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Scene from CIRCLES (photo © Neue Mediopolis Film/Film House Bas Celik)

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 02/2011

Inspired by an actual event which occurred during the war in Bosnia in 1993, Srdan Golubovic's third feature, CIRCLES, is the fourth collaboration between Germany's Neue Mediopolis Filmproduktion and Belgrade-based Bas Celik after Golubovic’s previous feature THE TRAP, Damjan Kozole’s SLOVENIAN GIRL and Srdjan Koljevic’s THE WOMAN WITH A BROKEN NOSE.

The film opens in Trebinje in 1993 when a Serbian soldier pays for his life after protecting a Muslim civilian from being attacked by three other soldiers. 15 years later, the consequences of this act of heroism are still having their repercussions.

“CIRCLES is a film about guilt,” director Golubovic explains. “About whether it is only the ones who committed the crime who are culpable, or whether it’s also those who witnessed the crime and failed to prevent it.”

Moreover, he sees this new project as “a film about repaying debts, about the need to do something good in return. As well as doing evil. About cowardice and helplessness leading to revenge. About the realization of the senselessness of revenge – and about forgiveness.”

“The storyline in the past is based on real-life events, but what happens in the present is fictional,” producer Alexander Ris adds. “Part of the later story is set in Germany because one of the main characters, the man who was saved, left Bosnia and has built up a new existence in his adopted country with a German wife and children. We looked in Germany for the same kind of Socialist architecture as the kind you have in Bosnia and found it in Halle-Neustadt. Getting a feel for the life of Bosnians in Germany was not hard for Golubovic and [co-screenwriter] Srdjan Koljevic because they both have relatives in Germany and could draw on these experiences for authenticity.”

“The film got a real boost when it took part in Cannes' L'Atelier last year and won the International Relations ARTE Prize for Best Screenplay,” Ris notes, pointing out that the € 2.05 million project was supported by ZDF/ARTE and ARTE France as part of the Franco-German cultural channel's “grand accord”.

Genre Drama
Category Feature
Director Srdan Golubovic
Screenplay Srdjan Koljevic, Melina Pota Koljevic
Cinematography Aleksandar Ilic
Cast Vuk Kostic, Nebojsa Glogovac, Aleksandar Bercek, Leon Lucev, Geno Lechner
Producers Alexander Ris, Jelena Mitrovic
Co-Producers Danijel Hocevar, Boris Matic, Emilie George
Production Companies Neue Mediopolis Filmproduktion/Leipzig, Film House Bas Celik/Belgrade, in co-production with La Cinefacture/Paris, Vertigo E-Motion Film/Ljubljana, Propeler Film/Zagreb
 Serbian, German
Shooting Dates March-April 2011
Festivals Sundance 2013, Berlin 2013, Hong Kong 2013, Istanbul 2013, Sofia 2013, JeonJu 2013, Seattle 2013, Festroia 2013, Yerevan International Film Festival 2013, Pula 2013, Camerimage 2013, Black Nights Tallinn 2013, Palm Springs 2014, CPH PIX 2014
Awards Ecumenical Jury Award (Forum) Berlin 2013, Audience Award Sofia 2013, Gold Apricot Yerevan 2013, Best Director, Best Actor & Best Co-Production Pula 2013, Award for Dramatic Approch & Listapad Bronze Audience Awards Minsk 2013
With backing from Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Fond Sud, ARTE

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