dir. TAMARA DENIC
A realistic story on press freedom and one courageous journalist who risks her life to tell the truth. The winner of the renowned Audience Award at the Max Ophuls Film Festival.
Jelena is a photojournalist on an investigative editorial team in Belgrade that campaigns for basic democratic rights. Her work is her passion, but the atmosphere around her has been threatening for some time and she is increasingly becoming a target of right-wing extremist groups. After an attack at the office and threats to her daughter, Jelena decides to leave the country for the time being. She continues to pursue her vocation in Germany, but soon she experiences strong hostility even in her new home. The film draws attention to the acute situation of press freedom in the world, since every week at least one journalist dies because of their job.
ISTINA | 2023 | 29 min | Germany, Serbia
|Christian Siee – Hamburg Media School; Bavarian Broadcasting
|Nika Rozman, Milica Vuksanovic, Elizabeta Djorevska, Zeljko Marovic
|David M. Lorenz
|Serbian, English, German
FESTIVALS & AWARDS (SELECTION)
Film Festival Max Ophüls Preis, 2023 – Audience Award Mid-Length Film | BAFTA Student Awards, 2023 – Finalist | Sehsüchte International Student Film Festival, 2023 – Special Mention
The number of attacks on media professionals has doubled since 2021. In Serbia, journalists experience death threats and direct violence, mainly from the right-wing nationalist spectrum. In Germany, too, the number of attacks on media professionals is increasing enormously, especially from right-wing extremist circles. “Freedom of the press in Serbia has not yet been completely stifled. You can write what you want, but there is no guarantee that you will survive… There were three attempts on my life”, says Milan Jovanovic, journalist at the Serbian portal Zig Info. What does it mean when representatives of freedom of the press can no longer practice their profession safely or have to fear for their lives? I thought the situation was much better in Germany. However, the research talks with numerous journalists really shook me up. Free reporting is a matter of course for us, but in other countries it is a privilege on which we should not rest. As the director, I focus on one of these journalists and want to show what it can mean for media workers who are threatened and their families. Because without journalists, no free reporting, no freedom of the press – no democracy.
Tamara Denić was born in former Yugoslavia 1992. In 2016, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in art and multimedia and a minor in media informatics at LMU in Munich with an interactive, experimental short film. After that, Tamara worked as a dubbing recording manager, film production and editorial assistant, and video editor in Berlin. At the same time, she acted in independent theatre groups and experimented with video performances. However, Tamara soon devoted herself increasingly to narrative short film projects. Alongside her film projects, paintings and photographs, Tamara experiments with animation and VJing. In 2022, she graduated with a master’s degree in film directing at Hamburg Media School with a scholarship from Friedrich Ebert Foundation.