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Metod Pevec • Director

"Our feelings and our mistakes"


- In Trieste, we met the director of Estrellita, who first came to attention in 1995 with Carmen, before achieving international recognition in 2003 with Beneath Her Window

Cineuropa: What inspired you to make a film about music?
Metod Pevec: Music is the only art capable of communicating everything that human beings can feel: love, hatred, all emotions. I chose the violin because it is a very expensive instrument and it sounds similar to the human voice. It simultaneously expresses our feelings and our mistakes, that is, our attachment to money – something the modern world is very preoccupied with.

How did your collaborations with co-screenwriters Abdulah Sidran and Gareth Jones come about?
As a Bosnian, Sidran helped me very much in describing Amir’s family, which I wanted to be as realistic as possible. At CineLink at the Sarajevo Film Festival I met English script doctor Gareth Jones. My work with him was very useful and allowed the film to find German co-producers more easily.

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How much did your past as an actor influence the way in which you directed the actors?
It’s very important for a director to know the feeling of being in front of the camera. It’s not so simple to cry, laugh, do anything, when 50 pairs of eyes are observing you. When you know this feeling you can help the actors relax, you can make sure the circumstances on the set are the best for them. What I missed as an actor was a dialogue with the director and now I try always to discuss with actors a lot before shooting, so that we have a very clear picture of what the character should be like. That way we are not improvising on the set.

How did it feel to return to acting a few years ago in Maja Weiss’ short film Child in Time?
I hadn’t been in front of the camera for at least 15 years so Maja’s invitation was quite strange. At my age there are many actors better than I could be. I think that for actors it’s very important to work all the time, to develop your acting skill, and I had rested for 20 years!

Can you tell us about your relationship with Silva Cusin, who won the Best Actress Award for Estrellita [+see also:
film review
interview: Danijel Hočevar
interview: Metod Pevec
interview: Nerina Kocjančič
film profile
at the Slovene Film Festival?

We acted in the same play when we were about 16 years old because we went to high school together and had a theatre group. Later, she became an actress for the Slovenian National Theatre of Ljubljana. It was very easy to work with her because she really works hard on her role. She wants to understand everything, every detail. I almost had the feeling she was becoming the character because she was so concentrated on her part.

How did you search for the young lead, Marko Kovacevik?
I held a lot of auditions in Ljubljana and couldn’t find anyone who could play the violin and speak Slovenian and Bosnian. So I decided I wouldn’t look for violin players and in the end I found Amir in Macedonia. For the role, he had to learn both languages and how to play the violin. But he’s a good actor, he made one film before this one [Macedonian title Mirage]. He proved he’s very ambitious and a very hard worker.

Can you tell us about your future projects?
I’m very superstitious! I prefer to prepare them in silence, out of fear that there won’t be any future projects. After Estrellita I made a television film that we just finished editing. It’s called The Hit of the Summer and is the story of a young singer, a victim of the music business. Yet another film on music!

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