1. Your short film Izidor Popijač Žiga of Bednja won the
Official Selection. How was the film inspired?
The film won an honorary diploma for the Best Director Feature Film. First I met Ziga Popijac some 20 years ago and when the time came for my first author's project, I decided to make a film about him as he's a very special character and a great artist and sculptor. Another motivation was the fact that my father was a director so I wanted to try my hand in direction.
2. Tell us about your background and when did you decide to become a filmmaker?
I was born in 1973 in Zagreb, Croatia. I graduated cinematogaphy at the Academy of Dramatic Art in Zagreb. Right after finishing high school for photography, I decided to continue working with a camera and to become a film maker.
3. Films that inspired you to become a filmmaker?
A film that had a great influence on me was "The Good, The Bad And The Ugly" by Sergio Leone. I think it's one of the best films in the history of the world cinema and definitely the best film of the 1960s, when it was made. It's a real masterpiece.
4. Who is your biggest influence?
From my family, it was above all my father, who was a director. Since my early childhood, he used to take me to his shoots and that's how I grew to like the film tape. Also, I was inspired by the professors at the Academy. I wanted to make films like them some day.
5. Do you have a favorite genre to work in? Why is it your favorite?
The older I get, the more I like the documentary genre because it's so realistic and it's not easy to shoot. I don't have a favorite genre, but from feature films, I like dramas, thrillers, psychological movies…
6. What's your all-time favorite movie and why?
The Good, The Bad And The Ugly because I think this film captures the essence of all arts film encompasses in itself. It's a story and a study of different human characters, made complete with an excellent film story-telling. It's actually a story that can translate into everyday life. A really great masterpiece.
7. If you could work with anyone in the world, who would that person be?
That would be Clint Eastwood for sure, my favorite movie hero way back from the spaghetti western times.
8. The one person who has truly believed in you throughout your career.
Honestly, nobody. I'm kidding, I believe some of my professors and most of my colleagues believed in me even back at the Academy.
9. What was the most important lesson you had to learn as filmmaker?
Being a part of the team, a team player. It took me a long time to realize that's most important for a film, because I started out with photography, where team work isn't that important.
10. What keeps you motivated?
Faith that I can still show something in film, and I believe that time will prove me right.
11. How has your style evolved?
Mostly through studying at the Academy which shaped me through the four years I spent there and for which I'm grateful to the professors for enrolling me.
12. On set, the most important thing is…
Team work, because without it, there's no strong link that'll hold the project until the end.
13. The project(s) you're most proud of…
I'm most proud of my first documentary about Ziga from Bednja because it's my first film as a full author, it's my baby, and if I ever make other films, it will always be my favorite.
14. The most challenging project you worked on. And why?
I don't have it because I haven't done it yet, except as assistant to other DOPs and directors while studying at the Academy. I hope I'll be able to answer this question some day.
15. What are your short term and long term career goals?
I don't have much of a movie career behind me, at least for me, and my short-term goal is to make a film about dogs as a species, told through my pet Lejdi. It would be an ode to the dogs as man's best friends, about coexistence of dogs and men that has been going on for about ten thousand years. My long-term goal is to make a feature film of any length and I'd like to try my hand in that genre as well, and work with actors. I think it's a logical sequence of events, as I started and went on to make documentaries.
16. Your next projects?
May there be as many as possible, both documentaries and features because, as a graduated DOP, I think they cure souls.