7 Serbian films will compete within the framework of the Serbian Film programme at the 45th FEST, two of which will have a national premiere: “Afterparty” (Luka Bursać) and “Requiem for Mrs. J.” (Bojan Vuletić). The latter had its premiere several days ago at the Berlin Film Festival. This year’s national programme can boast very diverse films, primarily in terms of genre and style. Furthermore, it is interesting that the directors of this year’s films are of different generations, hence the thematic scope of this selection is very wide and varied.
“Afterparty” by Luka Bursać is this young director’s second feature, who became popular through his short films of almost futuristic visual aesthetics, which focus mainly on coming-of-age stories of his peers. After "Blackness", which flirts with the urban science fiction, Bursać returns to cinemas with a film about a charismatic Belgrade bartender who is trying to break into the world of acting. Rade Ćosić plays the lead and is the executive producer of the film.
Bojan Vuletić had a very successful world premiere of his new film“ Requiem for Mrs. J.” within the Panorama programme selection at Berlinale, which received unequivocal critical acclaim both when it comes to Vuletić’s writing and the poetics of the director of photography Jelena Stanković. After his film “Practical Guide to Belgrade with Singing and Crying”, this Belgrade director presents a film about a middle-aged woman with quiet suicidal tendencies, played by Mirjana Karanović.
“Train Driver's Diary” is the latest feature by a screenwriter and director Miloš Radović, which is characterized by his distinctive sense of humor. He is known as the creator of the famous television series “Open Doors”. In the first decade of the 21st century Radović wrote and directed two popular films - “Falling into Paradise” and “Small World”, which were both successful critically and commercially. “Train Driver's Diary” is a tragicomedy that tells the story of a curious fate of train drivers, who unintentionally kill a great number of people each year on their apparently not so stressful job. At the same time, it is a very stylized story about growing up, friendship, family and love. Lazar Ristovski plays the leading role in the film.
“The Samurai in Autumn” is a comedy written by Dimitrije Vojnov and directed by Danilo Bećković. This duo thrilled audiences and made them laugh with their previous box office hit “Little Buddho”. “The Samurai in Autumn” is a love story about a karate champion, who goes through a series of hilarious situations in an attempt to find a job after his career ended. Another genre film in the selection is a psychological thriller, “Incarnation”. This feature debut by Filip Kovačević, a mathematics graduate, tells the story of a man who wakes up over and over again in a square in an unnamed city. In search for his own identity he discovers the unexpected and unpleasant truth about his past. The question this film asks is whether he will be able to confront it.
The two remaining films in the Serbian Film selection had their national premieres at the last year’s edition of the Auteur Film Festival. These films, coming from two young directors, are “All the Cities of the North” by Dane Komljen and “The Wind” by Tamara Drakulić. “All the Cities of the North” is Dane Komljen’s debut feature. He previously directed several successful short and experimental films. The film tells the story of Boban and Boris who live isolated from the rest of the world among abandoned bungalows; it is an examination of the fragility of love and a raw observation on human isolation. Tamara Drakulić is a Belgrade director known for two indie feature films “The Swing” and “Ocean”. Very poetic and moving, Drakulić’s “The Wind” tells a coming-of-age story of a sixteen-year-old girl set on the shore of the river Bojana.