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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Serbia

Film Center Serbia funds new projects with €3.3 million

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- Two titles by Srdjan Dragojević, the new efforts by Mladen Djordjević, Mladen Kovačević and Marko Naberšnik, and the first feature by César-winning Urška Djukić are among the recipients

Film Center Serbia funds new projects with €3.3 million
Director Srdjan Dragojević, who has received funding for both International Women's Day and Milk Teeth (© Srdjan Dragojević)

Film Center Serbia has announced the results of its latest round of funding across various formats and genres, with a total of €3.3 million going to 24 projects and ten screenplays in development.

The biggest winner is Srdjan Dragojević (Heavens Above [+see also:
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), who received financing for two projects, both of which are being produced by Biljana Prvanović through Delirium Films. €350,000 has been allotted to International Women's Day, based on a story by Macedonian author Rumena Bužarovska. It is a “feminist, anti-imperialist comedy” that follows a female university professor with a drinking problem who gets invited to a Women's Day party at the US Ambassador's residence. “Then, the film progresses like Blake Edwards' The Party, with the professor spontaneously ruining the stuck-up event,” Dragojević told Cineuropa.

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Another €270,000 went to Milk Teeth, a children's omnibus film based on a collection of stories by Croatian author Lana Bastašić. Dragojević describes it as “Wild Tales [+see also:
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for children”, consisting of six stories ranging from gothic horror to comedy, on how authoritarian institutions such as school, the Church and parents threaten the heroes' childhoods.

Mladen Djordjević (Working Class Goes to Hell [+see also:
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interview: Mladen Djordjević
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) has received €360,000 for Love Room, in which he continues his thread of stories about people on the margins in a social drama with elements of comedy set in a prison conjugal visit room. It will be produced by his company, Banda.

Srdjan Andjelić, best known as the writer of popular Serbian TV series and films such as Dudes! Again, has also been awarded €360,000 for his second directorial effort, The Last Pirates, a comedy-musical produced by Belgrade-based Romario, which deals with the elusive world of film funds.

Finally, among the Serbian features, Momir Milošević, whose first film, Open Wound, was a low-budget Lynchian phantasmagoria, has received €214,000 for the Kanal-produced Soap, a drama-mystery-horror. The synopsis reads: “Caught in the mournful aftermath of an economic crisis, Vukašin (31), an official on a regular route visiting the remaining factories he is meant to shut down, reluctantly goes on a search for his missing relative with the help of her neighbour, a 17-year-old girl obsessed with soap, and as the day draws to an end, he is struck by a foreboding sense that the worst has already happened.”

Among the chosen feature-length documentaries, Another Spring [+see also:
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director Mladen Kovačević has been supported with €64,000 for the Horopter-produced Koryo, about two Yugoslav girls who went to North Korea in 1987 with their mother to visit their father working there. After reading the diary her elder sister wrote at the time, one of them decides to revisit the country 36 years later.

Rampart [+see also:
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director Marko Grba Singh and Landshaft [+see also:
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director Daniel Kötter team up for Stratum, which has received €55,000. This Obol production depicts the multi-layered relations between Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo through a story that takes the viewer from the very depths of mines to the tops of mountain peaks.

Among the six supported minority co-productions, two Slovenian projects stand out. €60,000 went to White Washes at Ninety by Marko Naberšnik, who scored hits with Rooster's Breakfast and Shanghai Gypsy. It tells a story about growing up in Yugoslavia, facing fears and the strength of hope. The co-production between Slovenia's Perfo, Serbia's Biberche Productions, Croatia's Kinorama, North Macedonia's Crna Mačka, Montenegro's Protos and Italy's Quasar Productions features Serbian star Anica Dobra.

Another €60,000 went to Little Trouble Girls (see the news), the first feature by Urška Djukić, winner of the César Award for Best Animated Short with Granny's Sexual Life. The story about a shy and sensitive 16-year-old who spends her first year singing in the Catholic high-school choir, navigating between the environment's expectations and her budding curiosity in eroticism, is a co-production between Slovenia's Spok Films and Nosorogi, Italy's Staragara, Serbia's Non-Aligned Films and Croatia's Izazov.

Finally, after 14 shorts, Croatian director Igor Jelinović is making his first feature with Honey Bunny, which also received €60,000. The co-production between Croatia's Eclectica and Serbia's Baš Čelik is a drama in which a Split-based entrepreneur, played by Snježana Sinovčić, takes full financial care of her large family, with complications ensuing around their island summer house.

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