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"Producimos las películas de una nueva generación de cineastas interesados en experimentar a nivel formal y narrativo"

Informe de industria: Producir - Coproducir...

Dragana Jovović • Productora, Non-Aligned Films

por 

La productora serbia habla sobre los objetivos de su compañía, el mayor reto de la producción en su país, la ética de la coproducción y sus nuevos proyectos

Dragana Jovović • Productora, Non-Aligned Films

Este artículo está disponible en inglés.

Dragana Jovović is a producer working in arthouse and experimental cinema as well as theatre. Together with directors Ognjen Glavonić and Stefan Ivancic, she is the co-founder of the Belgrade-based production company Non-Aligned Films. She has produced festival titles including Glavonić's feature The Load [+lee también:
crítica
tráiler
entrevista: Ognjen Glavonić
ficha de la película
]
, which premiered in Directors' Fortnight in Cannes in 2018, and Marta Popivoda's documentary Landscapes of Resistance [+lee también:
crítica
tráiler
entrevista: Marta Popivoda
ficha de la película
]
which screened in Rotterdam in 2021. Jovović has been selected to represent Serbia in the European Film Promotion's Producers on the Move programme at this year's Cannes Film Festival. 

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Cineuropa: The name of the company you created with Glavonić and Ivancic is in itself a manifesto, a declaration of intent. What is the philosophy of Non-Aligned Films?
Dragana Jovović: The need to establish a production company arose spontaneously when we decided to produce The Load. The idea behind Non-Aligned Films is to function as a platform for producing the films of an upcoming generation of filmmakers from Serbia who are interested in experimenting on a formal and narrative level.

We choose the people we want to work with, who we believe have something to say and offer, and they are the ones who raise the topics they want to deal with. We believe in a cross-sectional collaborative work process. "Why are we making this film?" is a crucial question we ask ourselves in the development process. And also, "What do we want it to be?" 

How does Serbia welcome the cinema you are thinking of and what are the main challenges in producing?
The biggest challenge, of course, is finances. The support provided by Film Center Serbia for production is relatively small compared to neighbouring countries like North Macedonia or Croatia, especially considering the constantly increasing prices. Film Center Serbia acknowledges this and is collaborating with us producers to augment these funds. In recent years, Serbia has become the place to offer film production services to foreign productions and there was a surge in domestic series production, which led to a rise in the rates of film workers. This made it exceedingly challenging for small, author-driven films to assemble a crew and organise the production of their own films. This trend towards a hyper-production of series seems to be slowing down, and it seems to me that film workers are beginning to yearn for involvement in independent films productions. Distribution is another significant challenge, as our films struggle to reach their audience easily. A lack of independent cinemas exacerbates this. While I believe there is an audience, we have yet to find the optimal means of reaching them.

Documentary is a great tool to expose what is happening in the world and preserve memory from an artistic angle. Do you think the documentary format is gaining space on the international market? Is the goal of documentaries still to obtain a theatrical release, or have they found their natural place on platforms?
I have a passion for documentaries, both as an audience member and as a professional. I don't differentiate between documentaries and fiction films – I engage with both. I firmly believe that author-driven films, whether documentary or fiction, deserve a place in cinemas, and I think that is always worth fighting for. However, as I have already mentioned, significant challenges persist regarding the distribution of the films we produce. In Serbia, there are no cinemas that regularly show author films, whether fiction or documentaries, in their repertoire.

How important is the opportunity given by the Producers on the Move programme in Cannes? How much value do you give to the possibility of co-producing in terms of creativity, exchange of ideas and encounters with different cultures, besides the financial benefits? 
I am very grateful to the Film Center Serbia for nominating me, and to the European Film Promotion for the trust they have shown by selecting me for this year's Producers on the Move programme. Having participated in EAVE, Emerging Producers, and ACE, I've found that beyond the curriculum, the most valuable aspect in those programmes is the people you meet and get the chance to collaborate with. All of our films are co-productions. Just as with directors, relationships and trust are paramount with co-producers – choosing individuals you'll work with for the next three to five years. These are people who will contribute their knowledge, ideas, collaborators, and love for film. Together, we create films that endure, possessing cultural value. We don't make them for a moment, but for eternity. I deeply believe in this ethos, which is why I choose to produce author-driven films at this moment.

What projects are you taking to Cannes?
We are currently in the post-production phase with Stefan Djordjević's debut film Wind, Talk to Me, which we presented at Les Arcs WIP where it received a special mention award (read the news). As we finalise the film, we're eager for a successful premiere and to secure a sales agent. Additionally, in my slate, I have a second fiction film by Ognjen Glavonić, titled In The Shadow of The Horns (Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, France and Luxembourg), which was presented at the Berlinale Co-production Market in 2022 and is currently in the financing stage. We also have a new film by Milica Tomović (Celts [+lee también:
crítica
tráiler
entrevista: Milica Tomovic
ficha de la película
]
, 2021, Berlinale Panorama) entitled Big Women. Milica participated in Nipkow last year, and co-wrote the script with Tanja Šljivar and Sara Djurović, and now we have a solid script in place to begin financing. Furthermore, there's a hybrid film by Marko Grba Singh, Forget the Ocean, Why Not Try Surfing These Insane River Waves, co-written by Marko and Mariana Ricardo, which received the Eurimages Co-production Award at CineLink 2021.

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