International acclaim for Serbian teen drama Next to Me

23 September, 2015 News, Opinion 3 comments

Pored Mene, Next to MeWhen a Serbian film makes waves beyond the domestic market, critics and audiences sit up and pay attention.

As thought-provoking and socially relevant high school drama Pored Mene (Next to Me) clocks up international awards and acclaim, the signs are strong for this will translate into bums on seats.

Next to Me, the latest cinema release from one of Serbia’s leading young writer-directors Stevan Filipović was a champion right out of the blocks.

After being named Best Film on its world premiere at last month’s Pula International Film Festival, it showed that this honour was not a fluke by winning the Young Audience Award at the Sarajevo Film Festival.

Sensing that they were on to something special international film critics, including Hollywood Reportersoon added their acclaim.

Read more

Serbian cinema has bright hopes for Next to Me’s Slaven Došlo

Slaven Doslo, Pored Mene, Next to MeSlaven Došlo has joined a throng of exciting young actors and directors to be proclaimed as flag bearers for the future of Serbian cinema.

With two films praised by critics at this year’s round of international film festivals, this 24-year-old from Sombor is attracting attention beyond the domestic market.

Hollywood Reporter was the latest in a string of international film media to namecheck Slaven for his scene-stealing performance in writer-director Stevan Filipović‘s acclaimed high school drama Pored Mene (Next to Me).

The film, distributed in Serbia by Taramount Film, was named Best Film at Croatia’s Pula International Film Festival on its first public screening.

Slaven has attracted widespread praise for his role as a sharp-witted college boy in the film which won the Young Audience Award at the Sarajevo Film Festival.

Read more

London looks to Belgrade for green city solutions

Strawberry energy milosLondon’s Canary Wharf is setting the pace for clean energy in the capital by awarding a coveted contract to a young Serbian business that promises to harness the power of the sun and covert it into free public energy.

The Cognicity Group has expressed its commitment for Strawberry Energy to launch a pilot project with four solar-powered ‘smart benches’ installed in the East London business and retail location.

Strawberry Energy and its entrepreneurial founder Miloš Milisavljević have won international acclaim for their green energy solutions from the European Commission and prestigious organisations in Europe and the US.

The successful Serbian business will use this London opportunity as a springboard to roll out further solar energy units across Britain.

Talks are advanced on plans to install similar units across Europe and in America.

Smart benches put sunshine in your pocket

“This opportunity will allow us to make life easier for the thousands of people who use Canary Wharf every day,’ said Strawberry Energy CEO Miloš Milisavljević, after the contract was announced at a reception in Canary Wharf on Thursday.

Strawberry energy bench cognicity“We are delighted that we can spread a little sunshine on the streets of London.”

For three months, Miloš has been in London to consult with business leaders and present his company’s ideas as part of the Cognicity Challenge, sponsored by Intel.

This forward-thinking programme sought innovative smart city solutions for the UK and with specific relevance to the needs and future of Canary Wharf.

The end result is an all-new sympathetically designed unit that suits the needs of people living and working in Canary Wharf, and which could be relevant to many other public spaces in Britain, Europe and the US.

As well as a full range on connectors to charge most common mobile devices, the smart benches include an emergency call button and roof-mounted lights for safety.

Not only did Strawberry Energy win a contract to install four units in Canary Wharf – Miloš also walked away with a special ‘cool prize‘.

The needs of people should drive new technology.

“Smart city solutions should take account of the local environment and its needs if they are to be successfully adopted by people living and working there, ’ said Miloš, aged 27, from Obrenovac, near Belgrade.

Strawberry tree“When designing the Strawberry smart bench for Canary Wharf we closely considered who uses the space and how.

“Our practical solution is an unobtrusive but attractive bench that provides a social place for people to sit, chat or enjoy lunch while plugging in and recharging their phones or tablets.

“Mobile technology is an increasing part of everyone’s daily life. With the Strawberry Bench, we can take the frustration out of realising that you have a flat battery when you want to use your device.”

As with the larger Strawberry Trees to be found across Serbian cities, these unique benches will capture the power of the sun via solar panels and convert it into free energy to recharge power-hungry mobile phones, tablets and other devices via a wide range of connectors.

Strawberry Energy looks for growth across Britain

Miloš hopes that this pilot scheme will be just the start of a greater project to help make free public solar chargers become commonplace.

“We will be speaking with businesses, developers and local authorities about planting Strawberry Trees and smart benches in city centres, parks, shopping precincts and university campuses across the UK,’ said Miloš.

“For a relatively small investment,  planners, property owners and local authorities around Britain can deliver immense benefit to a large number of people.

“Solar energy can be a practical and free energy solution for everyone, including the people of Britain.

“We want to see Strawberry Trees and smart benches up and down the UK. This pilot scheme makes that possible.”

Belgrade kids seek supporters for UK theatre link-up

Bel Theatre A British drama teacher plans to bring a group of Belgrade school children to the UK for a series of creative workshops at the celebrated Theatre Royal in Bath.

All that stands in the way of this valuable cultural exchange project for young people is a deficit of cash and the UK visa system.

If they can raise money to pay for travel, accommodation and the £90 per person visa fee, the planned visit will see eleven children and young people from the Belgrade English Language Theatre (BelTheatre) working alongside the Egg Youth Theatre in Bath.

Having raised much of the £3,500 required to make this trip a reality, the clock is ticking on a final push to hit their target by 11 May, if they are to make their planned departure date of 23 May.

Read more