You filmed “Horizons” based on your own script. What was your motivation to create this subtle but quite pessimistic story about lack of true love and trust between family members?
Unfortunately, the script is based on true stories which happen around us. Lack of love, alienation and mistrust are the main forms of relationships between family members these days. I have been personally affected by such situations and this is the main reason that encouraged me to film “Horizons.”
You gave your actors very little text to work with, focusing on the inner turmoil of the characters. How did Gojko Baletić, Slobodan Beštić, Jovana Gavrilović, Boris Pingović succeed in following you in this intention?
Once you have used up all words, silence comes naturally which is something the most truthful and the most hurtful, appearing at the moment when the flame extinguishes. This inner turmoil, the presentation of this silence is probably the most challenging task that an actor can be given. I think that this is exactly what attracted the entire cast to work on the “Horizons.” And now the audience can sit and appreciate their honest play which is faithfully filmed and transferred onto the film screen.
After your awarded documentary “Love Case or the Tragedy of an Ordinary Man,” which you filmed while still a student, this is your debut in feature film. There were other newcomers in the authorial crew. How did you collaborate?
I think that this is one of the reasons why “Horizons” were completed in the first place. Had we not been led by this raw beginners’ energy and the desire to make this film, I believe that we would not have succeeded. We started the rehearsal process quite early, as a team of authors, and we worked very hard to make this project as good as possible, or at least the closest to how we imagined it. We did not hesitate to help each other during the filming and also later in postproduction.
What left the biggest impression on your during the filming in the Deliblato sands, in the surroundings of (the towns) Bela Crkva and Kovin?
I spent a good part of my childhood in Southern Banat, so I was familiar with the surroundings, and this is also the reason why I have chosen this location for filming. There is a great deal of variety in the natural environments of Banat, where you can find in the immediate vicinity a forest, a river, a steppe, small towns… Such a landscape is the source of inspiration itself. There we had everything we needed to represent the emotional states of our characters.
The film “Horizons” had its world premiere last autumn at the important international film festival in Cairo. What were the reactions of the audience and the media in a cultural environment which is so different from ours?
The reactions after the premiere were, I can honestly say, surprising, given the fact that the film art has developed in Egypt in the direction which is completely different from the style of the “Horizons.” After the premiere, audience stayed in the venue together with several journalists and critics and we spent over 45 minutes discussing the film. The reactions of the audience were positive; they understood what we were trying to say. I think that the reactions of the audience are the most telling because we make films for their pleasure.
What do you expect from the Serbian premiere at FEST? Are you generally interested in our most popular international festival?
“Ti ideš na FEST” (“You are heading to the FEST”) is the first slogan and the first commercial that I remember and which invited me to attend my first FEST. I saw at least one film each year ever since that 1999, and I will probably continue. I must say praise for the international program which is getting better year after year and which gives back the hope that the quality of the early editions of FEST will return. I also think that it is up to us, authors, to contribute to creating of the strongest possible Serbian program. I consider it a great responsibility now that I am having my directorial debut premiered at FEST, to develop as a filmmaker, so that on each occasion in the future I would have something new to offer to the FEST audience.
I wish and I expect that the film would be noticed, that the audience would understand it and accept it because the entire film crew deserves it.