Mila Turajlic: Cinema Komunisto

Young Serbian director Mila Tulajlic has finished her work on “Cinema Komunisto” that will have its international premiere at idfa in Amsterdam and its national premiere as part of the Magnificent/ festival in Belgrade January 25-29. The film will exist in several versions, for cinema and festival release, and for television. The director has made a fine website, see below, where you can find texts and wonderful photos, and a trailer for the film, of course. Here follows the text that will introduce the film to the idfa audience:

Leka Konstantinovic was the personal film projectionist of Yugoslavia’s President Josip Broz Tito for 32 years. In that period he showed Titoa total of 8801 films. Along with Yugoslav directors, film stars and studio bosses he tells the story of how Marshall Tito (1892-1980) gave form to the post-war federal state of Yugoslavia, while at the same time setting up a productive film industry for his country. With the state supporting filmmakers “no problem” was the standard answer for whatever a director needed – with soldiers serving their entire tour of duty as extras on war films, and in the case of The Battle of Neretva (1969) the blowing up of a real bridge to create an Oscar-nominated film. Tito followed these film shoots closely, watching one film a day in his private theatre.  After his break with the Soviet Union, he invited Hollywood stars to come to Yugoslavia, and soon Richard Burton, Orson Welles and Sophia Loren were commissioned to participate in massive productions, often about the heroic struggle of Tito and his partisans against the Nazis.

“Cinema Komunisto” is told with clips from over 60 feature films, some great archive footage, mixed with the storytellers taking us back to bittersweet memories of old times, with plenty of funny anecdotes and remarkable details. With Tito’s death, the entire Yugoslav film industry crumbled, and a decade later, the rest of the country followed suit. Today, nothing remains but the old studio complexes, which are rotting away, and the filmed memories of a country that no longer exists.

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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