Slovenian feature film "Illusion" honoured across Atlantic

Slovenian films are not very well known and not many show up at international festivals. But that's changing. A new name in the Slovenian film business is Jan Bilodjeric director of the film "slepilo" or illusion. Jan is just back from a film festival in New York and, together with actor Srdjan Trifunovic, spoke to Radio Slovenia International.

At the new international independent film and video festival in November your film "slepilo" received an honourable mention for best feature. The film talks about drug abuse and prostitution and is based on the true stories of drug addicts. Jan Bilodjeric, how did you write the script and how did you come up with the idea to make a film about this topic?

"In Maribor in 1995 to 1996 there was a big boom of heroin and a lot of youngsters from our generation, from my generation, had direct or indirect contact with heroin. So I knew a lot about the subject, I knew a lot of people that used heroin, so I talked to the addicts, their families and friends and wrote the story for "Slepilo". I wrote it in the year 2000 and it took me one year to write."

Tell us more about the story of the film...

"It is about a young couple, Tadej and Lana, they are struggling through this world of addiction from drugs to prostitution. Tadej is a drug addict from the beginning of the film and Lana is trying to help him. Her helping him turns into something much darker than she expected."

Slovenia's film fund did not approve to co-finance your film to put it on 35 mm film, nevertheless the commission of the New York film festival selected your film and, as I mentioned before, you were quite successful there. Were you able to find a sponsor for the film?

"We don't know yet, because we received the award a week ago and we are looking for sponsors now and we'll see. We need quite some money to put the film from digital video on 35mm film."

Are there plans to participate at other film festivals?

"We have already applied for some festivals and we'll see, if we get accepted or not."

Srdan Trifunovic, how is it for an actor to slip into the role of a drug addict? How did you prepare for the role?

"It was pretty hard, because like Jan said I knew a lot of people who used drugs and one of my friends from primary school died at the age of 16 because of heroin. So, for me it was quite hard to get into the role. We had some six months before the actual shooting for rehearsals. At the beginning, it was really hard to get into the role of my character Matej. Then, when we came close to the end, it became easier and easier."