|Before Start of Filming of First Feature Film in 2003- “Years of Hope” to start on May 6
(Utrinski Vesnik, 14.04.2003) - In the story about the life of a 13-year-old boy, Mustafa Nadarevik and Nikola Gjuricko play the two main adult roles -
The preparations for the beginning of filming of the first feature film for 2003 are finishing. This is film “Years of Hope”, directed by Svetozar Ristovski, written by Ristovski, along with Canadian Grace Lea Troje. The beginning of the filming is scheduled for May 6 in Veles, which will be the focus of the action in the film.
“’Years of Hope’ is an urban, contemporary story, which follows the destiny of a 13-year-old boy”, Svetozar Ristovski states. The town of Veles, i.e. the town in transition, which is needed to make this story alive, has been chosen more as an object, rather than as Veles itself. The focus of the story are the characteristics of a boy at that age, a fragile age, the beginning of puberty and the pressures of everyday events, which will bring to “dramatic overturns” as with all young people here.
“I never wanted to create flattering art”, Ristovski says, who won the first award at Wiesbaden with his first documentary film “Joy of Life”, followed by several other awards at other festivals. “My determination is a humanist and social one, thinking before all on the human engagement, what the human is faced with in these social and living conditions, i.e. what is happening to the human mind. This is an attempt to make a movie, to present a drama in a truthful manner, because I believe that bravery and truth should stand behind art, i.e. bravery in truth, and bravery to admit something when you stand in front of the mirror. What I am trying to do with this film is a mirror that faces all of us, i.e. an interior mirror, but also one towards our surrounding, towards what we really are”.
Having in mind that the main characters in the film are children, Svetozar opted to cooperate with Mikola Hejko, a Ukrainian who works in the Czech Republic, one who is responsible for the “Oscar” of Czech movie “Kolja” of Jan Sverak. He is also the man who has already worked in Macedonia along with Ivo Trajkov at film “The Great Water”. Mikola Hejko, along with director Maja Mladenovska as his assistant, have been working on the casting of children for a month now. The entire cast will be closed in several days, while Ristovski, along with Hejko and Mladenovska, will do the scenes with the children. The adult part of the team is led by two guests from the former Yugoslav republics. One of them has a huge experience, while the other is relatively young, but has had several great roles behind him. These are Mustafa Nadarevik, who comes from Zagreb National Theatre and Nikola Gjuricko from Belgrade. Nikola was in Skopje in the course of the weekend, and besides having a teacher in Macedonian, he will also lift weights for a month. Mustafa Nadarevik is familiar by his previous work, while Gjuricko has played in films “Celestial Hook”, “Thunders”, “Zona Zamfirova” and “Land of Truth, Love and Freedom”. The Macedonian cast includes Vlado Jovanovski, Bajrus Mjaku, Kiril Gravcev, along with Sofija Kunovska, Danco Cevrevski, Aleksandar Georgiev etc. Still, the roles of the adults are small, because the story is focused on the life of the children.
The filming should last for six weeks, ending on June 20. The largest part of the film will be shot in Veles, and except for Canadian Troje, who is the scriptwriter, and the Austrian co-producers, 95% of this film is Macedonian. The technical team comes from Macedonia, starting from the director of photography Vladimir Samoilovski, art director Igor Tosevski, scenographer Richard Milosevski, costume designer Zaklina Krstevska, make up Halid Redjebasik, who also worked on “The Great Water”. Regarding the music and the editing, it will be done after the filming. The film producer is house “Small Movements” of Svetozar Ristovski, while “Syncro Film” from Austria is the co-producer. As Ristovski explained, there is an option for the film ending. Namely, the director’s cut does not have a happy ending, it is realistic, and should occur in Macedonia, but there is an option for a part to be filmed in Austria, with another ending. The entire post-production should be done in Austria, which will be agreed upon after the filming. For the moment, Atanas Georgiev, who worked on “The Great Water”, should do the tone editing. “By co-production rules, we now only have a commercial co-production, not one where the co-producers insist on the author’s part. If this happens, which would require additional filming, it would certainly increase the percent of their engagement. If there is interest for distribution, an additional co-producer could also enter the film. The budget is 550,000 Euros, 500,000 of which are provided by the Macedonian Ministry of Culture, while the other 50,000 by “Syncro Film”, Ristovski states.
When asked how Grace fit into this local story, and why actors guests Mustafa and Nikola, Svetozar said that the advantage from the presence of young writer Grace Troje was to avoid the trap of falling into locality. “She will maybe never fully understand the Macedonian filigree and folklore, but will look at this from a certain distance, comparing it with the madness that currently exists in North America. The selection of Mustafa and Nikola is due to their actors’ qualities, but also due to the possibility of putting the film out of a local context and leave it space to breathe. Starting from the regional cooperation, and coming to the global, when art can hugely communicate, in order to be seen and understood by a lot of people, because that is its objective”, he stated.