Born in 1944 in Maslinca on the island of Šolta, Croatia. Graduated from Marine School, got a degree in literature and fine arts at Teacher Training College in Split. He studied at the Prague Film Academy (FAMU) in the class of Academy Award winner Elmar Klos, graduating in 1971. He received a Ph.D. in film directing.
He moved to Zagreb after completing his Prague studies. In 1991, he left his homeland to finish the film The Decline of the Century (Testament L. Z.). From 1991 until the end of 1994 he lived in Paris. In 1992 he lived for one year in Vienna. From 1995 until 2005 he lived and worked in Prague. For the last 5 years, he has been working in Zagreb (Croatia) on his documentary TV series about Tito.
He now lives in Prague and in Zagreb. He is a father of a three children from two marriages, son Ivan and the twins - son Lordan Lav and daughter Loredana.
Lordan Zafranović has made 80 films and one documentary TV series in 13 episodes, each with duration of 55 minutes.
In 1960, at the age of sixteen, he began to make amateur films. By 1966, he shot around 25 amateur films, including Diary, Story, Breath, Rainy and Portraits (In Passing), winning numerous awards at home and abroad. In 1966 he received the highest award in the amateur film and was named Master of international amateur film.
Lordan appeared in professional film industry in 1965 with a short fiction film Long Live the Youth. By the year 1989, he completed more than 20 short films.
His notable short films include Ave Maria and The First Waltz, both from 1971, that were awarded Golden Medal of Belgrade, and a documentary Antiquity (1972), which was awarded Silver Medal of Belgrade. Movie Work Town Walls (1975) was awarded Golden Medal of Belgrade in 1976, and the middle length documentary Blood and Ashes of Jasenovac (1983) received Belgrade Festival Grand Prix.
His debut feature Sunday (1969) was shot when he was still a student. It was followed by Chronicle of a Crime (1973), compiled from three mid-length films. The film was awarded a prize at Chicago IFF. For the movie Passion According to Matthew (1975), about the Dalmatian life, he won the Critics' Award in Pula.
His famous and critically acclaimed An Occupation in 26 Pictures (1978) won the Grand Golden Arena in Pula and was the most watched movie in season 1978/79 in the former Yugoslavia and the former Czechoslovakia. It was the last Croatian feature to be screened in the main competition of the Cannes Film Festival. The film is the first part of the director's "war trilogy", followed by The Fall of Italy (1981), which premiered in Venice and won the Grand Prize and Golden Arena in Pula, Deer and Grand Prix in Valencia. The third film dedicated to war and revolution, Evening Bells (1986), concludes his "war trilogy". The film was awarded the Best Director prize in Pula.
In a completely different way, he later directed an intimate chamber drama, the love–themed Angel’s Bite (1984) with the action of the lighthouse. Haloa – The Whore’s Feast (1988), with the motif of a love triangle and elements of revenge and tragedy, won the Golden Arena in Pula for the Best actress.
He occasionally directed on television, his work includes a TV movie Murder in the Night Train (1974), which was made for Belgrade TV and Film About Guests and Labourers (1977) for TV Zagreb.
Synthesis of his entire filmmaking is a feature-length documentary film Decline of the Century / Testament L.Z. (1994), winner of the Czech Award for the Best Documentary in 1994.
This phase of his work culminates with the Czech feature film Lachrymose (Vengeance Is Mine, 1995), and mid-length documentary Who is M.Š (2000). Two documentary films Eyes of Beijing (2003) and China’s Terracotta Warriors (2003) won the Best Director awards at the Belgrade Festival of Documentary and Short Film. Documentary and experimental film Symphony of the Heaven City (2004) won the UNESCO Prize for the Best Documentary in 2004, prizes for Best Director of Documentary Film Festival in Belgrade in 2004 and award for Best Director at the World Festival of Ecological Film in 2005.
In the year 2012 Zafranović finished his six-year project, the documentary TV series "TITO – The Last Witness of the Testament" in 13 episodes. Reviews praised the series for their "exceptional quality", "devoid of the ideological approach" and "immeasurable value" that "gives credibility."
Zafranović is working on several projects and says his best film is yet to be shot.
Source: official web site of Lordan Zafranović http://www.lordanzafranovic.com used with the courtesy of Lordan Zafranović.