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COTTBUS 2021

Nemanja Ćeranić • Regista di Loan Shark

"L'idea era che la telecamera dovesse seguire l'attore, non il contrario"

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- Il regista serbo fa di uno strozzino il protagonista della sua tragicommedia, proiettata quest'anno al FilmFestival Cottbus

Nemanja Ćeranić • Regista di Loan Shark

Questo articolo è disponibile in inglese.

Nemanja Ćeranić presented his debut feature film in the Spectrum section at this year's FilmFestival Cottbus. Loan Shark [+leggi anche:
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intervista: Nemanja Ćeranić
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is the portrait of a middle-aged man who works as a loan shark in a small Serbian town. He is known and feared by everyone. Before he can retire and dedicate more time to his family, he has to fulfil a last task. We spoke to the director about his inspiration for the story and the conditions of production.

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Cineuropa: Where did the inspiration for the story come from?
Nemanja Ćeranić:
We wanted to make a film about debt and the topic of it was money lending in the small city. I started with how that micro world works and who are those people from the margins who need the service of the loan sharks, as well as the problem of the loan shark himself.

How did you do your research for the film? Why did you choose to set the story in a smaller town?
I was born and raised in that environment. It is a small Serbian town called Indjija. Half of the cast in the film are non-professional actors, my fellow citizens who gave us the inspiration to write a script based on them. I am very familiar with the locality and these people are close to me because I know them personally. That's how the movie was born, as well as the idea.

How did you choose your main actor?
I have known Dusan Petkovic, Mundir, for 15 years, he was my conditioning coach while I was playing basketball in the club Zeleznicar from Indjija. Before Loan Shark, he played in my short student films, and that's where we clicked. He is a natural talent, not a professional actor.

You mainly use handheld camera aesthetics. What was most important for the visual style of the film?
I wanted the aesthetics to be dirtier than usual. An approach similar to the one William Friedkin had in The French Connection, which is a huge influence to me. But the small budget also dictates the way of shooting. Because of the budget we had only 14 days to shot the film, so it was a crazy adventure from the start, especially with non-professional actors. We had to be fast and efficient, so we used a handheld camera. The idea was that the camera should follow the actor, not the opposite.

How long did you work on the film?
Strahinja Madžarević
wrote the script over two months. That was the better part of the process. Preparations lasted for two months and then 14 days of filming.

What were the biggest challenges during the making of the film?
Probably setting up non-professional actors to be on the same level as professional ones, to tell this story in an accurate and precise way. But surely the most difficult part was to make the film in such a short period of time and under huge pressure.

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