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TRANSILVANIA 2018 Industry

Pavle Vučković • Director

“The award will help to give the project a seal of quality”

by 

- We spoke to Serbian filmmaker Pavle Vučković just after he won the €20,000 Eurimages Co-production Development Award at this year's Transilvania Pitch Stop

Pavle Vučković  • Director

Three years after his Cannes-premiered debut, Panama [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Serbian filmmaker Pavle Vučković is preparing his sophomore feature, entitled Frost, which is being produced by Stefan Mladenović for Plan 9. The project was presented at the Co-production Platform of the fifth Transilvania Pitch Stop and was also the big winner of the €20,000 Eurimages Co-production Development Award. Cineuropa talked to the director about the creative part of his film and how the award will help ease the project’s future.

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Cineuropa: Could you give us some more details on your project?
Pavle Vučković: Frost is a detective-based, psychological, fantasy genre film that follows a rational and ambitious female detective who comes to a small town in East Serbia, a region known for its pagan traditions and black magic. Under the influence of the surroundings, her investigation slowly yields to the irrational.

What was the inspiration behind the story?
It is a myth staged in modern-day Serbia. Actually, the premise is: what if a myth was real in modern-day Serbia?

Why did you decide to base it on a myth, and what approach will you use for your story?
It will be a poetic, dark fairy tale set in modern-day Serbia, with the fantasy elements being present more in the feeling of the film than in the actual narrative. Approaching a myth is very inspiring for me because it gives me the chance to tell a story about a “detective” investigation but at the same time delve inside the actual myth. The story still has to follow our laws of logic and our modern outlook, but also our relationship with nature, religion, the supernatural and, most importantly, ourselves.

How helpful will the Eurimages Co-production Development Award be?
It will be very helpful, for many reasons. When you have a project that lies somewhere between commercial and arthouse film, sometimes it is hard to finance it because people don’t know what to expect as the final outcome. So I believe that the Eurimages Co-production Development Award will help to give the project a seal of quality and to make it more approachable for producers and the funding committees.

What is your current production status?
We are at the production development stage. We are looking for co-producers and are applying for the Film Center Serbia funding programme for project development; afterwards, we will apply for production funding. We are also conducting further work on the script.

Are you mainly focusing on co-producers, or are you also looking for other partners?
Yes, we are open to co-producers and sales agents. At this early stage, we are still building up our strategy for financing and producing our project. Although the film will be in the Serbian language, there is even a possibility to cast a foreign actress who doesn’t necessarily speak Serbian, as it could fit into the story perfectly. Another goal is to have a foreign production designer as well – this addition may possibly enhance the perception of the rural Balkan landscape.

What are your plans after Transilvania Pitch Stop?
As I already mentioned, we are planning to continue work on the script and to reach a stage where it is ready for translation. After that, and our application to the Serbian funds, we are planning to hire a script doctor to come up with the final draft. Transilvania Pitch Stop was a helpful experience, and we will certainly apply to other markets as well.

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