BELGRADE: Milan Stojanovic represents Serbia at the Emerging Producers 2018 programme taking place at the Jihlava IDFF.
He produced the 2014 award-winning debut by Ivan Ikic, Barbarians, winning Special Mention at Karlovy Vary, the Seyfi Teoman Award, European FF Palic and Best Film at Crossing Europe in Linz; and the documentary debut by Katarina Mutić The Way of the East, which screened at the East Silver Marketin 2017. He graduated in Film & TV Producing at Faculty of Drama Arts in Belgrade and is an alumni of the EAVE Producers Workshop. He was a Producer on the Move and is a member of the European Film Academy.
FNE: What was the deciding factor in your choice to become a doumentary film producer?
Milan Stojanović: As a young producer, one is usually told to stick to one type of films - either fiction or documentary, feature or shorts. And I did stick to feature fiction for a long time. But the first time I got involved in a documentary - it was in the post-production of The Way of the East by Katarina Mutić, a new thrill kicked in and it felt great. It also happened that, at the same time, some friends, fellow filmmakers from the region were making great documentaries and I had the chance to follow the process, so that added to the inspiration. Finally, a new project that I really felt for came along – The Forbidden Aunt by Bojana Novakovic.
FNE: What has been your most rewarding moment as a documentary film producer?
Milan Stojanović: I have just started with the documentaries and I feel that the ''open door'' to the documentary world and the network of documentary professionals has already been quite a reward. Speaking of which, I'd like to thank a couple of people for it: filmmakers Jovana Nikolić and Dragan von Petrović for being such great guides, Angeliki Vergou for inviting me to my first pitch ever (back in 2010) and to my first documentary pitch (in 2017), Film Center Serbia and its managing director Boban Jevtic for supporting Serbian film professionals, and finally, Jarmila Outratova for picking me for Emerging Producers.
FNE: What one mistake would you advise beginning documentary film producers to avoid?
Milan Stojanović: The biggest mistake I made was thinking that, because of the time span, documentary filmmaking is any easier or less demanding than fiction filmmaking. On the contrary, it is much harder to keep focus on the project and it requires great dedication. But when it comes to avoiding mistakes - I'm not sure if one can avoid anything, I can only advise anyone who ever decides to produce either documentary or fiction to try to get as much advice as possible from more experienced colleagues.
Barbarians / Varvari directed by Ivan Ikić, 2014, 87 minutesThe Way of the East / Tako mi na istoku directed by Katarina Mutić, 2017, 52 minutes