The chicken /

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As a present for her 6th birthday, Selma gets a live chicken. When she realises the animal is going to be killed to feed the family, she decides to save it and set it free, unaware of the high stakes such action will lead to. While trying to bring back the missing chicken, Selma’s mum becomes the target of a sniper shoot. It’s Sarajevo, year running 1993.

Germany & Croatia
15 min

Bristol Short Film Nominee


Screenwriter: Una Gunjak
Producer: Jelena Goldbach, Siniša Juricic
Director of Photography: Matthias Pilz
Editor: Anja Siemens
Production Design: Ivana Škrabalo
Original Score: Bernd Schurer
Sound Design: Sebastian Morsch, Raoul Brand
Main Cast: Iman Alibalic, Esma Alic, Mirela Lambic, Mario Knezovic

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Director’s statement

“The Chicken” is a very personal story for me. I have spent my childhood in war and that experience has not only marked my memories but has shaped my personality for the rest of my life. It took me many years to come to terms with the fact that, even though me and my family survived, the war has however killed something in each one of us. For me, it was my childhood that was killed, I became an adult when the first bombs fell, when I was forced to face the high stakes every new day brought. Childish games became dangerous and deadly, consequences of our even most benign and innocent actions became extremely cruel. You wake up as a child and you go to bed as an adult.


Director’s bio/filmography

Sarajevo born, London based editor and filmmaker. Sensitive listener, passionate storyteller, devoted worshiper of the moving image.

In my spare time I speak proficiently in English, Italian and Bosnian, fluently in French and I mostly make a fool of myself in Spanish.


2014 – THE CHICKEN, 15’ (First Film)


Trailer of the film:

The Chicken – trailer from Una Gunjak on Vimeo.

Q&A with the director

How long did it take to make your short? Was it dif- ficult to get financing?

From the moment I took it out of the drawer till the premiere, it took about 2 1/2 years. It was very diffi- cult to get it off the ground. I’m a Bosnian filmmaker, UK-based, with a background in editing; let’s say it involved a lot of application forms and pitches.

Which thoughts come to mind concerning a “Euro- pean cinema community”?

If I were to choose single words to associate with a European cinema community, they would be: charac- ter, diversity, voice, cultural wealth, co-production! I hate to think about cinema as a horse race and that is why, I guess, I chose these terms; I believe this is what filmmaking is in Europe.

If you owned a theatre for one night, which films would you screen?

I guess no one would leave the cinema without see- ing A SHORT FILM ABOUT LOVE. Then the audience would like it so much that we could just screen the entire DECALOGUE after which we could freestyle across the rest of Kieslowski’s catalogue.

What is your next project?

I am currently writing my first feature film, dealing with notions of female identity and migration.

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16 nominations, 12 wins

. Dallas International Film Festival 2015

Won Grand Jury Prize Best Short Film

. Days of Croatian Film 2014

Won Oktavijan Award Best Short Film

. European Film Awards 2014

Won Best Short Film Award

. Film Fest Kosova 2014

Won Festival Award Short Film

. Ljubljana International Film Festival 2013

Won Special Mention Short Film

. Palm Springs International ShortFest 2014

Won Jury Award Best Live Action 15 Minutes and Under

. San Francisco International Film Festival 2015

Won Golden Gate Award Best narrative short

. Sarajevo Film Festival 2014

Won Heart of Sarajevo Best short film

. Seattle International Film Festival 2015

Won Short Film Competition Award Live Action

“An expertly crafted narrative that explores life and death through the eyes of a young girl. With a film full of authentic performances, Iman Alibalic is extraordinary as the six-year-old protagonist who receives a live chicken from her father for her birthday, and soon realizes it’s meant for dinner. This is an emotional film with a production quality that continues to move the story along and underscore the realities of life in a war zone.”

. Stockholm Film Festival 2014

Won Aluminum Horse Best Short Film

“”A film that manages to make the audience experience the complex reality of war through the eyes of a 6-year old girl. The sensitive direction gives space for the young actors to shine. A birthday, a chicken, a window, a girl’s hands and face, sometimes the smallest details says more than any grand explanation.””

. Twister Alley International Film Festival 2015

Won Golden Twister – Jury Prize Short Film

Won Twister Award Best Foreign Short

On the web

On the web

Official website

European Film Adwards


video trailer

. review on


World Sales:

Salaud Morisset

Francois Morisset

Schönhauser Allee 8

10119 Berlin


+49 152 251 923 36


Zak Film Production

Jelena Goldbach

Hermann-Maaß-Str. 34

14482 Potsdam


+49 151 5608 6028




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