Slovenian Girl (originally Slovenka; US title A Call Girl) is a 2009 Slovenian film directed by Damjan Kozole. In the film, Aleksandra, a twenty-three-year-old Slovenian, leads a double life: she is a respectable student and a call girl. The film stars Nina Ivanišin. Slovenian Girl premiered at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival, and it was released theatrically in more than 30 countries, including the US.
According to Shaz Bennett of Moving Pictures Magazine, "the film is ultimately a fascinating study of free enterprise in free fall. In this mesmerizing chamber piece, director Damjan Kozole has contrived a new style of narrative to convey a view of capitalist culture at once outrageous and non-judgmental."
Set in Ljubljana in 2008, the time of the Slovenian presidency of the European Union, Aleksandra (Nina Ivanišin) is a 23-year-old English language student. She comes from a small town. Her parents are divorced and she hardly sees her mom. No one knows that Aleksandra runs personal ads under the nickname “Slovenka” ('Slovenian girl'), and that prostitution is her secret source of income.
Aleksandra is very good at manipulating others (including her father and ex-boyfriend); she is an accomplished liar, and also a bit of a thief. She resents her mother and regards her as being selfish. Her ambition is to escape the banality of her home town and settle in the big city in style, but her clandestine job leads her to a dangerous encounter with local criminals, and suddenly she must live in fear as she struggles to maintain her income.
The film was screened at more than 70 international film festivals including Sarajevo Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, London Raindance, Montreal, Pusan, Warsaw, Valencia, São Paulo, Cairo, Thessaloniki, Les Arcs, Palm Springs, Gothenburg, Rotterdam International Film Festival, Chicago, New York, Edinburgh, Jerusalem, Cinessonne Paris.
According to Variety, Slovenian Girl is “one of the most coolly calculating antiheroines to grace the silver screen”. Daily Film Dose says the film “is a resolutely grim, haunting, beautifully crafted and powerfully acted story of a young woman. This is a heart-breaking movie.” For Film Monthly “a Call Girl is an exciting movie to experience because it is a film that seems to value character over plot, and substance over style. With a elegantly written script that creates real three-dimensional characters, and a sparse aesthetic style, director Damjan Kozole’s affecting character study creates a distinctive mood that is hard to shake off.” The French newspaper Le Figaro says “lie by lie, the heroine is becoming more appealing, thanks to the incredible performance of Nina Ivanišin. It is she who carries the film, and thanks to her the film is a 'must see.'" According to Moving Pictures Magazine, “Slovenian Girl is a haunting meditation on capitalism and the world's oldest profession,” while Mike Goodridge in Screen Daily says "it’s a clever metaphor for the dubious values of capitalism and personal gain which have spread fast through the new Europe."
- Grand Prix - Best film at the 2012 Girona Film Festival, Spain
- Best director Award at the 2012 Girona Film Festival, Spain
- Best screenplay Award at the 2012 Girona Film Festival, Spain
- Best actress Award at the 2012 Girona Film Festival, Spain
- European Film Academy, in selection for the best European film 2010
- Prix du Public at the 2010 Festival du cinéma européen in Essonne, France
- Best actress Award at the 2010 Festival du cinéma européen in Essonne, France
- Best actress Award at the 2009 Mostra de Valencia, Spain
- Best actress Award at the 2009 Les Arcs European Film Festival, France