hansen-Love’s Things to Come, Lucile Hadzihalilovic’s Evolution, and Gan Bi’s Kaili Blues. The festival also includes 16 feature films from Croatia itself, as well as premieres for Hollywood films Independence Day: Resurgence, Ice Age: Collision Course, and Ghostbusters.

The second feature from Rebecca Daly (The Other Side of Sleep), Mammal is a tightly focused exploration of the troubling bond formed between two damaged people. Margaret (Rachel Griffiths) lives a determinedly quiet life in Dublin with little social life save for solitary trips to the local swimming pool. Her self-imposed isolation ends when she receives a phone call from ex-husband Matt (Michael McElhattan) telling her the son she abandoned in infancy, now a teenager, has gone missing, news which coincides with her decision to give shelter to Joe (Barry Keoghan), a homeless boy she finds beaten up outside her house. As Margaret’s relationship with Joe grows more intimate it becomes uncertain whether her attraction to the boy is that of a surrogate son or a potential lover.

Written by Rebecca Daly and Glenn Montgomery, the film is produced by Macdara Kelleher for Fastnet Films (Strangerland, Kisses, The Other Side of Sleep) with co-producers Calach Films in Luxembourg and Rinkel Film in The Netherlands. The film was funded by Bord Scannán na hEireann / the Irish Film Board (IFB), Luxembourg Film Fund, BAI, TV3, the Dutch Film Fund and the Dutch Production incentive.

The 63rd Pula Film Festival will run July 9th to 16th.

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