FNE at Connecting Cottbus: Film Center Serbia Increases Film Funding

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Trials of Chul by Danilo Beckovic Trials of Chul by Danilo Beckovic credit: Gargantua Films

COTTBUS: Film Center Serbia, which partnered with Connecting Cottbus (9 – 10 November 2017) as one of this year’s new events, will see an increase in funding rising to 10 m EUR in 2019, up from the present level of 6 m EUR.

Minority funds are expected to increase from the current cap of 500,000 EUR to 700,000 EUR in 2018. A large Serbian delegation also used the platform to introduce three films with international potential, selected by the Connecting Cottbus team, to industry pros attending the market.

Former acting director Miroljub Vuckovic laid out the numbers: 3.3 m EUR for film incentives distributed in 2016, primarily through a single servicing company; 30 films produced on average in recent years, with half of them as coproductions; but per person cinema attendance still lagging at 0.5 annually. Serbia has one small regional fund in Vojvodina, which has an annual budget of 300,000 EUR.

Labor Day directed by Mladen Dordevic and produced by Milan Stojanovic for Sense Production and coproduced by Corona Film, is set in a town where a factory closes, leading to a protest on 1 May (Labor Day) and locals becoming involved in Satanic rituals. The final draft is being written and production will take place in 2018. The film has a budget of around 900,000 EUR and has already received funding from the Serbian Film Center. The producers will apply for funding in Croatia and Serbia.

Trials of Chul, a melange of black comedy-meets-action thriller-meets-sports movie, is the third martial arts themed collaboration of director Danilo Beckovic and producer Marko Paljic from Gargantua Films. Chul is a North Korean football player, who is escorted by the secret police and sends his salary back to the government in his homeland. The film will be shot in English with an international cast, with shooting in early 2019. The 1.7 m EUR budget has received funding from the Serbian Film Center. A possible South Korean partner is in place and the producers are seeking strong European coproducers. The cast could be a mix of football stars, a pair of South Korean stars and Serbian and European actors.

Director Goran Radovanovic once more puts a young boy in the center of his project Autoportrait produced by Nama Film. Radovanovic is writing the final draft of the story about fear, set during the period of intense bombing of Serbia. A seven-year-old boy, whose father is missing, becomes deaf and mute, only to miraculously recover when his father returns. The film has a budget of 1 m EUR. Radovanovic, whose previous film was Serbia’s Oscar candidate, said he has interest from France and the Netherlands, and is looking for a German partner.