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Cyndi Lauper-Belgrade - New York

The International Film Festival in Belgrade glamorously enclosed pretty interesting, with a Serbian narrative feature film directed by Darko Lungulov, “Here&There”

The film features a well known pop diva from 80s Cyndi Lauper and her husband, a big budget actor David Thornton. Beside an exquisite American crew, this film features a great name of a Serbian film Mirjana Karanovic and right now, expects a great World Premier on Tribeca Film Festival. The festival was founded by Robert De Niro, and is surely by now, one of the most prominent festival in world. Lungulov’s “Here&There” is a first Serbian film, among 3000 film entries, that actually entered a main competition program of a Tribeca Film Festival in a present competition with 11 films coming from all over the world. Within an interesting festival life of the film, at the same time New York City will also have a premier of this film. Lungulov’s serious engagement with a famous American crew in “Here&There” made up pretty fine, especially if we mention the fact that the film is produced by a well known Jim Jarmush’s producer Jim Stark. So how Lungulov did attached himself to a Jim Stark in a first place? “I was looking for a lead actor for a while, until Vlad Nikolic, another Serbian filmmaker who is living in NYC and a co-producer on this film , introduced myself and a script to a legendary New York independent producer Jim Stark ( amongst others produced Jim Jarmush films : Down by Law, Night on Earth, Mystery Train, Alexandre Rockwell’s In the Soup). Jim Stark loved the script and immediately called few distinguished NYC actors and recommended the project. Soon they were all calling me, so now I was in a situation to choose one from all this amazing actors, who read the script, loved it, and were eager to work. After a long tough process I have chosen David Thornton, an amazing actor, who I thought , will really make a great on-screen couple with Mirjana Karanovic, who I already casted for a lead female role. David Thornton also mentioned that his wife could make a song for a film. Soon I learned that his wife is legendary Cyndi Lauper, so I also offer her a role, which she accepted and she also gave us a song for the film. The lyrics of her song were inspired by my script” explains Darko.

“Here&There” is a casual story about middle aged musician Robert, who gets offer from his friend Branko, an immigrant from Serbia, to marry his girlfriend in Serbia for great deal of money. Robert goes to Serbia and there he meets Branko’s mother to fall in love with her.

The film very accurately represents a political and social relation between two different mentalities American and Serbian, which is one of the favorite noble aims of Lungulov’s future film endeavors. Beside a wonderful and simple acting of sparkly Cyndi Lauper and a wonderful and equally good performance of David Thornton, the rest of a Serbian acting crew is very well and pretty carefully chosen.

That especially goes for Serbian actress Mirjana Karanovic. The film is basically very simple and display a clear message to the audience, without any special artistic ambitious, which actually approves a clever directing abilities of Lungulov.

He, in “Here&There” is realistic and straight forward, filling up sweetly simple and lovely melodramatic story. One of the obvious qualities of this charismatic Serbian film director is that he knows exactly what he wants. Lungulov’s first film award already made through pretty fine in USA, for his previous film "Escape" when he received Audience Award at Hamptons International Film Festival. “For my previous film "Escape" I received Audience Award at Hamptons International Film Festival in USA.”Here And There" has been awarded a production grant from City of Belgrade's Film Fund and received Balkan Fund script development award at Thessalonica International Film Festival in Greece. And I received BA in Film and Video from City College of New York.” Lungulov say.

The film, if nothing then opens a different perspective for relations between American Independent Film Industry and Serbian contemporary film. And it seems that according to Lungulov, the New York Independent Film Industry has a particular interest for such film, especially if we consider an exclusive film crew Thornton, Lauper and producer Stark. ‘It is definitely much easier to penetrate the big budget film scene if you are in LA. Many people have done it, moved to LA for that. New York is good for low budget and independent filmmaking, which is great, lot of talent, lot of love and enthusiasm for filmmaking.” In addition to congratulate and wish the film best luck on Tribeca Film Festival, it must be wonderful experience for a Serbian lad Darko Lungulov to work with such a big stars like Cyndi Lauper and David Thornton “They are terrific to work with. Very funny, both of them, very warm. They hosted me in their home where we had reading rehearsals and I felt extremely welcomed there. Cyndi was joking a lot, but she was also seriously interested to learn where I got the inspiration from for the story and the characters. David Thornton is an amazing actor and wonderful, sensitive human being. I think he had a great time in Belgrade and it was an emotional experience for him. It was great to work with him there.” In the addition:

FFM: Can you comment nowadays big budget industry in USA, does working in low budgets art house films brings new experience in a big budget actor?

David Thornton: “I think it humanizes the experience and makes it so much more personal. On bigger productions there are walls everywhere which keep the actor protected/isolated from so much of the crew and other actors. On the low budget film, an actor is left no choice but to intermingle, and thus has to be drawn into the group experience.”

FFM: Was it easy to play in the same movie with your wife Cyndi Lauper?
David Thornton:” Yes; Cyndi is the ultimate pro and extremely creative. I wish I could more with her.”
Radmila Djurica


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