Baltic Event Co-Production Market
After a homophobic police detective and a trans woman team up to investigate a murder, they dig into their deepest secrets and life
Zvonko, a homophobic policeman living in a semi-rural neighbourhood is determined to solve his last murder case before he retires. Since the victim is a trans-woman he starts to investigate gay-friendly clubs and finds the victim’s best friend - Damjana, another trans-woman. He teams up with her in order to find the killer, so they start following the leads and questioning all the suspects. They struggle with their relationship along the way, but as they learn more about themselves and their personal lives they become friends. When he opens up and reveals that he had a gay son who committed suicide they create a special bond. In the end, when the killer is found another problem occurs, Zvonko becomes unwanted in his neighbourhood and the bullies beat him up. He ends up in a wheelchair and Damjana moves into his son’s room to take care of him.
Ants criticises those who hide behind their fears and incompetence, dictating how others should live and making decisions because of their societal positions. Ants is not just a story, but a problem and a solution packed in a screenplay that should be transformed into a moving picture as an imitation of our illogical reality. The movie would be colourful and saturated to represent the story’s vibrance and the characters’ mannerisms. The comedy would be filmed in static, medium close-ups, which will help to accent the acting as the primary tool for building a character. The set design and the costumes will be colourful, in many layers, so they can support the comedy that slowly fades during the story. Along with that fade, the colour intensity will also fade toward the end. The whole atmosphere will be supported by cheerfulness as an ironic contrast to the absurdity that is going on. The edit will be dynamic, with few slowing down during the scenes where the story unfolds at its emotional peak.
In terms of the content and creative execution, the film has transnational appeal because it deals with a universal theme – trans question. The film itself explores an intimate story that is rarely seen coming from the Balkans. Usually, when festivals and producers hear about a movie from this part of Europe, they expect dark, social dramas, but we believe that there are many other stories from the region and Macedonia that can be compelling and talk about universal issues. This is one of them. The unique perspective of presenting this story will be through the visual approach and the way of shooting, but also most importantly will be the way of working with the cast. The fact that this film has a comedy relationship between the camera and the protagonists whereby the dialogue is funny, for Marjan Gavrilovski is not a novelty and is only to complement the whole atmosphere. His refined taste of detail and visual understanding of things will only produce a piece that will be fully supported by all cinemagoers, as well as outside the cinema. On the other hand, the very fact that the close cooperation between me as a producer and Marjan as an author has led to a symbiosis and complementation, and the trust we had rounded up and promoted with the film Ants.
Marjan Gavrilovski is born on October 9, 1983 in Skopje, Macedonia. After attending film school in Sofia, Bulgaria. In 2016 he made his first independent feature Horse Riders which saw great festival success. Horse Riders was officially selected at 40+ film festivals in Europe, the United States, Africa, and Asia. The film won its first best feature award at Fam Fest International Film Festival in North Carolina, USA.
Horse Riders, 2017, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6755878 Elevation 404, 2016, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4269914 Just an Ordinary Day, 2012, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4369134
Romir Jakupi is a film producer, who graduated from the Faculty of Drama Arts in Skopje, North Macedonia. He has been working as a producer since 2002, and his film company has been awarded for several film projects. His films are Tradition (2019), Nezo (2020), and he is engaged as a producer of these films which are under production: the feature film Ants directed by Marjan Gavrilovski, and Only Old People Live Here directed by Mirsad Abazi.
Nikola Kuzelov is an actor and screenwriter based in Skopje, Macedonia. He started working in the film industry as a freelancer writing his first independent feature, Horse Riders (2016), which was selected for 40+ film festivals, winning three best feature awards. He is a screenwriter for the short film Soil, co-produced by Slovenia and Croatia. In 2019, a year later, his feature, Ants, was fully financed and is currently in pre-production.