Producers on the Move 2013 - Montenegro
by Vladan Petkovic
- Sehad Čekić is the first participant of Producers on the Move from Montenegro, which joined the EFP in December 2012
Sehad Čekić is the first participant of Producers on the Move from Montenegro, which joined the EFP in December 2012. He was executive producer on Marija Perović’s 2008 Look at Me and co-produced Nemanja Bećanović’s The Ascent, which premiered out of competition at Sarajevo Film Festival in 2011, along with Ivan Djurović, at the production company Artikulacija. The two have paired up again for the new feature Odysseus by Andro Martinović which is currently in development. Additionally,Čekić has recently established his own production company, Cut-Up.
Cineuropa: Tell us something about your company and your current project Odysseus?
Sehad Cekic: Cut-Up is a new production company dedicated to young film-makers with authentic visions, whose films can communicate with audiences worldwide. We are certain that there are such film-makers in Montenegro, but we are also planning minority co-productions. In addition, we offer production services.
Odysseus is the first feature film of Andro Martinović,who had a lot of success with his short films. It is a story about a father who is looking for his son in the region of former Yugoslavia, after the last wars. The search takes him not only to the dark depths of life, but also of his own soul. It’s budgeted at €500,000 and it took part in Sarajevo Film Festival’s co-production market CineLink in 2011. The project won the first award at the regular competition of Montenegro’s Ministry of Culture.
Montenegro has the lowest production output in former Yugoslavia, besides Kosovo. What is the current situation, does the state fund feature film productions and what films are being shot at the moment?
On one hand, from many reasons, primarily demographic ones [Montenegro has around 600,000 inhabitants], the lower level of production is understandable. But things are slowly changing. As for films in production or post-production, we have Borders, Raindrops by Nikola Mijović and Vlastimir Sudar, and Nikola Vukčević’s The Kids from Marx & Engels Street.
The competition for state funding of film productions in 2013 has just been completed. Montenegrin films are co-productions in most cases, whether official (supported by several countries’ film funds), or through collaboration of production companies and international character of the casts and crews. Montenegro recently supported a number of films from the region, including Srdjan Dragojevic’s Parade and Pjer Zalica’s Orchestra, and last year a competition for minority co-productions has been established and I hope it will become annual.
A new cinema law is currently being devised and hopefully it will establish methods of institutional reconstruction, stable and increased financing, but also various measures for incentives for international productions. Because of exceptional locations, Montenegro is an attractive place for film productions – its coast, old towns and mountains can provide a great backdrop for many films.
Montenegro has recently become a member of the European Audiovisual Observatory and European Film Promotion, but it is still not a member of Eurimages. The country also does not have a film body; instead, all the decisions are made at the level of the Ministry of Culture. Are there any moves being made to change this situation?
Understanding for the need to found a central film body has matured in Montenegro, and there are clear initiatives to regulate this issue. However, financial circumstances have largely prevented some intended actions. But I am certain that in the short-term future we will have some concrete measures. Membership in the European Audiovisual Observatory and EFP shows the will and the need for Montenegro to become a part of the European film community.
What do you expect from Producers on the Move in Cannes?
It is an honour to be selected for this programme, and an opportunity to present my work and future projects to an elite group of European producers. I hope there will be interest from other producers to collaborate with the projects I’m working on, but also that I will find projects in which Montenegrin participation will be desired.
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