AHEAD of About Bugs And Heroes screenings at Raindance Film Festival (1 and 2 October), director Petar Pasic to tell us what we can expect from his film.
Q: ‘About Bugs and Heroes’ has been a long-term project for you. When did you first get the idea of this film?
A: AFTER filming my short film E-pigs, whose UK premiere was also in London, at BFI festival, the co-producer Vuk Tatalovic and I wanted to create something similar, but in the form of a feature. I already had an idea in my head about characters suffering because of different kinds of love and I believed that combining computer animation with filmed material would be ideal for that story.
Q: The film spent a lot of time in post-production limbo. Can you give us some insight into your journey to make this film and get it seen?
A: IT is very difficult in Serbia to provide funding for filmmaking. There is a national film fund but with too many applicants and not enough funds. So we started to make this project with some minimal assistance and we mostly financed it ourselves. We faced, naturally, many obstacles so the process lasted for a long time as well.
Q: Can you tell us about the world we find in ‘About Bugs and Heroes’ and the type of characters we find there?
A: IT is a world that can’t be defined in terms of time or place. All of the characters share a common thread, which is search of love and the eternal question: how much should we sacrifice for it and fight for it? All of them, bugs included, have a problem of their own and a struggle associated with love. Whether it is love between husband and wife, father and son, boyfriend and girlfriend, boy and girl.. love is always there and even though we might think that it is gone, it will somehow prevail.
Q: ‘About Bugs and Heroes’ looks at the similar adventures of humans and insects. Why did you want that comparison?
A: I did that because I wanted to show that we might be equally small and irrelevant in someone else’s eyes as insects are to us. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that things we do don’t matter. On the contrary, I believe that all of us together create a larger picture that we might not be able to fully perceive, but that picture is very important.
Q: With this insect and human comparison, the film blends live action and animation. Who worked on the animation for the film?
A: THE animated part was created by our production and post-production company that unfortunately doesn’t exist anymore. But a lot of effort, time and investment has been made and I believe that it is obvious when you see the film.
Q: What challenges did having that mix of live action and animation present?
A: THE concept itself already presents a challenge. We weren’t sure about how the audience would accept this type of style mixture. But, as I was mixing styles in live action, animation was also one of the styles for me – the style that was supposed to represent the underground world. I think that the audience has accepted it because the idea behind it is clear.
Q: What do you feel is the essence of this film?
A: AS I mentioned earlier, the main theme is love and I believe that love is the only thing that can keep this world together. The problem of this day and age is that people are getting more and more distant from each other, so love doesn’t have that romantic shape that it used to have before. It is becoming more and more a word with a deeper meaning.
But as long as there is a single person carrying hope in love, like the boy in my film, there is still hope for us.
Q: Have you had a chance to think about what is next for you?
A: I am currently working on two projects. One is a musical and the other one is a psychological horror. I think that the horror film will be filmed first.
Q: Lastly, do you have a message for UK audiences who will see the film at Raindance?
A: I would like to tell them to approach this film as if they were listening to music. It is all about the atmosphere and feelings and that is the best way to perceive it. And I am sure that people who believe in love will like it.