Director Stevan Filipovic announces Serbian film sequel: Next to Us (trailer)

Acclaimed Serbian director STEVAN FILIPOVIĆ will challenge a society of shifting morals and questionable values with his highly anticipated movie sequel NEXT TO US (Pored Nas).

Characters who were locked in school without phones in Stevan’s Serbian feature hit NEXT TO ME (Pored Mene) make their dramatic return.

But this time we they will be seen in a significantly more extreme story that fast-forwards the students into tough and unfamiliar territory.

Set seven years after that classroom lock-in, the old friends each step out of their variously colourful (and sometimes shady) lives to take part in a new reality TV show, ‘Natural Selection’, set in the wilderness.

“In Next to Me we removed the protagonists from their natural habitat by denying them access to internet and mobile phones,’ said Stevan Filipović.

“In Next to Us, we take it up a notch: not only is technology unavailable, but they have been displaced from an urban area to be abandoned in the wild.

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Serbian hitmaker Željko Joksimović returns to London stage

Zeljko London3Serbian singer-songwriters do not come much greater or more successful than Željko Joksimović, the man behind many of this century’s best Balkan ballads.

London audiences will be able to judge for themselves when the charismatic star performs at The Troxy on Friday (24 March).

“This will be my third performance in London and I’m very happy to be coming back,’ Željko told Marcus Agar.

“I have received many messages from people who like my music, who can’t wait for the concert to start. I feel the same. I am sure it will be a great night.

To many outside Serbia, Željko is best known for his two highly placed Eurovision performances – the sublime Lane moje (2004) and Nije ljubav stvar (2012).

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Berlin premiere for Bojan Vuletić’s Serbian satire Requiem for Mrs J

Requiem For Mrs JA Serbian black comedy about suicide, bureaucracy and a mother’s endless struggle to make ends meet in a society hampered by its past is flagged as a must-see film at the über-prestigious Berlinale International Film Festival (9-18 February).

Requiem for Mrs J (Rekvijem za gospodju J) tells of a middle-aged Serbian widow (Mirjana Karanović) whose tough but mundane life seems increasingly hopeless.

Pushed to her limits – by the death of the family rabbit, no less – Jelena (Mrs J) resolves to commit suicide on the anniversary of her husband’s death. She has just one week to put her affairs in order.

“The idea for the story originates from intimate acquaintance with a woman who embodies a typical victim of the transition process in Serbia,’ said the film’s writer and director Bojan Vuletić.

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London’s Strawberry smart bench network gives boost to cancer research

Cancer Research UK has joined forces with smart city business Strawberry Energy to launch a network of Smart Benches (#SmartBenchUK) with contactless technology in time for World Cancer Day on the 4th February. Cancer Research UK is also urging the nation to wear a Unity Band® on 4 February 2017, World Cancer Day, creating one incredible #ActofUnity that will help beat cancer sooner. For further information, please visit:

Smart city business Strawberry Energy UK has joined forces with Cancer Research UK to launch a network of ‘contactless’ smart benches (#SmartBenchUK) in time for World Cancer Day (4 February).

The pilot scheme of ten solar-powered benches will enhance public spaces in the boroughs of Lewisham and Islington by providing mobile device charging ports and free wifi access.

The first smart benches will feature a number of contactless payment locations including Islington Green and Lewisham High Street.

Following the pilot a further ten will be installed by the end of February, with an extra 80 to be installed this year.

Sensors built into the benches monitor environmental data including air quality, which users can check via the Strawberry Energy smart phone app, providing a valuable tool for users and feeding data to local boroughs.

This is especially relevant in support of London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s aim to improve the capital’s air quality.

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