Baltic Event Co-Production Market

Uncomfortable Beings

Original title
Slovenia, Croatia
drama, family film

After the death of their father, three sisters realize it's time to become a family.


EMA (36) is in charge of selling her family house after her father's death. While struggling to agree on their childhood memories, Ema and her two older sisters face a devastating blow when the middle sister, mother of three, gets a cancer scare. Ema takes on the responsibility of taking care of her nephews and grows close to her sister's husband. Meanwhile, her longtime partner wants her to reconsider their mutual decision not to have kids. Ema is questioning her whole life and feeling violently guilty, but she learns that real comfort only comes when you let it go.

More info about the project

EMA (36) is emptying the family home after the death of their father, but her two sisters RUBI (49) and MEGI (42) disagree with her about selling it. Clearing the family history makes the three sisters aware of how different their childhoods were, so Ema holds on to their mother’s belongings to feel her presence again. The family faces a blow when the middle sister Megi gets a cancer scare – the same type that killed their mother years ago. While waiting for results, Megi asks her sisters to take care of her three kids while she dives into self care and explores a vast range of possible treatments – from official to card-reading sessions. Sisters both step up to help, but Rubi's free-spirited nature leaves Ema to shoulder most of the responsibility. Ema, a Resident of Psychiatry, has an issue with alternative medicine but is silently going along and reliving time spent with their dying Mom. She finds solace in looking after her nephews, from grocery shopping to reading bedtime stories. Meanwhile, Ema's long-term partner MILOŠ (39) is also struck by this potential loss and is reconsidering their mutual decision to stay a childless couple, which leaves Ema feeling even more pressured and alone. Tired of always being nice and polite, she opens up to new people, including Megi’s husband IGOR (43). As they grow closer to each other, the guilt of near-betrayal tears Ema apart. She resorts to all sorts of reckless behaviour, but even ramming her car into a random vehicle doesn't seem to help. Ema talks about taking responsibility for her patient, but is she herself taking it? Confrontation is inevitable. After learning Megi is free of cancer the sisters make Ema aware of how poorly she knows herself and how vigorously she’s clinging on to her past. Along with emptying the family house, Ema also has to make room inside herself. And her sisters happen to have a place there, too.

Director's note:
A few years ago, I received a call that a friend my age had been diagnosed with breast cancer. My coordinate system, then built around newfound motherhood, was instantly shaken – while the whole world was telling me to enjoy the most beautiful period of my life, a thought had entered my world – in all statistical probability of life expectancy, from this moment on I will receive more and more calls about illnesses, deaths and divorces and less and less messages about new jobs, new children, new homes.
In 2020, I began writing a film about a generation that is expected to have mastered life, but in fact, has no idea about it. The script is now at its 5th draft and has, during rewriting and developing, significantly focused on becoming an intimate film about family and the individual’s place inside it.

Producer's note:
Screenwriter and director Maja Križnik already attracted my attention with her student short film Little Fish and later also with the script for her debut feature Uncomfortable Beings, for which she received the script development support of the Slovenian Film Centre. The plot and especially the dialogues touched me on a personal level since I have experienced similar events with my two sisters. Without any hesitation, I decided that I wanted to work with Maja and our first step was to apply to the project development call of the Slovenian Film Centre. After that, we shot a teaser and in August, we were granted the support of SFC’s call for production. Our next step is to apply to the call for minority co-productions in Croatia. The cooperation with the Croatian production company Pipser, run by Miljenka Čogelja, our long-time collaborator and the producer of Juraj Lerotić’s Safe Place, has already been confirmed. We are considering the possibility of another coproducer.

Lija Pogačnik
Director, Screenwiter
Maja Križnik
Project Status
1090000 €
584000 €
Looking for
co-producers, sales agent, distributors, foreign broadcasters, public funds (national, regional, international), technical in-kind participation
Contact name
Lija Pogačnik
Contact email
Contact web
Maja Križnik
Director, Screenwiter
Maja Križnik

After graduating in Comparative Literature and Philosophy, Maja Križnik graduated from the Academy of Theater, Radio, Film, and Television in Ljubljana; majoring in Film and Television Directing. For her graduation film Little Fish (2016), she received the Vesna Award for Best Study Film at the 19th Festival of Slovenian Film. She occasionally leads screenwriting workshops for children and youth and works as an assistant director.

2023 Uncomfortable Beings, in development | feature film | director and screenwriter 2022 Telenovela | 2nd Season of TV series – Voyo | co-director 2019 (Un)Wanted: Yesterday’s Newspaper | short animated film | production ZVVIKS | co- screenwriter / in production 2015 Little Fish | student short film | director and screenwriter 2015 Zoo | student short film | director and screenwriter

Lija Pogačnik
Lija Pogačnik

After graduating in Translation and Interpreting from the Faculty of Arts she worked on the translations and adaptations of screenplays, children's books, and contemporary theatre plays. While gaining first experience on film sets and in film production she was also employed as the music program manager and assistant CEO at a theatre company. In 2013 she co-founded the film production company December with producer Vlado Bulajić who has since produced 3 shorts, 2 features, and 2 documentaries.

Inventory, 2021 Bitch, a Derogatory Term for a Woman, 2021 The Invisible Hand of Adam Smith, 2017