Saturday, January 26, 2013

Road to Sundance 2013: Circles (Krugovi), directed by Srdan Golubovic

Srdan Golubovic

Tell us about your film.
Circles (Krugovi) is screened in World Dramatic competition. Circles is film about consequences of one heroic act. About the struggle of people who were witnesses and participants of one tragic event and their need to step out from the shadow of the accident which changed their lives. The film is inspired by true event.

What inspired you to make it?
The fact that there was no many positive stories from the bloody wars in ex Yugoslavia. Six years ago I read the story about Serbian soldier Srdjan Aleksic who saved life of his neighbor Muslim civilian and was beaten to death by other Serbian soldiers. Then I started to think together with my scriptwriters Melina Pota Koljevic and Srdjan Koljevic how to build up the story around that human act. We decided to tell the story that happens today and is talking about forgiveness, redemption, sacrificing and private catharsis of the characters of the movie. During the war I lived 100 kilometers from the war frontline and I wasn’t directly involved with it. I was demonstrating against all crimes and madness that happened near to us. We did nothing to stop that bloody war and probably we couldn’t do anything. That’s why I felt that working on this film is my private reconciliation with the time I lived in and my private catharsis.

What do you love about your film?
I love simplicity of the film language, which is totally focused on characters and their destinies. I love very much how actors brought with authentic and lively performance the world to which their characters belong to and how silence and emptiness is coloring the atmosphere of the film.

How long did it take you to make your film?
Very long. We started to develop the idea almost 6 years ago. It was very  hard and challenging process.

How did you finance your film?
Circles is co-production between Serbia, Germany, France, Croatia and Slovenia. Film is also supported by European film fund Eurimages and Arte France and Zdf Arte. Total budget was 2 mil euros and the money that we got from Serbian film fund was 350.000 euros. With German coproducer I worked on my previous film The Trap (2007). It was very important and challenging to have ex-Yugoslav countries Croatia and Slovenia in this film. Story about Srdjan Aleksic is something what united all ex-Yugoslav countries in feeling that his heroic act is something what is above war conflicts and misunderstandings. That’s one of the stories that is opening the way for reconciliation and forgiveness.

What was the most challenging part of the filmmaking process and how did you overcome it?
To make the story that is connected with war in ex-Yugoslavia and which is universal and not political. The film that is honest and is a private piece of my world.

Tell us about your experience getting into Sundance. 
I'm very happy and proud to be at Sundance. The atmosphere of the festival is great. It's one of the rare festival where directors and programmers are in everyday and close communication with the authors. I like very much audience at Sundance who are very opened and curious.

If you had to make the film all over again, would you do anything different? 
Making the film is the thing of moment. Probably many things would be different in the way how I would make it. The idea and intention why I wanted to make this film would stay the same.
What’s next for your film? Do you have distribution? If so, when and how can people see it and if not, what are your hopes for the film? 
Next is Berlinale Forum.  I am very happy to be at Berlinale again, my previous film The Trap (Klopka) from 2007 was there. I hope that audience from all over the world will understand and emotionally connect with this movie. Circles is universal story that can happen everywhere.

Can you provide any advice to other filmmakers who dream of getting their films made and into Sundance?
To put in their films their own dreams and never ever to step out from that.

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