Croatian Film Producer Sinisa Juricic - Photo for Egypt Today by Fatma Khaled
CAIRO - 17 May 2017: The first edition of Cairo Cinema Days, held May 11-15, concluded with lectures about independent film production that was held between11 May 11 to 15 May 15.
Organized by Zawya Cinema, the lectures are part of a festival celebrating and screening films in Cairo, Ismailia, Alexandria, and Port Said. The screening of films ran from 9 to 16 May 9-16 featuring short films and documentaries such as “Heidi”, “Suicidal Notions”, “the The Beach House”, “the The Last of Us”, and “Tramontane” among 40 other films.
“This is the first year for Cairo Cinema Days, and we seek to pave the way for a film production platform in Egypt through these master classes in efforts to attract more distributors and producers who can contribute to new Egyptian film projects,” says said Mostafa Youssef one of the event’s organizers.
Youssef addeds that there are certain goals behind inviting film producers to carry out these lectures which include emphasizing the importance of creating independent movies and boosting cinematic criticism.
Other goals also include encouraging creative thinking, understanding the process of independent film production and funding, and exploring different methods of distribution.
One of the lectures held earlier this week featured renowned, award-winning Croatian film producer Sinisa Juricic who is also founder of Nukleus Association for film production. He discussed the production and the funding process of independent films based on his personal experience.
He spoke about the challenges in independent film industry such as pitching ideas, funding, producing and passing it to local and international festivals.
Juricic elaborated in the lecture on how some of his prominent movies were passed through the production process and participated in festivals including his famous movie , “The Chicken”,, which that depicts a war-era in 1993 in Sarajevo.
“What was important to me in that film was that we managed to produce a universal film that features events similar to any country suffering war and conflict such as Aleppo, Syria,” he says said. Juricic.
Juricic co-produced the movie with film director Una Gunjak who grew up in Sarajevo during the conflict in 1993, thus was inspired by her traumatic childhood events.
“ The Chicken”, won over 16 awards and participated in 200 festivals. It, revolves around 5 -year- old Selma who receives a chicken for her birthday and tries to save it from being cooked., she She sets her free only to find that she endangered her mother who was a target of a sniper hiding on their roof.
Juricic He explains explained that the director received funds for the film from outside the region amounting to €95,000 and managed to shoot the film within seven days.
Although the movie’s duration is only 15 minutes long, Juricic mentioned that it was too costly to produce due to designing the setting to feature war time, practicing with cast, and hiring an international crew.
“What I try to do as a film producer is to create a little bubble where a filmmaker can feel safe to express their maximum output, and this is what I was able to achieve when I co-produced the film with Gunjak,” adds elaborated Juricic.
Juricic He continued to speak about his passion to for short films and documentaries, highlighting his current projects in the pipeline such as the animation film “Kaktus Kid”, which depicts the struggle of comicscomic’s artists due to political disputes .
“I am in love with documentaries because I think it provides a great room for expression. I always try to create hybrids from documentaries and short films,” added Juriciche added.
Juricic also worked on previous projects such as “Huston”, and “We Have A AProblem!” that was released in former Yugoslavia at a total budget of € 600,000,000. The documentary/fiction film was also bought by Netflix.
Another film Juricic produced was the Bulgarian film “Sophia’s last Last ambulance Ambulance” at a total budget of € 300,0000,000. The documentary film revolves around the trauma the ambulance crew experience at an underpaid job.
“As a producer it is always important for me to find a director I can easily talk to, someone who can live with me for five years through the ups and downs during the production of a film,” Juricic pointed out.
Juricic concluded the lecture mentioning that a film producer has to be extremely persistent and avoid losing their nerves saying, “If you lose your nerves, you’ll eventually destroy your original ideas resulting in a damaged film.”
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