In development and financing
THE MYTH OF A REAL MAN
MIT O PRAVOM ČOVEKU
A Serbian family hopes to immigrate to Canada. The father must decide between the duty to his homeland and the future of his family, in a pensive recollection of the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia.
Fiction, 100 min
As Vasiliye and Katarina Ostrogorsky wait for the response from the Canadian embassy on the status of their visa, their country comes under attack during the 1999. bombing of Yugoslavia. Their twelve-year old son Georgey, who was already grappling with the idea of moving to Canada, now watches his father as he puts on his uniform and answers the call to mobilization to defend a country which he was initially determined to leave.
During Vasiliye's absence, the letter from the embassy arrives. As Vasiliye comes back on a day's leave from the military, his wife realizes that his focus has shifted. Instead of taking the chance to escape the country, Vasiliye chooses to return to the army. It will take a heavy air raid on their neighborhood to make Vasiliye realize the gravity of the situation, and see the consequence of his decision.
Born in Nis, Serbia in 1989, Lee received her BFA in Film Directing from School of the Image Arts (Ryerson University) and a certificate from FAMU in Prague. She received her master's degree from the Faculty of Performing Arts in Belgrade. In 2018, she became a member of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. Her short film FLUFFY (2016) premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and screened at over 30 film festivals, including Telluride, Aspen and SIFF. It won numerous awards, including the Best Short Film Award by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association/Golden Globes and the Canadian Screen Award for Best Live Action Short in 2018. Lee was one of the participants in the Nuits en Or tour by the Cesar Awards in 2018. Her first feature project, THE MYTH OF A REAL MAN, currently in development.
The project is based on my own memories of growing up in Yugoslavia in the 1990s and subsequently emigrating to Canada. We realised that normal life in our country was no longer a viable possibility. The decision to leave can be a battleground of the rational and emotional sides within a person. The dilemmas that many people face today are not much different from those of the protagonists - stay and fight, or leave. While we hear the stories of refugees fleeing, it is the moments before they embark on their journeys that interest me. Twenty years on, we can see the state of our world and country more clearly, precisely through those stories. I believe that a good drama must contain comedy, since a good comedy must be a drama at its core. While this film deals with the effects of war on ordinary people, I try to approach it with that humour which humans have always used to deal with unbearable moments. Grey, rainy March weather will set the tone of the film. I imagine lots of natural light which pushes through the fog that settles in early spring. The camera movement will be controlled, and, to paraphrase Kiarostami, I will strive for every frame to be a painting in itself. I have been collecting visual inspiration from a wide range of painters - from Leonora Carrington’s surreal, green-tinged interiors to the figures of Balthus. A film that inspired me is Andrei Konchalovsky’s SIBERIADE (1979) through its overlapping of realism and surrealism to create a visceral experience. By setting the film in my home town, a spa in southern Serbia, I am exploring characters who define much of what I am interested in today. I feel that their lives, in all their absurdities, are worthy of sharing with the world. Our town was destined to be one of the great spa towns of Europe, and it probably would have been, if it had not been located in a country which faces a war every fifty years or so. This is what defines my characters: endless potential taken away by destruction, both from the people around them and by outside forces.
Short films by Lee Filipovski