June 29, 2020
Another one of the amazing projects to be presented at KVIFF Eastern Promises is NEITHER VOICE. Let's find out more about this Slovenian drama set in the 70s.
“The work done on our upcoming feature film Neither Voice during this year's MIDPOINT Feature Launch programme has truly been eye-opening and exactly what we needed at this point of development. Together with our mentors, the writers have done an enormous amount of work and gone through several drafts of the screenplay to finally come to a point where we're basically getting ready to shoot it. This makes us more than excited to present the film at KVIFF Eastern Promises Industry Days and we can't wait to share it with the world.”
Andraz Jeric, Ester Ivakic, Nika Jurman
Ida (10) lives in a village in 1970s Yugoslavia. While her parents argue, she listens to obituaries with her Grandma, who means the world to Ida. One day, Grandma collapses while watering the flowers in the local graveyard. Ida panics. Suddenly the beautiful sound of singing begins to resound out of nowhere and Grandma finally gets up. Astonished by the power of singing, Ida decides to join the school choir to save Grandma from dying. After turning out to be an awful singer, she is rejected, until a shy girl named Terezka helps her out. But their joy doesn't last long, as Ida finds out her Dad is cheating on Mom and, instead of singing, she finds herself on a bus to Mom's family in Serbia, where she spends the summer. She longs to get back to Grandma and constantly fights with Mom. When she returns home, Ida finds Grandma ill and the family falling apart, but she tries to grow up and embrace the change.
I see this film as Ida’s own little bubble that she made up to live in, to protect herself from her fears and the possibility of the loss she is obsessed with. Her loneliness forces her to experiment alone and process her intense emotions through her imagination. The way I remember my childhood, the strongest feelings I had were those that were almost “made-up”. I feel Ida’s own personal world lies somewhere in that space. The tone of the film will be playfully melancholic, somehow protecting Ida from the things a viewer might find morbid sooner than she realizes they are. She finds her love in animals, a magical ghost living next door and the Virgin Mary, which will also give the film an uplifting, hopeful, and sweet atmosphere.
Neither Voice, a book of short stories by acclaimed writer Suzana Tratnik, grabbed our attention from its very first page, making us immediately develop it into a film while engaging writer Nika Jurman and director Ester Ivakic, both of whom we've worked with previously. The tone of the story set in the Slovenian countryside and the humour in the protagonist's voice is very close to Nika's previous writing, while the mood, visual themes, and underlying emotional drive is something very present in Ester's earlier shorts as well. The story takes place in a peculiar time in the history of former Yugoslavia, spans across the borders of its republics and, although a sense of nostalgia might be familiar to older audiences, we also expect the story to resonate with younger viewers. We are in an advanced stage of development and are looking for co-producers and potential sales agents to come on board.