This year’s edition of Star Film Fest brings two feature films to the Sisak film screen, and one of them was declared the best documentary film of 2022 at the Trieste Film Festival and won the Oktavijan award for the best feature film of 2022.

The 2021 film Factory to the workers by director, screenwriter and cinematographer Srđan Kovačević tells the story of the workers who occupied the ITAS factory in Ivanec in 2005. Since then, they have been acting as a collective, becoming the only successful example of workers’ occupation in post-socialist Europe. Today, as they test the new model of collective ownership, the micro-world of the factory collides with the strong forces of the global market which has the effect of decreasing and irregular wages thus causing increasing dissatisfaction among workers. Over the course of five years, Srđan Kovačević returned regularly to shoot a film that shows the evolution of this collective enterprise. The factory tells the story of workers who challenged the dominant economic narrative with their actions. After a decade, the same question remains: can a factory in the hands of workers survive on the periphery of capitalism, or do we need a bigger dream?

“I belong to a generation whose growing up was strongly marked by the Croatian post-war privatization process, the transition of resources from joint ownership to private ownership. I witnessed the shutdown of many factories that fed entire families. ITAS was a different example: the only factory in the former Yugoslavia (and Europe), where the workers organized themselves and physically took over and managed to continue production. My initial intention was to show the factory as a good example, to share knowledge with the hope that such efforts can pave the way for a more just economy. But my daily presence among the workers made me realize that the story is much more complex. Capitalism as a system is still the framework within which all alternative forms of production must survive. Workers are torn between loyalty to the idea of ​​self-management and the need for higher incomes that ITAS cannot provide. As large German companies use the ITAS factory to outsource their work, ITAS is also stuck in its peripheral position. Factory to the workers wants to show the complexity of the capitalist economy, which determines alternative organizational models much more than the romanticized perspective is willing to admit.” 

Srđan Kovačević

The screening of the film Factories for workers will take place on Thursday, September 1 at 9:15 pm on the Slava Striegl promenade in Sisak.

Scroll to Top