May 4, 2018 Faces

How ‘Advertising Slaves’ Made Serbia’s First Sci-Fi Hit

Director Lazar Bodroza recalls the leap of faith he took to make ‘Ederlezi Rising’, Serbia’s first-ever sci-fi film – and an unexpected hit with fans of the genre.

Lazar Bodroza and Stoya on the set of Ederlezi Rising. Photo: Courtesy of Lazar Bodroza

Srdjan Garcevic

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Lazar Bodroza shot to the top of the Serbian film scene earlier this year after directing “Ederlezi Rising”, the first Serbian sci-fi film and an unlikely success, given that it is in English and the film’s synopsis reads like a pulpy exploitation movie.

Adapted by Dimitrije Vojnov, an established Serbian screen-writer, from a 1980s short-story by Zoran Nesković, the film focuses on the relationship between a lonesome Yugoslav astronaut, Milutin, and Nimani an android forced on him by the Soviet-style Ederlezi Corporation, to keep him on track (and entertain him) on his mission to “install” a new ideology on a remote capitalist planet.

Set in the 22nd century, the main roles of Milutin and Nimani are played by Sebastian Cavazza, an acclaimed Slovenian actor, and Stoya, an American porn actress and columnist of Serbian origin.

Despite the risqué topic and modest budget of around 350,000 euros, Bodroza’s deft handling of the topic of love and toxic masculinity, as well as its atmospheric visuals, have made the film an artistic and popular success.

Rather than unsuccessfully aping blockbusters like “Star Wars” or “Blade Runner”, Bodroza took his cue from indie sci-fi films like “Another Earth” and “Beyond the Black Rainbow” on how to make an eerie universe on a tight budget and tell a powerful story.

“Ederlezi” won the best film, best director, as well as best actor-actress awards at the Belgrade Film Festival, FEST, in early March.  Although its global theatrical run is set to begin in early 2019, it is already showing on the international festival circuit and making waves, especially among sci-fi enthusiasts.

The film won the Cineplexx Distribution Award at Vienna’s “Let’s CEE” festival of Central and Eastern European film, was well received at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival and is to be shown at Brazil’s Fantaspoa film festival.

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Belgrade Insight to be integrated into Balkan Insight

After a 265 issue run, Belgrade Insight, BIRN’s bi-weekly Belgrade-focused English-language newspaper, printed its last paper edition on Friday 21 December, 2018. 

In its decade-long life since 2008, Belgrade Insight sought to bring quality journalism to its readers and subscribers.

Belgrade Insight covered political and economic developments in Serbia, but also told stories about people, businesses and events which shaped a unique and multi-faceted city like Belgrade.

In addition to detailed analysis and coverage of political, economic and business affairs, Belgrade Insight provided its readers with everything that expatriates, short-term visitors and local residents need to know in order to enjoy this great city.

It the past decade, it saw many changes in Serbia’s political and cultural climate: from the deep recession of early 2010s to Serbia’s candidate status in the EU, through Belgrade’s first Eurovision song contest and re-opening of city’s museums.

Although Belgrade Insight will no longer be printed, BIRN journalists and associates will continue their coverage of Belgrade and Serbia through the Balkan Insight website.

For any questions or refunds contact Snezana Caricic (