SARAJEVO, August 19 (FENA) – The feature film “ŽŽŽ” (“Journal about Želimir Žilnik”) directed by Janko Baljak had its world premiere on Wednesday in the official selection of the Competition Program – Documentary Film of the 27th Sarajevo Film Festival (SFF).
The film, produced by Novi Sad’s ARBOS, with the support of the Film Center of Serbia, was shot for more than three years as a “road movie” documentary through Želimir Žilnik’s more than 50-year-long filmography, but also as a journey through the history of Yugoslavia.
Želimir Žilnik (born in Niš, 1942, lives and works in Novi Sad) is the author of numerous feature and documentary films, one of the founders of docudrama (or documentary drama) genre, awarded at domestic and international film festivals.
In Janko Baljak’s film, the story of Žilnik and his work also follows the discovery of the long-censored and banned film “Freedom or Comics”, which was seized by censors 50 years ago and was recently found by chance.
In a conversation with FENA, Baljak said that the idea was to make a documentary as a dialogue between two authors modeled on the book Hitchcock / Truffaut, because in it the two authors lead creative conversations.
“Practically, with Žilnik and the camera, we go through the places where he made films. We talk to people who are alive and leave that kind of testimony. The film is called Journal and has that form of journal. I had a problem how to connect all those pictures and all those trips into one whole. And then we were lucky that Žilnik found a copy of the film “Freedom or Comics” and that the film was a connective tissue,” he claimed.
Baljak believes that Žilnik’s recipe is the best for a good film, because he never waited for large funds, he did not wait for the budget.
“I realized that after years of collecting money, we are no longer the same people, this film is no longer being made for us. And Žilnik never waited for the events to pass. He always had the right topic,” he underlined.