Bus Film Lab
For starters, tell us about your educational background. And, how come you're so strongly connected to both Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Sweden? I wouldn't know where to begin if I were to start describing sacrifices my parents undertook to send me to schools. Thanks to them and to my fears of 'not disappointing' that I am currently wrapping up my second master's. The first master is in the science of Criminology that I initially dropped out of and would come to graduate only two years after. I got involved in making theater of the oppressed, and some practical work in Latin America, but before I even had defended my first thesis, I had already enrolled in theatre studies, then performance studies, and then to a documentary film program. I collected ECTS needed for a Master’s in arts in the field related to performance studies, theater studies, or film. I picked film, so, currently, I am on my second master thesis on the topic of dramatizations and scripting of human behaviour in film and media production. I am also considering Ph.D., just first wanna take a few years' breaks and make my feature debut. I feel Sweden has given me so much, I was enrolled in the three highest-ranked universities, I have met here some of the dearest persons to my heart, and for sure friends for life, but yet my biggest inspiration is and always was Bosna. Though, I must say, I feel strongly connected to Colombia as well, Colombia has turned me into an adult.
"Biciklo" is your latest movie, and what's interesting is that you've worked with non-trained actors, and kids. Could you tell us about the movie, and how your approach as a director took a turn? The reason I worked with non-trained actors is that it's a bit harder, and I wanted to train, and as for working with kids, they are just more embodied with realness than adults. Biciklo talks about a chapter of a day in the life of a child that is forced to labour. But, like every other child, he still dreams of simple things so when daydreaming collides with duties, he finds himself in trouble. In addition, the boy is stigmatised for being Roma, as just a kid, he is visibly unfit to that pressure, but copes competitively.
Project that you're currently working on is related to wartime Srebrenica, but it's not particularly a documentary. Any information you can currently share with the readers?
''The Last Day of My Childhood' (working title) is a long narrative film about my friend Emir Bektić, who is a Bosnian genocide survivor. The film is set mostly in the current time but talks about Emir's experience during the Bosnian genocide. The film incorporates various genres, essentially it is coming of age wartime story, but it will contain theatricality and direct cinema. Since this is such a sensitive topic, collective yet personal, we'll have Emir tell his own story, meaning we don't want to speak in his name, we want to facilitate his own expression. The film is a synecdochic medium, it speaks for all through one. In my opinion, films can alter the present and future, and I surely want Emir's future to be brighter than his childhood. However, there is really still a long way to go before this film is done made. We are still needing a lot more financing.
Any comment on the current film industry in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and if there's room for a change? I don't think there is an industry of film in Bosnia. For the film industry to develop, and there is obvious potential, there needs to be economically progressive political soil, but, Bosnian politicians not only misunderstand the importance of creative industries, they actively obstruct it. Since politicians are not interested in being part of solutions, I think we need to exclude them from the equation, in such a scenario we are left to bargain with the enormous political apathy of young Bosnians, and there we are in this vicious circle. I don't have hope in Bosnian politicians, but I have in young Bosnians generations, and those young people I call for involvement. Let's make a thriving film industry in Bosnia. I have created an annually held film workshop called Bus.Film.Lab but it is open throughout the year. I have also, created with help of a few friends in Berlin, a film development association B.I.K. Films ( Bosnian Independent Kino Films) B.I.K. aims to develop, produce and connect with larger production teams in Europe. The aim of Bus film lab and B.I.K. films is to scout for talent in Bosnia then connect with producers in Europe. Get in touch on our social media profiles @bus.film.lab @bosnia.independent.kino