How did you begin to develop the idea for a film?
I worked in such an institution, I saw all kinds of things, listened to all kinds of stories and I that is where I got the idea for this film. I worked in that institution for ten years as a teacher, so I knew this topic well and that is why I decided to do this film.
There is a lot of violence in the film, but it seems to me that it is not about violence, but about unrequited love. But is this a film about the discovering one’s sexuality?
Not exactly. I did not even have the idea of making a LGBT film, and I always say that this is not the point of the film. It is just one layer of the film, but it is not that major layer. For me, this film is more about betrayal, because Andrej was betrayed by everyone. He was betrayed by his boyfriend, by his mother, and by the state through that juvenile detention centre, where absolutely nothing works. He got out even worse than he was when he entered. He came to the centre with problems, but not with unsolvable problems. When he gets to know Zeljko, he begins with criminal activities and other things. He would never do that before. He smoked weed, wandered, did not go to school, and his mother did not take good care of him and that is why they placed him in the centre. There was that scene at the beginning with a girl, but we do not know what actually happened there. If he really hit her or not. There is certainly a love story in the film, this is some sort of coming of age-film, but it is not the most important thing.
At the end of the film, when everything escalates, we see that Andrej was able to deal with the perpetrators at all times, but he did not resort to it the whole film. Is it a message of tolerance for adolescents?
Yes. I believe this is a film about tolerance. Tolerance towards everything. Tolerance towards sexual orientation and violence, you simply have to restrain yourself from it. In that sense, it is important that he is gay. I believe some younger people could get some information. To just talk about it, there is nothing wrong with being gay, but if you do not want to tell the world, you can have problems for that, because you are holding everything in and that is why, in the film, some problems came up for Andrej that would never have occurred otherwise.
On the other hand, nobody around Andrej had a problem that he was gay, only when it appeared on social network, then suddenly everyone had a problem with it.
Yes, that is correct. They did not have a problem with it while he was interesting to them, while they were able to manipulate him. That is how long they were okay with it. Whether you are gay or not, I think the problem is in prejudice. But specifically, with them, as long as they are together, there is no problem, the problem arises when he is no longer with them as their accomplice, and so they deliberately put that on social network, out of revenge.
How was your collaboration with the young cast? Are they students?
Many of them are students of the Academy, some are not, but they are all older than eighteen, because the film has difficult scenes so everyone had to be adult. The majority of them are students at the Academy.
What was the atmosphere at the shooting like?
Excellent. Preparations lasted more than half a year. We spent a lot of time together, so we were already like some kind of a "gang", and for that reason the shooting was really easy, relaxed, there were not any problems. We had a lot of rehearsals before the shooting, so we were well prepared, we knew exactly what we wanted. At the time of shooting, we wanted to make sure to do it well only technically. At rehearsals, we worked a lot on being relaxed and trusting each other. The cast was young and did not have much experience. They were all completely dedicated, it meant a lot to them that they are in the film, and I think it shows on screen, that they worked with all their hearts. Nothing was difficult for them, they all gave 110 percent.