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).

Read more

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.

Read more

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: cruk.org/worldcancerday

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.

Read more

Serbian actor Slaven Došlo is primed for his first international film roles

Slaven Doslo headThe world is calling for award-winning Serbian actor Slaven Došlo, who plans to shoot his first English-language role this summer.

Scripts have been rolling in since the charismatic star of acclaimed films Pored Mene, Panama and Vlažnost was crowned a rising star of European cinema with his first international acting award.

Even before his next film Biser Bojana (dir. Milan Karadžić) opens in cinemas on 16 February, Slaven will be meeting with producers to progress two international film projects.

“If everything goes well it looks like I should be shooting my first role in English this summer,’ said Slaven. “There’s a whole world out there and I want to deliver roles that appeal to English-speaking audiences.”

Read more