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PRODUCTION Slovenia

Goran Vojnović starts shooting Once Were Humans

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- The Slovenian filmmaker's third feature focuses on migrants and refugees, both those inside Europe and those coming from the Middle East and Africa

Goran Vojnović starts shooting Once Were Humans
On the set of Once Were Humans by Goran Vojnović (© Žiga Culiberg)

Slovenian writer-director Goran Vojnović started principal photography on his third feature film, Once Were Humans, last week in Visoko, on Kurešček Hill. His previous film, the comedy Southern Scum Go Home!, was a surprise hit at home in 2013, with 54,918 admissions and gross box-office takings of €266,886.

Once Were Humans focuses on the issue of migrants. The main protagonists are Leo, an Italian who lives in Slovenia, and Vučko, a Bosnian who arrived in the country as a child refugee. Leo continues to stay in Slovenia because of his ex-wife Tanja and his son Luka, in the hope that they can become a family again. When the bank refuses to grant them a loan they need to renovate their restaurant, Leo and Vučko have no choice but to accept an offer from a swindler called Gianni. They are tasked with stealing Gianni's truck so that he can collect the insurance money.

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However, instead of Gianni's truck, Leo and Vučko mistakenly steal a lorry full of refugees. Vučko the refugee and Leo the migrant thus inadvertently become responsible for the destiny of people who find themselves in an unfortunate situation not entirely unlike their own. In order to solve their financial problems, they decide to sell them. At first, it seems as though they are not indifferent towards these people, but with each passing day, there is less and less humanity left in Leo and Vučko.

Once Were Humans is becoming more and more topical from day to day – not because the problem of refugees and migrants in Europe is more pressing today than it used to be years ago, but because we are becoming less and less human as time goes by,” says Vojnović.

The international cast includes Italian actors Francesco Borchi and Gianluca Gobbi, Bosnia's Moamer Kasumović, Emir Hadžihafizbegović and Jasna Žalica, as well as Maruša Majer, Jaka Jakopič, Boris Cavazza, Jasna Žalica, Vlado Novak, Gregor Baković, Aljaž Jovanović and Benjamin Krnetić.

The screenplay was co-written by Vojnović and Tomasso Santi, Miloš Srdić (Slovenia, Australia and Tomorrow the World [+see also:
trailer
film profile
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) is serving as the DoP, and the film will be edited by Ivor Ivezić, who also worked on Southern Scum Go Home!.

Once Were Humans is being produced by Boštjan Ikovic, of Arsmedia, and co-produced by MB Grip100 and Nuframe.

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