The feature-length art-horror film Vampire directed by Branko Tomović was recently awarded in Germany at the 46th Grenzland Filmtage International Film Festival; the film received the Indie-Award (a festival award for achievement in the sphere of independent filmmaking), at the festival that also featured films from Germany and Central and Eastern Europe.

The action of the film begins in London where, after witnessing a crime, Arnaut (played by Branko Tomović) wants to hide away for a while and comes to a small remote village in Serbia to take care of a cemetery. He begins to have nightmares influenced by Grandma Draga (Eva Ras) who leads him to the dark side and suspects that the seemingly friendly villagers are actually out to harm him. In addition to Tomović and Eva Ras, the film stars Gorica Regodić, an unhinged villager, and Joakim Tasić, as the local priest.

“This film is inspired by true stories about the appearance of vampires in Serbia in the 18th century.” These are stories about the origin of vampires, because although the film takes place in a contemporary setting, it is based on myths, superstitions and elements of folk culture. I want to show the mysterious side of Serbia. This production also represents a kind of allegory about a man who, as a child of emigrants, returns to his native country and encounters local customs, traditions and a way of life that is completely different and which he finds difficult to accept,” Tomović said about his directorial debut.

The film was a Serbian-British-German co-production, and had its world premiere at the 54th Film Festival in Sitges, Spain, one of the most important festivals of fantasy and horror in the world. Branko Tomović is a Serbian actor born in Germany, and has debuted as a director and screenwriter with this film. Tomović graduated acting from the prestigious Lee Strasberg Institute for Theater and Film in New York.

Z. Janković