Interview 05 Apr 16

Serbian Film Industry Needs Resources to Grow

Award-winning Serbian film director Nikola Ljuca argues that filmmakers in Serbia are hindered by financial hardship and a lack of systematic support.

Ivana Nikolic
BIRN
Belgrade
Ljuca has been working on "Humidity"  since 2010.

Nikola Ljuca’s debut feature film ‘Humidity’- ‘Vlaznost’ in Serbian - was a critical smash. The film, a dramatic mystery about the disappearance of a young, successful businessman’s wife, won four prizes at this year’s 44th International Film Festival in Belgrade, FEST: Best Film, Best Direction, Best Actor and Best Director.

“These prizes are actually a seal of approval. The reactions of the people [jury] ‘hey this is good and what you are doing is good’ is important, and important for the future as well,” Ljuca told BIRN.

Winning prizes and international recognition are a source of pride for directors but they don’t solve chronic problems at home.

While Ljuca has garnered accolades for his work, it was a long, daunting journey to get the film made: a chronic shortfall of money and a lack of consistent support prolonged the process for several years. The stress of it was so agonizing that he ended up with severe stomach problems by the time the film was finished.

It’s a path he hopes will get easier for future Serbian filmmakers but it will require the considerable investment of resources.

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