Get Your Idea Off the Ground with Crowdfunding: Story of a Serbian Filmmaker

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Creativity and passion of Neven Ljubicic for films made him decide to try something unusual and record a movie with his friend Radica Števanov while they are walking 200km through Serbia, from Belgrade to Mokra Gora. He didn’t have enough money to pay this trip but he found out for site Kickstarter, site.

Ljubicic’s friends, fans and strangers from all over the world have pledged 1085 $ in 20 days and they started their adventure on the 10th January.

We had a good strategy and talked to many people before the Kickstarter campaign even started, so there was a lot of optimism it will be successful. Luckily, there were no moments of concern throughout this process because everything was going smoothly, said Neven Ljubicic.

Ljubicic went from Balkan when he was a teenager and immigrated to Toronto, Canada to learn about movies in film school (college). There he was living for 11 years. He never stopped to believe in himself and thanks to this project he will try to build a career.

Why did you choose the destination Belgrade-Kustendorf, Mokra Gora?

It started with Radica’s idea to walk to Kustendorf, so that was really the core from the beginning. Also, there was added symbolism of finishing the walk to reach a film festival, and it was an interesting route geographically, in terms of challenge and variety.

How did you come up with the idea to put your project on Kickstarter?

I heard about it through research about another project over a year ago, and learned how it all works. It felt like the best place to organize the project, and make it easy for people all over the world to make their donations.

What do you expect regarding this movie?

The movie will be finished within the next few months, and the plan is to submit it to film festivals. The when and where of the release follows after this step, but we don’t expect it to be this year.

What is the main message of “The Walk” ?

It’s a documentary film about accomplishing something strange and difficult, to test and rediscover yourself physically and mentally.

What kind of support did you have the most, considering that it was not easy walking through mountains in these weather conditions?

We were well prepared and organized, and really lucky with weather. Only 1 day of rain and no snow, except some snow that was already on the ground in the mountains. Each day, we left early in the morning so we can reach the day’s destination before sunset. The biggest challenge was the heavy bags, and carrying all that on our backs while climbing. We drank lots of water, but had very little food while walking.

You and your friend Radica were walking for 11 days. Did you feel afraid sometimes and how did you manage to survive?

There was some concern about ending up in the dark with bad weather and no shelter, which was close a couple of times, but we always managed to avoid it, so there was no real fear or danger.

You have done a really brave thing. Did you have regrets in some moments and wanted to leave everything and go back?

No, it was a trip we were looking forward to and excited about, so there were no thoughts about quitting, especially because we didn’t face any meaningful obstacles to make us regret our decisions.

What was the feeling when you finally came to Mokra Gora?

It’s a strange trip to walk 20+ kilometers every day, and it was also strange to stop, but also a big physical relief to finally have some rest. I felt a bit melancholic about leaving the road, but also accomplished to have done what we wanted to do.

When did you start to love art, precisely, movies?

I loved movies since I remember, always played out scenes, with myself, or others, or with toys. I’m born with it, but I didn’t really understand that’s a big part of me until the age of 18. Then I decided it’s what I need and went to film school one year later. I always wanted to tell my own stories from start to finish, which is why I’m a writer, as well as a director.

Many people are watching movies just for fun. What do the movies mean to you?

I’m drawn to global themes, and especially something different than everyday life, something new, different, and interesting. I hope to accomplish something like that with my own films. The movies are an opportunity to create and experience a new world, even for a short time.

You are the proof that humans can do anything they want, only if they strongly want that. After this experience, what would be your message to people who says that is not possible to “make their dreams come true”?

The biggest challenge is when things are at their worst, their most difficult. In that moment, you really understand yourself, because then you either quit or keep going. To keep going, you need the ability, patience, dedication, and belief. You have to see the future and believe it will happen. If the belief is strong enough, then you can power through everything, and face all the inevitable problems you’ll meet on the way. You also have to keep yourself humble, challenge yourself, and find ways to be a better person and a better artist.


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