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‘Legend of the Lopud Orphan’ Animated Film

Croatian President Ivo Josipovic has lent his support to the production team currently working on ‘Legend of the Lopud Orphan’, an animated film set on Lopud island near Dubrovnik. Roland Peharec was received at the President’s residence along with other production team members this week where the project was officially presented. The film aims to preserve and popularize the true story which is a pearl of Croatian historical and cultural heritage.

Following the meeting President Josipovic sent this letter of support to the production team, ”I recently attended the anniversary celebration of the UNESCO Convention on Intangible Heritage in Dubrovnik which discussed how to preserve and manage intangible heritage in a modern way. Presenting legends in animated film is just one of those examples, by using modern media and language to recount the story and awaken in young people  the desire to learn about their heritage. I believe that this film will find a way to not only local audiences, but also beyond the borders of our country, and thereby become an ambassador of Croatian cultural heritage.”

The film ‘The Legend of Lopud Orphan’ is the story of  tragic lovers which was recorded in the archives of Dubrovnik in a document from1483. Regardless of the fact that the story is based on real events, the story of Mara from Lopud or Lopud Orphan over time became a folk tale, and then morphed into a legend, whose beauty was recognised by the great wordsmiths like Gundulić, Preradović, Botic, Šegvić and Ročić.

The film wishes to bring attention to the fact that in Croatian cultural heritage, there are many stories like this that are in true danger of being completely forgotten before they are told in the right way, and presented to the wider public.
The filmmakers will pay special attention to faithful reconstruction of the time in which the story takes place, with full respect to fact, historical and archival materials in the treatment of architecture, mise en scene, folklore, costumes, languages ​​(accents) and other authentic features of the period.

The main male character will be played by Dubrovnik actor Niksa Kuselj, with pre-production complete, official production is set to begin in around 15 days.

About the legend

The legend of forbidden love between a gentleman and orphan is based on real events from the second half of the 15th century. Together with her three brothers, Mara lived in a dilapidated fisherman’s house on the island of Lopud above Sunj bay. Mara’s parents passed away while Mara was small and although the youngest , Mara is like a mother and father to her brothers. In the neighboring , equally dilapidated fisherman’s house live Mara’s friend Cvijeta and her brother Niko. Mara and Cvijeta get along well and socialise, just like Mara’s brothers and Niko, who often go fishing together . Mara sees Niko as a friend , and a fourth brother, and behaves accordingly towards him, however, Niko’s feeling for Mara are anything but fraternal –  he is fatally in love with her. Niko feels her lack of interest and waits patiently, trying little by little to win Mara’s heart.

One summer afternoon , Mara’s brothers and Niko and go fishing. In the evening, the weather deteriorates turning into a tremendous storm. While getting ready for bed , Mara thinks that in a gust of wind she hears a cry for help . Mara goes Cvijeta who, it turns out, also heard something. The Fishermen’s daughters used to the fickle nature of summer weather, decide to check out what is going on. They embark on a boat in a storm and wealthy man’s stranded sailboat. Climbing aboard they discover an unconscious young man’s body. Somehow they manage to untangle him from the ropes that are entwined around him and the wooden beams that had fallen over his legs.  They then transfer him on to their boat and take him to Mara’s house. Before dawn they manage to warm him up and bring him back to life. After the storm, around noon, Mara’s brothers and Niko return alive and well. Along the way they stopped by to Lopud, learning that the only son of one of the richest noblemen in Dubrovnik, Ivan, has been lost in the storm. Immediately they realise that girls have rescued him.