by Vladan Petkovic
- Cineuropa met up with Macedonia’s Producer on the Move, Ognen Antov, of Dream Factory, to discuss the current state of the film industries in Macedonia and the Balkans, and his upcoming projects
Macedonian producer Ognen Antov has made several feature films with his company Dream Factory. They have mostly been co-productions, with some of them being big hits at the box office, such as Vladimir Blaževski's Punk's Not Dead and Dimitar Mitovski's Mission: London [+see also:
film profile]. Two films he has co-produced are expected to premiere this year: Andy Deliana's Not an Ordinary Monday and Serbian director Darko Lungulov's Monument to Michael Jackson.
Cineuropa: You have extensive experience producing films in Macedonia, and especially working on co-production projects in the Balkans. How do you see the situation with Balkan co-productions?
Ognen Antov: I will be optimistic and say that we – all the film-industry workers that are living in this area – finally have the sense that film is not only an art, but also a business. We have started to adopt a more open approach, and the national film centres are investing more in co-productions. So now you can see co-productions between Serbia and Croatia, which was not possible ten years ago, or between Slovenia and Macedonia… I hope that in the near future, there will be even more co-production projects in our region that will help us to make quality films.
And how do you see the current situation in Macedonian cinema?
Since January this year, we have had a new cinema law in Macedonia. One of the benefits of the law is that we now have tax incentives for international productions shooting in the country, and we are trying to become the new film El Dorado of the Balkans. The combination of flat taxes and incentives puts us in an excellent position to offer film services. That will reflect on the quantity, which, in the end, will result in a higher quality of the local production crews.
With the new law, we have a clearer view and strategy of what we want to do, and how our industry will develop in the future. But the most important thing is that now there is more money in the Macedonian Film Fund. This will result in more films being produced and will give more chances to young filmmakers. So the Macedonian film industry can function a little bit more easily and not always be in pursuit of co-production partners.
What are your next projects?
I am developing two features. One is Nameless, directed by debutant Vardan Tozija, which we will probably go into filming with by the end of this year. Hopefully, it will be a co-production between Macedonia, Bulgaria and maybe Serbia. It is a coming-of-age story about a 16-year-old juvenile delinquent who walks the thin line of crime in a corrupt, chaotic country. The other project is Grandpa and Grandson, which I’m planning to finish developing in 2014 and then to proceed with shooting in 2015. The story is about a widower who is spending his final days in a small touristic town, when his only grandson, whom he hasn’t seen for more than ten years, suddenly visits him. It is possible that it will be a co-production with Romania, and we are hoping to get regionally famous actors Toni Mihajlovski and Nikola Ristanovski to star.
What do you expect from Producers on the Move?
To discover new business contacts and create new future partnerships for successful film projects intended for worldwide cinema audiences.