BLOODLINE, 12min., Croatia, Crime/Drama
Directed by Silvio Jesenkovic
An orphaned young man, Darko, seeks to avenge his parents murder. He is raised in the underworld and becomes an expert assassin, but over the years the moral weight of the work bears down upon him and he begins to question himself and the direction his life is taking. He is ultimately forced to make a violent choice between his family, his revenge and his identity.
Interview with Producer Karlo Katulic
1. What motivated you to make this film?
I like character-driven films.
My main motivation derived from the exploration of a hero’s transformation.
I believe in the power of stories and universal truths in life. And the hero’s change happens through coping with difficult situations, their intention, and reflection thus learning from his or her actions. Which, in my opinion, is the groundwork for any change.
In particular, I admire certain character types such as the “loner” type characters or the stoic warrior types who are either forced or deliberately choose to live a life outside the mold and stand their ground. And believe in their ethos, for what they believe is right, no matter the outside forces that oppose them. Their inner wisdom is initiated through coping with the challenges and pain such as we have to face, as human beings in this world.
The central facet at the core of “Bloodline” was about analyzing the relationship between our personal history, free will, and our desires. How people are forced into situations and how we can relate to their experiences.
So these movies can act as a form of guidance and strength for our personal inner- work. Not in the letteral sense of course, because we don’t want to glorify violence and doing harm, or being destructive in any way to others.
I just found this particular genre and the “Noire-look” very suitable to showcase these emotional extremes interestingly and entertainingly.
It is a process. And I like to take the audience on such a journey through my movies.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
I would say roughly between 4 – 5 months. Writing the script was the longest part. At some point in the creative process, you have to say: “Ok, this is what we are going to shoot.” From my experience, the first intuition is always the best, so get this on paper and only fine-tune later. I found that the more we changed the story, the further we got from the initial idea. And that only violates the story.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
Slick & engaging
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
There is never enough time for producing a film. So sometimes you have to go with what you have. Since the cast members are professional actors, and many of them have their obligations, we didn’t have time to do any rehearsals or readings. The initial story was written in English. And then, at some point, Mihovil our screenwriter joined us, which was basically about 10 weeks before the shoot. And we did the Croatian shooting version of the script because we felt that it would be more authentic. The nature of the story made it difficult to compose it within a short form format. Therefore, I wish we had some more time to do a couple more re-writes to give the story more depth at some points.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
I have to say that I was very positively surprised about the expertise and the in-depth film analysis that the audience was able to give. Also, the variations from a very formal feedback to a more emotional made it a great mix. Especially because we come from a small country and having an international audience means the world to us.
You have such a great audience, very lovely people. Thank you very much for the profound and honest feedbacks !
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
As I said earlier in this interview, I believe that art is a great tool for exploring the self and the world. For me, it just happened to be film because I was lucky enough to have some people who are very close to me and are working in the industry.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
“Legends of the fall” with Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins is always a very inspirational story.
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
Thank you for this question. This shows that you are taking your responsibility as a film festival seriously. And again, I cannot put the appreciation into words for the acknowledgment and praise that we have got from your festival. So thank you very much again!
I think, that film festivals are a great networking platform for filmmakers to connect with other industry professionals. And to showcase films in front of other producers, buyers, sales agents, distributors and a wonderful audience. There is nothing better for a film than to find its audience. So if there is any way to get the word out and introduce me and my team to the mentioned industry professionals, that would be the greatest help that we could get.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
I have submitted the film only through FilmFreeway, which is very simple to use and keep track of the festival circuit. Therefore, I had only positive experiences with using FilmFreeway.
10. What is your favorite meal?
I couldn’t mention a meal in particular, but I would refer to different cultural cuisines. I love Persian food, Asian, Moroccan, Greek…and the list goes on… I just somehow don’t like to eat olives on their own. I don’t know why. But I can have them in a salad or on a pizza.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
I am very happy to announce that we are in the works on the feature film version of this short film since we have received pretty good feedback on it. So that’s very exciting! Apart from that, I am working on a TV series and I have a couple of treatments for feature films.