Grlicwas one of the most important representatives of the Prague film school whoenjoyed a series of successes with You Only Love Once (1981)and In The Jaws Of Life (1984), and made influential movies suchas Three For Happiness (1985) and Charuga (1991).
The significance of his new film is not about box office as much as the fact thatit is the first film co-produced by companies from all territories of thecountry now long gone.
Theproduction companies include main producer Bosnian Ademir Kenovic's RefereshProductions, Slovenian Danijel Hocevar's Vertigo/Emotion Film, MacedonianVladimir Anastasov's Sektor Film, Croatian Boris Matic's Propeler Film, SerbianMilko Josifov and Zoran Cvijanovic's Yodi Movie Craftsman and UK's MikeDowney's Film & Music Entertainment, as well asHungarian partner Pioneer Pictures.
Thefilm was supported by the ministries of culture of all five former Yugoslavterritories and Eurimages.
Basedon bestselling novel Nothing Must Surprise Us by Croatianauthor Ante Tomic, the film takes place at a former Yugoslav army post on the border of Macedonia and Albania in1987. It tells the ironic story of the local commander who closes his base forthree weeks claiming Albanian forces are grouping on their side, when really hehas to cure a case of syphilis.
Accordingto the producer Ademir Kenovic, "There has been many movies about the warin former Yugoslavia, but Grlic decided to make a comedy about the tragedy thatwould occupy the whole region for next 10 years."
BorderPost, shot at authentic locations over a period of nine weekslast summer/autumn, was first released in Macedonia on Mar 20and opened in all territories by Mar 28, except for Slovenia where it opened onApr 13.
Withthree prints in Macedonia, it has so far been seen by some 8,100spectators, compared to Basic Instinct 2's 1,000 in thesame period.
InSerbia and Montenegro, it opened on Mar 22 with excellent 10,591 admissions and is now at the mark of81,000 on 15 prints, compared to Ice Age2's 72,000 in aweek less.
InBosnia and Herzegovina, where the Berlin winner Grbavica has beenseen by almost 180,000 viewers in 9 weeks, it opened very well with 8,757admissions on Mar 24 with 11 prints and now has a total of some 50,000admissions.
InCroatia, Border Post was released on Mar 28 with 5 prints and another opening 10,064 spectators.It has so far sold 33,642 tickets in Croatia.
InSlovenia, which was the first territory to separate from the former Yugoslavia,it opened on three prints on April 13 with 2,076 admissions and now has a totalof 4,467.
Overallthe film has enjoyed 180,000admissions from the total of 37 prints and gross box office of $470,000, which is very successful,particularly when one has in mind that it had competition in such hits as Grbavica,Ice Age 2, Basic Instinct 2 and Man Without A Moustache, the mostpopular film ever in Croatia.
This co-production is a result of many factors,including the Motovun Film Festival, started by Grlic and Downey among othersseven years ago, Sarajevo Film Festival's CineLink, the regional co-productionmarket and the connections of the producers and talent that the war in formerYugoslavia could not destroy.
It is also a chance to re-unite the formercountry in the artistic sense, to make a bigger market as all individual onesare very small, and it shows that there is still a common sensibility ofpeoples from the region ravaged by war.
The cast includes Bosnian Emir Hadzihafizbegovic (Fuse, Days AndHours, Grbavica), Serbian SergejTrifunovic (Premeditated Murder, Gunpowder Keg, 3 A.M.) and Bogdan Diklic (Gunpowder Keg, No Man'sLand, Red Coloured Grey Truck),Macedonian Verica Nedeska (Bal-Can-Can, Spare Parts, Czech The Great Water), Croatian debutant Toni Gojanovic andSlovenian Tadej Troha (No Man's Land, Bread And Milk).