A powerful, true story of two 13-year-old girls; Lea Deutsch — known as the Croatian Shirley Temple, and her dancing partner, Daria Gasteiger. Selling out theatres and praised by critics hailing from both Croatia and Europe, the dancing duo comes face to face with the political realities of World War II. During the Nazi persecution of Jews and the later German nationals’ flight from Communists, a dramatic friendship is born through entertainment and dance, but also anxiety.
Directed by: Branko IvandaProduced by: Lidija IvandaWritten by: Branko Ivanda & Drago KekanovicSupported by: Croatian Audiovisual Center City of Zagreb-Office for Education, Culture and Sports
« I saw the film at the Cannes Film Festival this year and was so exited.... that I chased the filmmaker all over Cannes,” said Rabbi Kipen (director of JFF Australia).» Australian Jewish News
“Two of the films of particularly powerful resonance are Branko Ivanda's, Lea and Daria, from Croatia, and Ami Drozd's My Australia, a joint Israeli and Polish production.” Tne Rosenbaum, HUFF POST NEW YORK
“today i saw the most awesome film at the jewish film festival. the film was lea and daria… i would like to eventually see the documentary, but i think that the historical fiction version is amazing. it really brings the story to life.” frum female blog
The most impressive film in the Festival! Frum Female, New York
In the hands of Branko and Lidija Ivanda this recreation of childhood rivalry is an artistic blend of feel good dance flick and edge-of-the-seat nail biter. ACMI, Melbourne
The lure of musical theater as an escapist fantasy takes a touching turn into magic realism.