OTAC

Serbia, Germany, France, Croatia

Synopsis

A small town in Serbia. Nikola, day laborer and father of two, is ordered to give up his children to social services after poverty and hunger drive his wife to commit a desperate act. Until he can provide adequate conditions for their upbringing, the children will be placed in foster care. Despite Nikola’s best efforts and several appeals, the head of the social services centre refuses to return his children and his situation seems hopeless. But when Nikola discovers the local administration may be corrupt, he decides to travel across Serbia on foot and take his case directly to the national ministry in Belgrade. Against all odds and driven by love and despair, this father refuses to give up on justice and his right to raise his children.

Directors Statement

FATHER is a film about a loser, an oucast and humiliated man who, through his journey, walking from his village in the South of Serbia to the capital, from one end of the country to the other, out of protest, dignity and his wish to make a point to himself and others, out of desperation – becomes a hero. Nikola, just like Harry Dean Stanton in PARIS, TEXAS, walks across Serbia, carrying with him his troubles, but also his struggle and his hope. Like a modern day Messiah, our lone hero is wandering in search of his goal and justice, towards the only thing he’s got left – his love for his children. His journey is an essential one, a matter of the meaning of his life, but it is also mythic, fairytale-like. FATHER is a road movie, a fairytale-like transition western. The hero of the film is a hero of the times, and, just like in a western, no system, no time, no injustice can deprive the hero of his right to dignity, love, struggle and, more than anything, hope. The hero’s relation with the spaces he passes by is an extremely important aspect of this film, the sight of run-down factories, one such factory being the reason for his journey too, sights of a devastated country, deserted fields, unfinished roads. Opposing this is nature, not ruined yet, beautiful, inspiring, strong, becoming a part of the hero’s internal world as his journey progresses, his support, his guardian and his sanctuary.

Director's Biography

Film director Srdan Golubović was born in Belgrade in 1972. His first feature film ABSOLUTE HUNDRED (2001) screened at festivals such as Toronto, San Sebastian, Pusan and Rotterdam, winning a great number of awards. His second film THE TRAP (2007) had its international premiere at the Berlinale Forum and was selected in Toronto and Karlovy Vary. It went on to win 22 international awards and made it to the final shortlist for the US Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. His third film CIRCLES (2013) premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, winning the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award, and screened at the Berlinale Forum, winning the award of the Ecumenical Jury. His newest film FATHER (2020) premiered at the Berlinale Panorama, winning both the Audience award and the Ecumenical Jury award. He teaches Film Directing at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade.

FILMOGRAPHY:
2020 FATHER
2013 CIRCLES
2007 THE TRAP
2001 ABSOLUTE HUNDRED
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Cast & Crew

Directed by: Srdan Golubović

Written by: Srdan Golubović, Ognjen Sviličić

Produced by: Jelena Mitrović, Cédomir Kolar, Alexander Ris, Marc Baschet, Danis Tanović, Danijel Hočevar, Boris T. Matić, Lana Matic, Amra Baksić-Camo, Adis Djapo

Cinematography: Aleksandar Ilić

Editing: Petar Markovic

Production Design: Goran Joksimović, Predrag Petrovic

Costume Design: Ljiljana Petrovic

Make-Up & Hair: Marinela Spasenovic

Original Score: Mario Schneider

Sound: Bruno Tarrière, Erik Mischijew, Corinna Fleig

Main Cast: Goran Bogdan (Nikola), Boris Isaković (Vasiljević), Nada Šargin (Biljana), Milica Janevski (Socijalna službenica)

Casting: Boban Dedejic

Nominations and Awards

  • EFA Feature Film Selection 2020