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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Serbia / France / Luxembourg / Bulgaria / Lithuania

Stefan Arsenijević’s As Far as I Can Walk currently in post-production

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- The Serbian director’s new feature, set for release in 2021, is a contemporary adaptation of the Serbian medieval epic poem Banovich Strahinya

Stefan Arsenijević’s As Far as I Can Walk currently in post-production
Ibrahim Koma and Nancy Mensah-Offei in As Far as I Can Walk (© Maja Medić)

Post-production on Stefan Arsenijević’s new feature, As Far as I Can Walk, is under way. The Belgrade-born filmmaker directed his first fiction feature, Love and Other Crimes [+see also:
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(premiered at the Berlinale and winner of several awards on the festival circuit) in 2008, followed by his 2010 drama Do Not Forget Me Istanbul.

His new effort, penned by the helmer himself in co-operation with Bojan Vuletić and Nicolas Ducray, is a contemporary adaptation of the Serbian medieval epic poem Banovich Strahinya. It follows a man called Strahinya and his wife, Ababuo, both aged 28, who leave Ghana at the beginning of the migrant crisis. They manage to reach Germany but are finally deported back to Belgrade. Serbia may not be Germany, but Strahinya does his best to start a new life. He works hard to secure asylum, trying out as a football player for a local club and working as a volunteer for the Red Cross. However, the process is lengthy, and Ababuo, a passionate woman aspiring to become an actress in London, feels unfulfilled in her life. One night, a new group of Syrian refugees arrives, on their way to Western Europe. One of them is Ali, a charismatic left-wing activist. Ababuo initially mocks him, but the next day, she leaves Serbia with him, with no explanation. Thus, Strahinya sets off on the Balkan migrant route for completely different reasons to anyone else: for love.

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The main cast members are Ibrahim Koma, Nancy Mensah-Offei, Maxim Khalil and Rami Farah. Meanwhile, the technical crew includes DoP Jelena Stanković, editor Vanja Kovačević, production designer Zorana Petrov, costume designer Carine Rando de Felice and composer Martynas Bialobžeskis.

Talking about his project, Arsenijević told Cineuropa: “As Far as I Can Walk is a re-imagining of a traditional medieval epic, in which contemporary African migrants take the place of Serbian national heroes. Urgent and timeless at the same time, the new adaptation raises questions about identity, tradition, race and love.”

As Far as I Can Walk is being produced by Miroslav Mogorović for Serbia’s Art&Popcorn Motion Picture Company, Alice Ormieres for France’s Surprise Alley, Gilles Chanial for Luxembourg’s Les Films Fauves, Borislav Chouchkov for Bulgaria’s Chouchkov Brothers and Kestutis Drazdauskas for Lithuania’s Artbox. The project is being supported by Eurimages, Film Center Serbia, the Serbian Film Incentive, Film Fund Luxembourg, the Bulgarian National Film Center, the Lithuanian Film Centre and the CNC’s Aide aux cinémas du monde. It is also co-funded by the European Union’s Creative Europe – MEDIA programme. The film will be ready for release in 2021.

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