Interview with Mr. Hasanovic, a Bosnian Film Director based in Rome

Ado Hasanovic (born in Srebrenica 1986) is a Bosnian film director based in Rome, Italy. From 2008-2011, Mr.Hasanovic has been the Creative Director of the Srebrenica Short Film Festival. He graduated from the Sarajevo Film Academy as a film director in 2013. He later attended the National Film School ‘Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia’ in Rome, where he specialized as a film director. In 2015, he started working as Art Director for the Mediterranean Short Film Festival in Sant’Antioco, Italy. As a guest student at the Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo, he finished a Master in Dramaturgy. He won several international awards for his short films “The Angel of Srebrenica”, “Blue Viking in Sarajevo”, “Mum” “Breath of life Srebrenica” and “Pink Elephant”.

Sarajevo Times: How did you decide to become a director?

During the war in Srebrenica, my father, Bekir, purchased a camera and he recorded different events in the United Nations (UN) protected zone during the period 1993-1995. I will not talk much about how we managed to survive. We went to Tuzla as refugees and I had the opportunity to watch my father’s footage and events that happened in Srebrenica. Later, in 1996, he gave me the VHS camera and I am still keeping it. I learned how to record in a short period of time, it felt like magic, as if I had some kind of power with the camera. I recorded different activities on the street and in school, I gave instructions to people on how to talk and what to do, and I did not even know what is that profession called. Later, in 2002/04, we returned to our pre-war village of Glogova, where we renovated our demolished house, and I started volunteering in the Association “Friends of Srebrenica” in 2006, where I realized that my wish is to make films.

When I get inspiration for some movie, I write down the idea and then start with my research. I have around ten projects that I have already started, some of them are completed, some are in the beginning, some halfway…

In the end, I gave up on them, because I discovered other stories while I was researching the previous ones that I dedicated my time to. These are the phases from month to month, from year to year, and my education certainly made a great influence. I started all of it as an amateur, I was creative director of the Short Film Festival “Silver Ribbon” in Srebrenica from 2008 to 2011. I created a short film “Angel of Srebrenica” and enrolled the Sarajevo Film Academy, after which I went with my graduation film “Mama” to Rome to continue specializing as a film director at the national film school “Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia”.I am saying all of this to explain the importance and process of filmmaking. You will meet some people who will say that you do not need a school to make a movie. I agree, you do not need a school, but you cannot make a movie without a basic film education. On the other hand, you can record a movie, everyone can do it today with their phone, but you can only show it to your friends on your gathering. The film demands serious attitude and work.

When it comes to film production process, Mr. Hasanovic says that it begins with writing a story and a scenario, signing contract with the production, selection of the crew (Casting, DPO, Sound Engineer, Costumes, Scenographer, Composer …)

Later on, the rehearsal and work with actors, selecting locations, recording and post-production (image editing, sound processing, special effects, sub-notes, colour correction, mix, export). In the end, the distribution and screening of the film.

Sarajevo Times: How do you choose actors for roleplaying?

I did not do casting for the role of mother and father for my short film “Pink Elephant”. I knew who could be the actor while writing the scenario. It all depends on the story I am doing, sometimes it is difficult to imagine what my main character looks like, what his / her face looks like, and this happens now with my first feature movie “I am Ana” on which I have been working for two years now. I am still in the phase of writing scenario, and I already have the prediction of who might play some characters in the story, but for the main character, girl, I still cannot imagine the actress who might play it, and that is the reason why I will have a great casting and hopefully choose the right one.

The whole movie depends on the crew. It is very important to have a good chef on the set, the person who prepares the food is very important. If actors and the crew are not satisfied with the food, you will have problems from the very beginning. These are little things, and they all depend on the budget and the contract with the crew. From my experience, it is important to make a contract with all members of the team in order to avoid any type of misunderstanding, because those are delicate things, this “damn” ending credits that means nothing to ordinary viewers. I had the opportunity to record and produce a short film “Nomofobia” for the first time, which should be completed in the upcoming days. I had the opportunity to choose all the members of the team for the first time and I must say that this was the most beautiful experience I have had on the set.

When speaking about BH movies, Mr. Hasanovic says that there are no large budget on the state level for BH film. Authors get small funds and they are left on their own to make films and fund themselves alone.

“I am admiring my colleagues who are able to make the film in this area with such a small amount of money.”

Sarajevo Times: What inspires you?

“People, nature, conflict, love, disorder, hate.”

Speaking about his current projects, Mr. Hasanovic says that he is working on the first feature film “I am Ana,” which is a story of love and conflicts within a family, between father and daughter, and the violence that is hidden behind the smile. I am also finishing the short film “Nomofobia” that I recorded in one cadre. Film takes place in the provinces of Tuscany, central Italy, has an unexpected twist when a mother decides to confiscate her teenager daughter’s telephone.

Interview by Amina Avdic




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