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.

View Next to Us (Pored Nas) trailer here

“Their actions will reveal whether it is possible, even in extreme circumstances, to go beyond acquired patterns of behaviour and response.”

Stevan was speaking after the thrilling new trailer teased audiences at the Belgrade premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. See the trailer here:

The sequel will shoot in spring 2018, with a returning cast to include Slaven Došlo (Lazar), Nikola Glišić (Strahinja), Darko Ivić (Tadija), Milica Majkić (Jelena), Gorica Regodić (Isidora), Jelena Puzić (Sofija), Nikola Dragutinović (Srba), Matea Milosavljević (Sandra), Marko Panajotović (Kosta) and Andjelko Beros (Dobrica).

Seven years on from Next to Me

Next to Me was Serbia’s most watched film of (May-December) 2015, with more than 80,000 cinema attendances.

It was seen by more than two million viewers when it premiered on Serbian national broadcaster, RTS, in 2017.

The film screened at numerous international festivals and won the Golden Arena Prize at the prestigious Pula Film Festival 2015, as well as almost all major awards at Serbian festivals.

As with Next to Me, the actors have been closely involved in developing their characters.

This will continue with workshops and fine-tuning during production, plus two weeks in the wild for the actors to master basic survival skills.

“We think of actors as partners in both the writing and filmmaking process,’ said Stevan Filipović. “Their input is valuable, adding authenticity to our story and dialogue, since this is a story of their generation.”

Filipović films Next to Us in Serbian mountains

To shoot in spring 2018 in forests around the Serbian mountains of Tara and Kopaonik, Durmitor in Montenegro and the Red Lake in Croatia, Next to Us will be a postcard to the stunning countryside of the former Yugoslavian states.

Co-written by Stevan Filipović (director) and Milena Bogavac, the film will be produced by Branislav Jević of Hypnopolis, and distributed in Serbia by Taramount Film.

The film will premiere in early 2019.

Stevan Filipović wrote and directed three previous award-winning films produced by Hypnopolis: Sheitan’s Warrior (2006), Skinning (2010) and Next to Me (2015). These films addressed problems of growing up in a voice that was well received by teen and youth audiences, achieving international accolades and cinema success in Serbia.

Hypnopolis is at the forefront of the new generation of independent film producers in Serbia. Hypnopolis develops, invests and supports films that deal with significant social and political issues, that encourage open discussion, and represent the company’s mission to develop educational and commercial functions in film.

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