Filming of Montevideo II

Last week I had the opportunity to act in Montevideo: Taste of a DreamThis is a project being done by the Intermedia Network and includes a book, documentary, television series and two feature films. It is the story of Jugoslavia’s participation in the inaugural soccer World Cup of 1930. It follows the formation of the team in Belgrade, to them eventually playing Brazil in their first game of the tournament. My role was the American Radio Commentator and with luck, a few bit parts will appear in the final edit of the movie. This is the sequel they are filming and it should come out in December or January.

The soccer scenes are taking place in Paraćin, Serbia, a small city (population 25,000) located in central, south, Serbia. The producers have renovated the local soccer stadium to look like Centennial Stadium of Montevideo, Uruguay in 1930, the host to the World Cup. I love sports and Serbia, so this project was a labor of love. The movie people treated me and my family very kindly and I had a great two days of filming. It was extremely hot and the make up people worked hard to keep me sweat-free for my parts. I realized how much goes into filming a movie, especially a period piece with hundreds of extras. A great amount of patience and attention to detail needs to go into it.

Owen, Ollie, and Ocean played a lot of soccer on the field during the filming in the bleachers.

I would like to thank Vlada, Dragan, and Srdjan for their patience with me and their hospitality. It is a worthy project and I am happy they are bringing this obscure story to modern audiences and so it does not become lost. I’ll be blogging a bit more about this project as it continues.

Disappearance of Heroes

 

Serbian documentary film director, Ivan Mandić worked with our Design and Technology students last week at the high school. Mandic and our Design Teacher, Dr. Gordetsky, taught the students animation with clay to produce short digital films. I’ll be posting some of their work on the school’s web site later. Ivan is shown above with the grade 9 students.

Mandic’s most famous documentary film is called “Disappearance of Heroes” and it is about the renaming of the streets here in Belgrade. After World War II, Tito and the Partisans changed the names of many of the streets in the city. In the past few years, the city formed a commission to look into revising the names of streets. They wanted to get rid of much of these Communist inspired name changes as well as correct redundancies and put a general order into the naming system. Mandic takes the human side of this work, interviewing members of the commission and the relatives of the Communist heroes who lost the honor of having a street named after them. Mandic also gives the historical background of the war which I really appreciated. It was the first time I saw Tito’s speeches and the baton celebrations of socialism in Yugoslavia.

As I live in Serbia longer, I am realizing the impact of the conflict between the Partisans (Communisists) and the Chetniks (Serbian Royalists) and its effects even today. I’m reminded of the maxim that history is written by the victors. I wonder what Serbia would have been like today if the Chetniks and Draža Mihailojvic would have taken power instead of the Partisans. This is an idea I will be further pursuing as I learn more about Serbia.

I would like to thank Ivan for coming to our school and donating the DVD of his film to our school’s library. I really enjoyed it and learned a lot. He has subtitles in English, French, Spanish, and German. It will be available for check out after the Ski Week holiday.

ISB Movie Premier of “Troya”

It was an electric atmosphere last night at the Rex Center Gallery as the Grade 10 Visual Arts Class premiered their feature length digital film, “Troya.” There was over 100 people in attendance to view the project put together by co-directors, Grade 10 student Lucia and Visual Arts Teacher Ms. Natasa Skoric.

The students learned much about the tremendous amount of work and time that goes into making a movie. The class did the entire process, from writing the screen play, casting, costumes and sets, film editing, etc. It was special to see them very excited at their appearances in the film. The movie is a comedy based on the Trojan War. The ancient Greek history is put into a more modern teenage context.

This is the kind of project that sets apart the teaching and learning at the International School of Belgrade from other schools. We strive to take all of the students’ interests and activities to their highest level. The art and film students had the opportunity to work with professionals, using their latest technology, and then displaying their project in one of the premier galleries in the city. It was also great to see so many teachers, parents, students, and Belgraders together sharing in the success of the students. I would like to thank Natasa for her monumental effort and dedication towards the students of ISB.

After the film, lead actor Monty thanks cast and crew
After the film, lead actor Monty thanks cast and crew