A small Slovenian village on the border with Croatia has fifty houses, a chapel, a fire station, two crosses, and a strong dialect. The houses in the village are large because the parents planned that the “youth” would live above them all their lives. That is also the house that Tatjana (40) lives in. If there is enough physical space for more than two people, little emotional space is left. The village is surrounded by beautiful nature; the balconies of the houses overlook the street, where they can be best seen. More important than the view from the balcony is the view from it. Even the yards are arranged to look nice from the street, and no one ever uses them.
Tatjana differs from the environment in that she recognizes this learned and absurd normality, which does not make anyone happy. She is a dreamer who loves her home village but not the way of life that automatically comes with it; to live her own way, she needs her own space. She yearns for the simple joy of sipping coffee on a piece of land where no one would interfere or at least comment on her decision. She is tired of having her every move commented on and constantly listening to others’ opinions. Since her simple wish is unattainable in a conventional way, she follows her instinct and goes the shortest way to feel a glimpse of the independence she craves.
Even though it is set in a real village, the Little House universe is stylized. Everyday life and the world are enhanced visually by the set design, the costumes, and the camera that looks for symmetry and color contrasts in a simple Panonian village. I will shoot with actors combined with non-professional actors. The dialogue would be in everyday language but precise and clear, moving the story forward rather than contemplating the theme.
I want to shoot the comical elements in wide shots, where the placement of the little house between the neighbor’s house and the parents’ house is evident. I also want to film the rest of the comic scenes in wide shots (for example, when Tatjana loads her suitcases in the car and drives to her new home, two meters from the old one.
Tonally, I want to shoot a bitter comedy built on visual contrasts: juxtaposing Tatjana’s dream with reality, beauty with ugliness, and her quiet rebellion against conventional norms. It’s a clash between the visions of “normal life” that two generations can’t agree upon although living under the same roof. Through humor and wit, I aim to explore the absurdities of the housing situation, the weight of societal expectations, and the pursuit of personal liberation.
Vertigo, based in Ljubljana, Slovenia since 1994, has been a steadfast presence in Slovenia’s and international film industry. Known for its dedication to fostering both established and emerging talents, the company has played a pivotal role in bringing local stories to a wider audience. Vertigo’s portfolio boasts a diverse range of over 40 feature films, 20 documentaries, 50 short films, and several TV series. Some of the latest titles are ‘Pero’ by Damjan Kozole (Rotterdam IFF, 2023), ‘The Happiest Man in the World’ by Teona S. Mitevska (Venice FF, 2022) and ‘Small Body’ by Laura Samani (Cannes FF in 2021).