Siniša Juričić • Nukleus Film
by Vladan Petkovic
02/05/2012 - Siniša Juričić is one of the participants in Producers on the Move, and a co-producer of the Critics' Week entry Sofia's Last Ambulance [trailer] by Bulgarian director Ilian Metev, a feature documentary produced by Bulgaria's SIA, Germany's Sutor Kolonko and Juričić's own Nukleus Film. His previous credits include several short films and acclaimed documentary Cash & Marry by Macedonian director Atanas Georgiev.
Cineuropa: Your short and documentary films were quite successful on the festival circuit. What is it that attaches you so strongly to these two forms and do you intend to make a feature fiction film?
Siniša Juričić: I think that for every job one needs a good foundation, and these two forms serve this purpose the best. There is nothing better than a good short film and nothing smarter than a good documentary. Both forms can tell important stories in powerful ways and are a perfect tool for a film-maker to learn the craft. Now I am working on my first fiction feature Perseverance by the young and talented Slovenian director Miha Knific, which we hope to finish by the end of the year. And, form-wise, I am also interested in the new cross-media platforms that have started springing up in the recent years.
Your previous documentary project Cash and Marry and now Sofia's Last Ambulance are bothBalkan co-productions. What are the good and the bad sides of doing a documentary co-production, particularly in the Balkans?
These films are Balkan films, but I was also lucky to work on them with partners from Austria and Germany. It is very important to connect those two worlds as one is full of spirit and completely irresponsible and the other is loyal and absolutely responsible. It is also important that the Balkan film-makers have finally left the depressing war stories behind them and are now coming with some bitter-sweet films that the rest of Europe and the world want to see. But the rate of success is still low and this makes me look for more challenges. In every co-production, like inmarriage, there are ups and downs, but it is just important to stay loyal, no matter what. I find that there is still a lack of trust within the Balkans, it is a lot easier to trust foreigners, someone that we consider 'stronger', 'bigger'. Once we find a way to change that, the rest of the world will get to see many more good stories that are native to this region. We have been storytellers since ancient times and we just have to find new tools to tell our stories again.
How did the work on Sofia's Last Ambulance go? I saw your pitch in Jihlava last October and now you're in Cannes with the film. It sounds like it went pretty fast but I'm sure it wasn't that simple?
What you saw in Jihlava was the end of the production stage, we had a sort of a rough cut and wanted to hear some opinions from experienced professionals who were there. But it was preceded by two years of production and 60 shooting days that the crew spent fighting the crumbling medical system in Bulgaria and sometimes also the desperation of the ambulance medical team. Previously we pitched the film in Lisbon, Jihlava and Amsterdam in autumn of 2010, so Jihlava 2011 was a coming a full circle and start of the final stage, the editing. By then the film was fully financed.
Then we spent almost six months editing, a lot of things had to be thrown out, but we stayed true to the idea of the film. And the idea of the film is what people will see in Cannes and I sincerely hope all around the world, but most importantly in Bulgaria and all transition countries, such as Croatia, which might end up in the similar situation with the medical system in the years ahead.
What is your aim with 'Producers on the Move' and what do you expect from the initiative?
My aim is to meet intelligent and passionate people and find co-producers for our project A Somewhat Better Ending, a feature fiction film set in Bosnia, Croatia and Norway.
Producers on the move is an initiative of the EUROPEAN FILM PROMOTION