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                                                                                                                     Saturday 18 May 2019

                  FIVE FILMMAKERS TO WATCH

                  SRDJAN KEČA                             and director had two fi lms at the 2019 Berlinale:
                                                          as the DOP on Angela Schanelec’s Silver Bear
                  Documentary director, producer and editor whose   winner I Was at Home, But and co-director of the
                  fi lms A Letter to Dad, Mirage, and Escape screened at   Forum title From Tomorrow on, I Will with Chinese
                  festivals such as IDFA, DOK Leipzig, and Full   fi lmmaker Wu Lingfeng. He is now working as
                  Frame. Flotel Europa, which he produced and   DOP on the new projects by Schanelec and Salatić   FIVE UPCOMING FILMS
                  edited, premiered at the 2015 Berlinale, winning   and preparing his second feature, Ios.
                  the Tagesspiegel Jury Award. He is now directing
                  and producing Museum of the Revolution, a   MILICA TOMOVIĆ                          USERS
                  co-production with Croatia, which won awards at                                     Fiction • Director, writer: Ivan Ikić • Cast: Maruša
                  East Doc Platform and ZagrebDox Pro and is   Th  e screenwriter and director whose short   Majer, Goran Bogdan, Valentino Zenuni, Tijana
                  expected to be released in May 2020.    fi lm Transition was a hit on the festival   Marković, Marijana • Production: Sense Production
                                                          circuit and brought her the Heart of Sarajevo   (Serbia), Tramal Films (Slovenia), Kepler Film
                  JELENA MAKSIMOVIĆ                       for Best Short Film in 2016, is in post-production   (Netherlands), Les Films D’Antoine (France)
                                                          with the highly anticipated feature debut Celts.   • Synopsis: A love triangle between two girls and a
                  One of the most wanted Serbian editors, whose   Set in Belgrade in 1993, when Serbia was   boy, users of the Home for Children and Youth with
                  recent credits include the Cannes title    e Load by   at war and under UN embargo, it follows   Special Needs. In a system with strict rules of conduct,
                  Ognjen Glavonić, Ivan Salatić’s Venice Critics Week   a middle-aged housewife burdened with   the teenagers’ emotions erupt, driving them to an
                  entry You Have the Night, and Mladen Kovačević’s   day-to-day chores who discovers masturbation   emancipation from it.
                                                                                                      • Expected release: 2020
                  Visions du Reel prizewinner 4 Years in 10 Minutes,   after a full year without sex with
                  debuted last year as director with feature-length   her husband.
                  documentary Taurunum Boy, recently awarded at                                       MAMONGA
                  ZagrebDox. In addition to editing new fi lms by   ČARNA VUČINIĆ                     Fiction • Director: Stefan Malešević
                  Kovačević, Marta Popivoda (see Upcoming Films),                                     • Writers: Stefan Malešević, Zorica Milisavljević,
                  and feature debuts by Milica Tomović and Dušan   Th  e young producer known for acclaimed   Simon Marić • Cast: Marta Bjelica, Dražen Pavlović,
                  Kasalica, she is preparing her second fi lm as   short fi lms by Dušan Zorić, Foreign Body   Nabi Tang, Vuk Janošević • Production: Nana 143
                  director, Winds Erase the Sound.        (2018, Biennale de Venezia, Zagreb          (Serbia), SFA, Slovo Film (both Bosnia and
                                                          Film Festival) and Love (2017, Visions du Reel,   Herzegovina), Code Blue Production (Montenegro)
                  IVAN MARKOVIĆ                           Sarajevo Film Festival) is now in pre-production   • Synopsis: A modern triptych with fragmented
                                                          with the feature Metamorphoses, co-directed   dramaturgical structure, connected by the characters of
                  After lensing Ivan Salatić’s You Have the Night, the   by Zorić and Matija Gluščević (see Upcoming   two adolescents from a bleak, patriarchal Bosnian town,
                  Belgrade-born and Berlin-based cinematographer   Films).                            haunted by a trauma that happened 10 years ago.
                                                                                                      • Expected completion: May 2019
                 incentives are the Chinese feature Belgrade Escape and   All this led to a tectonic shift in the Serbian theatrical market,   IN THE PRAISE OF LOVE
                 India’s Crimson Red Sky by Mani Ratnam, as well as Uri: The   with Hollywood majors’ share in 2018 dropping to only
                 Surgical Strike, starring Vicky Kaushal.   51.5%. This also means an increased share for local films on   Documentary • Director, writer: Tamara Drakulić
                                                                                                      • DOP: Tamara Drakulić, Igor Djordjević
                 Serbia’s profile as a shooting destination could be boosted by   one hand, and independent and European titles on the other,   • Editors: Jelena Maksimović, Tamara Drakulić
                 the return of Belgrade’s Avala Studios. Now it has new owners:  which now account for around 19% of the market each.   • Production: Monkey Production (Serbia)
                 Czech company Sebra and Hong Kong-registered Feel Max,   But this is hardly the most important increase the Serbian   • Synopsis: Repetitive life cycles of a dying village in
                 who announced an investment €50m with the aim of reviving   film industry saw in the last year. Crucially, public funding   the Mexican desert, its myths and historical details,
                 the facilities. If this indeed goes through under the CEO Peter   available for local films, either a purely national productions   are intertwined with a performance of Romeo and Juliet
                 Dajko and director of development Vladimir Kuba, formerly   or both majority and minority co-productions, jumped 49%   by local teenagers.
                 of Prague’s Barrandov Studios, Serbia’s competitiveness in the  compared with 2017, to total of €7.6m.   • Expected completion: December 2019
                 field could skyrocket.                   The number of films produced soared from 2017’s 28 feature-
                 It’s already common knowledge that Serbian films do well at   length fiction and documentary movies to 37 in 2018, with
                 home upon local theatrical release. This was again the case in   minority co-productions rising from three to 11. The latter   RESISTING LANDSCAPES
                 2018, with Miloš Avramović’s crime-action-comedy South   included high-profile films such as Angela Schanelec’s Silver   (AKA FREEDOM LANDSCAPES)
                 Wind selling more than 600,000 admissions and earning   Bear winner I Was at Home, But, Montenegrin filmmaker Ivan   Documentary • Director: Marta Popivoda
                 €1.7m, while Petar Ristovski’s World War I epic King Peter  Salatić’s Venice Critics Week entry You Have the Night (both   • Writers: Ana Vujanović, Marta Popivoda
                 the First racked up 166,001 admissions. They were joined   lensed by Serbian DOP Ivan Marković), and Greek director   • DOP: Ivan Marković • Production:    eory at Work
                 early this year by Miroslav Stamatov’s comedy Taxi Blues,   Nikos Labôt’s Toronto title Her Job.   (Serbia), Bocalupo Films (France), Marta Popivoda
                 which has sold 248,726 tickets after seven weeks on release   As for the international prominence of Serbian majority   (Germany) • Expected completion: Early 2020
                 in 2019, and its tally stands at €763,253 at the moment of   productions, by far the biggest contribution came from   • Synopsis: A voyage through the landscapes of the
                 writing this article.                    Ognjen Glavonić’s The Load which world-premiered in   vanishing memory of Sonja, the   rst WWII partisan
                                                          Cannes Directors’ Fortnight and went on to win a slew awards   woman in Serbia and a member of the Resistance at
                 THE RUSSIAN CONNECTION                   at festivals including Sarajevo, Cottbus, Haifa, Ljubljana,   Auschwitz. Her story travels trough time towards a
                 A more interesting phenomenon is the popularity of new   Marrakech, Trieste and Zagreb.   new generation of anti-fascist activists today.
                 Russian films among Serbian audiences. A number of Serbian   Early 2019 saw two Serbian films grab attention at the
                 actors have been starring in Russian films, namely Milan   Berlinale, with Miroslav Terzić’s drama-thriller Stitches world-  METAMORPHOSES
                 Marić in the Berlinale 2018 competition entry Dovlatov, and   premiering in Panorama and placing second in the race for   Fiction • Directors, writers: Dušan Zorić, Matija
                 hearthrob Miloš Biković in the figure skating-themed   the audience award, and docu-fiction hybrid From Tomorrow   Gluščević • Cast: Ksenija Marinković, Radoje Čupić,
                 blockbuster Ice (Lyod), which added some €347,504 from   on, I Will, co-directed by Ivan Marković and China’s Wu   Bojan Žirović, Olga Odanović, Nenad Ćirić, Isidora
                 its Serbian run to its €23.7m it made at home. And at the   Linfeng bowing in Forum.   Simijonović • Production: Non-Alligned Films
                 moment, Biković is killing it at the box office in the Russian-  One industry field is not improving though: independent and   (Serbia) • Status: In pre-production
                 Serbian co-production The Balkan Line, an action war film   arthouse exhibition. European, world and documentary   • Synopsis: This doppelgänger drama with elements of
                 based on a true event from the 1999 Kosovo War, with several   cinema is basically represented only at festivals. However, all   fantasy in three chapters follows middle-aged Draginja,
                 popular Serbian actors and even Emir Kusturica appearing in   other elements accumulated indicate a general upward   as she evolves from story to story, changing her
                 a side role. Hitting on the patriotic notes and the mythical   movement in the Serbian film industry, with new   character in order to achieve happiness and belonging.
                 Serbian-Russian brotherhood, the film has sold 236,527   opportunities opening up from Hollywood to Bollywood to
                 tickets in Serbia in five weeks.         China.✦

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