23-10-2020

FNE at Ji.hlava IDFF 2020: Emerging Producer: Iva Plemić Divjak - Serbia

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Iva Plemić Divjak is participating in the 2020 Emerging Producers programme of the Ji-hlava International Documentary Film Festival, which runs 27 October - 8 November 2020.

Iva Plemic Divjak emerging producer 2020 visualFollowing her studies of production in Belgrade and Paris, Iva gained experience in production coordination of fiction features (Love and Other Crimes, The Big Picture, The Raven). She produced the first ten editions of the Magnificent 7 - European Feature Documentary Film Festival, then turned to documentary production. In 2017 she joined Horopter Film Production and produced two feature documentaries, directed by Mladen Kovačević: 4 Years in 10 Minutes (Special Jury Mention at Visions du reel 2018) and Merry Christmas, Yiwu (Heart of Sarajevo 2020). She is a member of DokSerbia and the Serbian co-representative in the Eurimages Board of Management since 2016.

FNE: How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your work over the past six months?

Iva Plemić Divjak: Our plans for principal photography of a multi-lateral coproduction shot around the world (Beginnings, which underwent an inspiring final development at Eurodoc 2019) transformed into days of clearing personal archives, HDD clutter and finally watching all the friends’ films that I said I would. But then Mladen Kovačević and I started with our walking and talking “production office” routine at Kalemegdan Park, and new ideas have sparked.

FNE: Emerging Producers provides a networking platform for young documentary producers. But as the COVID-19 pandemic has had the effect of cutting off international collaboration, has this changed your approach to networking with colleagues in other countries?

Iva Plemić Divjak: If anything, there’s a sense of shared experience. The thread that connects us, as the crisis is ultimately global. I so miss the carefree comings and goings at festivals; the lightness of being, which seems to be gone. Yet, people do get used to literally everything, and so the virtual communication with colleagues is intense, regular and vital.

FNE: Do you expect the landscape of documentary filmmaking to change because of COVID-19?

Iva Plemić Divjak: The landscape of documentary filmmaking will be reshaped inevitably, and not necessarily for the worse. Turning to local stories that transcend borders (mentally and emotionally, as the physical ones are off limits) might give us all an exercise in the core values of filmmaking, relieved of escapism and randomness.

FNE: Are you working on any projects that are directly related to this crisis? Why or why not?

Iva Plemić Divjak: The idea to start developing a feature documentary on the ’72 smallpox epidemic in Yugoslavia was conceived as a direct reflection of the current state of the world and the lessons we, as a civilization, (could) have learned. This event got back into focus quite naturally, while its fantastic cinematic potential, access to protagonists and exclusive archives keep unfolding and even rewarding us, I’d say, for adapting our ambitions to the new reality. In this spontaneous production endeavor amidst the Covid-19 crisis, we are full-heartedly supported by our national coproducers, Cinnamon Film and Serbian Radio Television, who share our awareness that we are bound to cooperate in order to adapt and overcome.

Iva Plemić Divjak
Horopter Film Production

Cinema Komunisto (2010), Producer/Distributor
4 Years in 10 Minutes (2018), Producer
Merry Christmas, Yiwu (2020), Producer

The 24th Ji.hlava IDFF will take place online this year from 27 October - 8 November 2020.