Directed by Ognjen Petković
During the 1990’s a war rages ex-Yugoslavia. A husband and wife try to escape their besieged town but a barricade is blocking the road out. In attempts to get past it they make up a story to tell the guards but it quickly crumbles. Just before being shot by the soldiers, the man turns and says the word “lemon” which just might secure their way to freedom.
I wrote the script for “Autumn waltz” in 2017. The project is supported by the Serbian film center (FCS) and American writer and producer Michael Vukadinovich.
This project is important for me personally. The focus of this film is civilians in war and how they deal with life threatening situations. Usually watching war movies means we watch soldiers as the good guys and the main characters but the bravest and most heroic humans in every war are the civilians. This movie is dedicated to civilians.
This story is based on a true story - this is partly my parent’s story. I based characters off of soldiers on documentary photographs taken in war. The end of the movie is dedicated to my neighbors' story. He survived only because he paid for a guy's drink once in the past. So the movie is about the “cheapness” of life in war time.
Production process went well, besides bad weather. February in Serbia, you can expect bad weather. We shot at one location. This location was actually damaged by war in the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999. So we had the real thing as set decoration. It was difficult to synchronize the video with the music. I wanted to have a real piano player who actually knows how to play. We bought a piano that was not tuned and while that wasn't intended, in the end we decided to keep this rough, un-tuned sound.
Post-production process was a bit long in my opinion because of the editing process. I had a problem with the editor so I decided to do it myself. I don’t like to have too many credits at the end of the movie. Different people always bring a fresh and new perspective.
Writer, Director, and Editor | Ognjen Petković
Producers | Michael Vukadinovich and Aleksandra Lazarovski
Cinematography | Aleksandar Ramadanović
Costume Design | Ana Radojičić
Production Design | Miljena Vučković
Sound Design | Vladimir Rašković
Executive Producer | Senka Nikolić
Editor's assistant| Nebojša Rudić
Makeup artist | Snežana Crnoglavac
Director’s assistant | Srećko Milosavljević
Colorist | Goran Modrić
Recordist| Lazar Živanac
Boom Operator | Nikola Malogajski
Gaffer | Branislav Milinković
1st Assistant Camera | Miloš Čubrilo
2nd Assistant Camera | Tibor VargaKey
Grip | Mladen Stojanović
Art Design Assistant |Bojan Roganović
About the Team
Ognjen Petković - Director/Screenwriter/Editor
Petković was born in Vukovar, Croatia in 1986. He graduated from the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad, Serbia in 2008 where he studied acting. In 2015 he began his PhD in Audiovisual Arts at Novi Sad Academy. He made several short fiction, experimental and documentary movies, such as: Three Points (2011), Qatar (2014), Hands (2016), Love (2017), Crocodile (Post-production), Hide and Seek (2018), and Autmn Waltz (2018). Many of his films played at international festivals and won awards (two won best movie and one won best screenplay). These international film festivals include Slamdance, Palm Springs, Florida film festival, St.Louis, Odense, Athens, Filmcourt de Brest, Cartagena, Goshort, Leuven, Tampere, GoDebut, Villeurbanne, CinemaCity, Manhattan International film festival, Regensburg, and Kinosmena. At the moment he is working on long documentary Sounds of Silence and feature fiction movie Qatar.
Michael Vukadinovich - Producer
Vukadinovich is a playwright and screenwriter. He co-wrote the feature film Rememory, starring Peter Dinklage, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2017. His plays have been produced in New York and across the country, and internationally in Edinburgh, Prague, the Serbian National Theatre, and the Colombian National Theatre. Two of his original screenplays, The Three Misfortunes of Geppetto and The Secret Ingredients of Rocket Cola, have ended up on the annual Black List. He is currently writing and producing the third season of Showtime’s Kidding starring Jim Carrey.
Tanja Pjevac - Main Actress
Pjevac was born in 1980, Novi Sad, Serbia. She started acting at a young age and by the age of 17 she performed at the United Nations, New York. Pjevac graduated from the Academy of Arts Novi Sad, Serbia in 2003 where she studied acting. She played over thirty roles in every significant theater in Serbia (Jugoslavian Dramatic Theatre, Atelje 212, Serbian National Theatre, Bitef theater). She has participated in many festivals all over Europe. She also actively works in other media and worked on over 15 tv shows and 5 movies. She is permanently employed at the Serbian National Theatre as an actress.