Darijan Pejovski: Feature film is like a marathon, short movies are more like a sprint

Darijan Pejovski (1983) is a young Macedonian film director. He graduated from the Department of Film and TV Directing at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Skopje. The audience knows him as a co-writer of the screenplay for a feature fiction film directed by Vladimir Blazevski, Punk´s Not Dead (Pankot ne e mrtov, 2011). Before he directed several short and documentary films. During the International Film Festival Bratislava you could have seen his first feature fiction film Three Days in September (2015).


During the festival you went on the screening of your movie. What were the reactions of the audience?


Well, I think that screening went very well because we had very good audience. There were a lot of young people, students, young actors… Because it is actor´s film in a way… So there was much interest about the performances in the film. I am very glad for that because we focused on this aspect of the film and we worked very hard on it.


You have visited many different festivals. If you could compare the audience what would you say about us?


It is mainly about culture. For example the audience in Chicago – they were asking a lot of questions, they are cinefils, they think a lot about films. The audience in here was much more opened to questions and interested in this field than in,for example, Germany. In Germany, the cinema was full during the Q&A day, but no one asked questions. They just wanted to listen. But here we had a good discussion, so it was very nice.


This was your first fiction film. You have made several short and documentary ones before. How would you compare short documentaries and fiction movies? Are you able to define them?


Feature film is like a marathon, short movies are more like a sprint. The good thing about the short is that you get to the result very quickly and the whole process is very energic, passoniate. The making of feature fiction film is much more methodical and analytical process. I mean, I liked it a lot but you have to be very consciouss about decidions because some kind of a decision – right or wrong – can make big consequences – good or bad – for example after a year of work.


Would we define your previous short movies as a kind of foreplay before you started working on fiction movies?


Yes, of course. After I finished my film school, I made 3-4 shorts. We can take it as a foreplay for a fiction film. But on the other hand, I like the joy of working on a short subject but only for a short time. If I do a short film now, I am not going to take it as something I am going to prepare for my next fiction film. It is different.


Are you planning to continue in both – short and fiction movies?


Yes. But after this experience I would definitely like to do more fiction movies because I like the process – dealing with the problems, obstacles… It is very interesting, I can´t wait to shoot again.


How long did it take to shoot Three Days in September?


Well, shooting was very fast. It was a big challenge. It is relatively low-budget-film. So we shot it in 21 days. But the concept of the screen play was very chamber. Character-driven film. It is not a film about a scene design, it is about performances.




Even though… I liked its visual side as well. The chosen locations…


Yes, thank you. We did a few smart moves in the priorities of the making. We strictly set that we are not going to make a compromise about the casting and locations. We spent a lot of time with finding the right locations, we didn´t make many changes afterwards – we used them as they were. The landscape, interiors, house… But the priority was to make strong emotional scenes in such a short time we have, so… I had good actresses.


What was the inspiration of the movie?


From the beginning I had the idea of two completely different women characters. Totally different women who contiunously realised that they were not so different. And the only thing that could connect this topic was, in my point of view, the typical Balcan issue – a violent man because Balkan is pretty much male-oriented-violent surrounding. So I thought it was a good concept. And I also wanted to make a genre portrait which is not quite common for our cinematography. That were the fundamental ideas of the story.


You said that you are looking forward to your next fiction movie. Have you already thought about it or is it too early to talk about it?


I am very tired this month because we were at three festivals… Of course I have an idea, a vision which I want to develop but it is too early to talk about it. I want to do something different but on the other hand I cannot escape from my cinematic fetisism.


This is your first fiction movie and it has already got to various audiences at festivals all over the world. How do you feel about it?


Yes, definitely. Because short movies are different. You can show it on a festival, you can travel but the connection with the audience is unique when it comes to a fiction film. This was my first coming face-to-face with an audience which doesn´t know anything about my country, me or the film. People just bought the ticket and went to the cinema to watch something. So it was quite stressful but now we had a few festivals so I am quite comfortable with it and I really enjoy it.


By Anna Predmerská

Dear film fans and supporters of the art of cinema, dear festival visitors, colleagues and friends, With great regret, we must report that the Bratislava International Film Festival will not be held in 2019. Believe us, we were the last ones to want to make this decision, but at the same time, we wanted to
be the first to announce it.

Based on votes cast by the visitors, the Bratislava IFF Viewers’ Choice Award went to Wanuri Kahiu’s second feature film Rafiki (2018) about forbidden love in Kenya.

Awards of the 20th Bratislava IFF 2018

“If you’re lucky enough to make living of something you really love, there is a downside – you don’t do it for fun, it’s a job.”


Tomáš Hudák. He studied Film studies (criticism) at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava (VŠMU). He’s a fan of film, music, literature and the art as such. He’s a freelancer, writing film reviews and co-organizing several Slovakian film festivals.

“It’s nice to step out from the bubble of social networks – the binary world of likes/unlikes to be part of the group of totally different people, who are connected only by the skateboards.”


Šimon Šafránek. – director, journalist, DJ – multi-genre artist with the sensation of music and word. He’s a freelancer, writing for the Denník N, Hospodářské noviny, Reflex, Magnus etc.

“Films make us better, braver, more romantic and free”


Bibiana Ondrejková. A popular theatre and voice actress and presenter. The general public knows her as the Slovak voice of Phoebe Buffay from the TV show Friends. Upon seeing her, viewers will associate her with the Slovak TV series The Defenders (2014), Red Widow (2014), Homicide Old Town (2010) or Block of Flats (2008).

“Actors infuse film with emotion and give it a soul”

Daniel Rihák. A fresh graduate of film directing at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava under the leadership of prof. Martin Šulík. A director of (so far) student films and a number of commercials. His graduation film The Trip recently won the Best Director and Best Sound awards at the Áčko Student Film Festival.

“All women have the power to change things”


Ivana Hucíková belongs to the generation of young Slovak filmmakers. She studied at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava, from which she graduated in 2015 with her film Mothers and Daughters. A Bratislava citizen from Orava, living and creating in Slovakia and the USA. So far, she has made several short documentary films: Into My Life (2018), Connie & Corey (2017) and is currently working on the development of several film projects as their director, producer or editor.

“Cinema is a great medium for sharing common European values”


Dominika Jarečná was born in 1999 in Bratislava. She currently studies Theory and History of Arts at the Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University in Brno (Czech Republic). She was a member of the Giornate degli Autori jury at this year’s Venice IFF and is a LUX Prize ambassador for the years 2018 and 2019.

Film festival: “It’s a bit like a vacation full of stories”

Alena Sabuchová is a young Slovak author and screenwriter. For her debut collection of short stories Back rooms, Alena was awarded the Ivan Krasko Prize for the best Slovak-language debut as well as the Tatra banka Foundation Young Artist Award in the category of literature. She writes scripts for television and radio, and is currently working on her second book, which will be published next year.

“These films were among the most awarded debut films at this year’s leading festivals”


Nenad Dukić. Serbian film critic, who has been collaborating with the team of people preparing The Bratislava International Film Festival for 8 years now. This year (the 20th anniversary of the festival’s existence), he is again the compiler of the Fiction Competition and co-compiler of the section Cinema Now.

The popular section Cinema Now brings an overview of the most remarkable films of the season. Its curators, Nenad Dukid and Tomáš Hudák, have assembled the most interesting movies that have stirred the waters of world’s major festivals. For 20 years, the Bratislava IFF has been supplying the Slovak film public with names, which often become stars of the screen.