Slovenia, Germany, France


The steak has been marinating for a few days now. The pan is heated. Franc’s stomach is rumbling. But Liza’s co-workers surprise her with a birthday party. Will she be home on time?

Director's Statement

In my new short animated film STEAKHOUSE I address the challenging topic of dispute resolution between four walls. Psychological violence is something invisible. It remains hidden among us, seldom leaves the anonymity and appears in the open only in its most terrible form. Concealment is its greatest strength. It leaves no bruises, fractures, blood, but devastated souls. Souls wandering in mazes of depression, self-destruction, low self-esteem and fighting for a spark of human dignity. From a legal perspective, psychological violence is extremely difficult, as there is almost no evidence. People who are exposed to it remain in most cases alone, without help, obliged to silence and left to the will of their perpetrators.

This topic seems extremely interesting to me for further exploration of the multiplane collage technique that I used in my previous film NIGHTHAWK. Due to its pronounced fluidity, the multiplane technique can also very cunningly create different illusions of space and hypnotic transitions between them. This allows the story to be narrated in a unique way that is only possible in the world of animated film. The central part, in which the protagonist grills the steak, is in this regard particularly fitting. The smoke that is then released fills the room, making our eyes water and giving us a reality that can very well flirt with an illusion. In this manner also the sound of the film has been built, with sizzling, humming and crackling of the kitchen utensils.

With this film I want to invade the privacy of a couple. I want to observe the mechanisms through which their lives run. Where is the border between normal and abnormal? I wonder why someone allows him- or herself to become a victim and why does the other need this sacrifice? Is it possible that the hangman and his victim are happy in their relationship? Above all, I want to immerse myself in the atmosphere of a closed apartment, unspoken words and constant fear.

Director's Biography

Špela Čadež is animation director and co-founder of Finta Studio in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Her films have received 100+ awards at festivals worldwide and were screened in competition selections such as the Sundance Film Festival, Clermont Ferrand and Annecy. A passionate advocate for the analogue, Čadež has impressed with films in puppet and cut-out animation techniques.
In 2018 Špela was invited to become a member of the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

2013 - BOLES
2010 - LAST MINUTE, co-dir. Marina Rosset
2008 - MARATHON, co-dir. Izabela Plucinska

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Špela Cadež

Written by: Gregor Zorc

Produced by: Tina Smrekar, Špela Cadež, Fabian Driehorst, Emmanuel-Alain Raynal, Pierre Baussaron, Olivier Catherin

Editing: Iva Kraljevic

Original Score: Olfamož , Tomaž Grom

Sound: Johanna Wienert

Animation: Špela Cadež, Anka Kocevar, Zarja Menart, Clémentine Robach

Nominations and Awards

  • Short Film Candidates 2022