"A universal story"
by Gabriele Barcaro
- For the past decade, Danijel Hocevar has been one of the driving forces behind new Slovenian cinema and has produced the most celebrated recent domestic films
Cineuropa: Can you tell us how you produced Estrellita [+see also:
interview: Danijel Hočevar
interview: Metod Pevec
interview: Nerina Kocjančič
Danijel Hocevar: The film was made for €1.2m, and it is impossible to get that entire amount in Slovenia. We attended the Cinelink Project Market at the Sarajevo Film Festival in 2005 and found the German co-producer there [Mediapolis Film und Fernsehproduktion GmbH]. They were followed by partners from Macedonia (which is where lead actor Marko Kovacevik is from) and Bosnia. Somehow we put together the public funds and some TV co-producers, got the budget in place and started shooting in March 2006.
How important are initiatives such as CineLink?
Cinelink is the project market of the Sarajevo Film Festival. Like Cinemart in Rotterdam or the Mannheim Meetings, it is important especially for projects from smaller countries that also have problems closing financing. Sarajevo – which is probably the most important film festival in south-eastern Europe, or at least in the Balkans – created the market only for projects from this area. It’s much easier to get in touch and discuss with interested professionals [at Cinelink] than in Rotterdam because of the larger number of projects there that often come from more important countries. I think this is the future way of finding co-producers. I mean, you have your own contacts but if you’re looking for somebody new that’s the easiest way to find them.
You produced Metod Pevec’s first three films. What kind of director is he? Will your collaboration continue?
He’s a very interesting director because he makes films that are not very full of despair. They’re not very Eastern European! They’re trying to be much more communicative with the audience. They’re projects that are much more interesting for the audience and not really local. His three films – Carmen, Beneath Her Window and Estrellita – have universal stories, which is also important if you want to present projects abroad. We’re now developing two more scripts and hoping to get financing in the next year or two. They’re two contemporary stories but it’s too early to discuss the details.
What other projects do you have lined up in the immediate future?
My companies Emotionfilm and Vertigo have numerous projects in various stages of development. In two weeks we will present Damjan Kozole’s new film Forever at Rotterdam. Then we will be in the Panorama at the Berlinale with Teona Mitevska’s I Am from Titov Veles [+see also:
interview: Teona Strugar Mitevska
film profile], a Macedonian/French/Slovenian/Belgian co-production.