Mila Turajlić

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Mila Turajlić
BornBelgrade, Serbia
OccupationDocumentary filmmaker
Known forThe Other Side of Everything
Parent(s)Srbijanka Turajlić

Mila Turajlić (Serbian Cyrillic: Мила Tураљић; born 1979) is an award-winning Serbian filmmaker known for her documentaries. She directed the films The Other Side of Everything and Cinema Komunisto.


Turajlić was born in Belgrade, Serbia. Her mother is Srbijanka Turajlić, a pro-democracy activist. Turajlić studied film production at Belgrade University's Faculty of Dramatic Arts and political science at the London School of Economics.[1] She then specialized in documentary film-making at the La Femis school in Paris and also obtained a Phd from the University of Westminster. She has worked as a researcher and production assistant for the BBC, Discovery Channel and Arte France.[1][2] Additionally her experience includes working on the features The Brothers Bloom and Fade to Black as an assistant director, as well as on Apocalypto as a coordinator.[1]

Turajlić has shared her experiences in documentary film making by lecturing at schools like Harvard University, Yale, the Sorbonne, and the University of Michigan.[2] Her involvement in pedagogy includes teaching workshops at La Femis's Archidoc and the Balkan Documentary Center. She is also one of the founders of the Association of Documentary Filmmakers of Serbia. Turajlić helps produce Belgrade's "Magnificent 7 Festival", which showcases European documentaries.[3][2]


Cinema Komunisto[edit]

Produced in 2010, Cinema Komunisto examines how film making was used in Yugoslavia to shape the national identity.[4][5][6] For Turajlić, the old communist movie studios symbolize both the beginning and the end of Yugoslavia.[7] According to the director, she was prompted to document what she found at the Avala Film Studios because she "...felt both amazement and anger at how they’ve been forgotten".[7] Built in the 1950's, the studios were one of the largest in the region, welcoming stars like Sophia Loren, Orson Welles, and Kirk Douglas. The president of Yugoslavia Josef Broz Tito was the driving force behind the local film industry. Turajlić gained access to Tito's private archives and interviewed his personal projectionist Leka Konstantinovic.[8]

Cinema Komunisto won for Best Documentary at the Chicago International Film Festival[9] and also received an award at FOCAL International.[2][10] It was screened at the IDFA and at the Tribeca Film Festival, as well as having theatrical releases in Europe and North America.[7][11][12][13][14][15]

The Other Side of Everything[edit]

The 2017 documentary, The Other Side of Everything, is about life in war torn Serbia seen through the eyes of Srbijanka Turajlić, the director's peace activist mother. The subject is depicted as "...a voice from yesterday which inspiringly refuses to be silenced.[16] The country's recent and distant pasts are explored in the film. Permanently locked doors in the family's apartment refer to the absurdities of the old communist regime. Mila's great-grandfather, a wealthy politician, owned the apartment, which was sub-divided into smaller living quarters when the communists took power in the 1940s. Spied on by their new neighbors, the Turajlić family had to watch what they said and did at home. One of the "new" tenants, who lived in the subdivision for seven decades, died during filming, which resulted in the locked doors finally being opened.

Described as "accessible, informative and wryly humorous...",[16] the film won the "Best Feature-Length Documentary Award" at the 2017 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA).[17][4][5] The documentary also received the prize for cultural diversity at the goEast film festival in Germany.[18][19][20] Turajlić won for best director at the RiverRun International Film Festival in North Carolina.[21][22]

The Other Side of Everything made its American premiere at the 2018 San Francisco International Film Festival.[23][24] Additionally it was presented at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and had a special screening in Montreal, Canada.[6][25][26][27] The film also represents the first HBO Europe coproduction with Serbia and was broadcast by the network in 2017.[4] It is distributed by Icarus Films.[28]

Tito’s Cameraman[edit]

Turajlić is currently working on her next documentary Tito’s Cameraman, which is composed of archival footage and interviews with Stevan Labudović, whose camera lens "...recorded the birth of friendships that became the cornerstone of the Non-Aligned Movement."[29] Labudović regularly accompanied Yugoslav president Josef Broz Tito during his international travels, documenting his visits with heads of state.[30][29] To capture intimate moments with these world leaders, Labudović developed a technique using a 50mm lens, so that "... the true nature of their personality could be revealed." He had the opportunity to film Nehru, Queen Elizabeth II, Kim Il-sung, John F. Kennedy, Fidel Castro, among others.

Labudović shot news reels of exotic places that intrigued the Yugoslav public back home. He also recorded historical moments around the world that left an imprint, even years later.[29] He became a national here in Algeria for filming the country's liberation from France.[31][29][32][33] Born in 1926 in Berane, Stevan Labudović died in 2017 in Belgrade.[34][32][35][36]


  1. ^ a b c "Mila Turajlić: Veličanstvena". 24 November 2017. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d "About the filmmakers". Cinema Komunisto.
  3. ^ "7 Magnificent - Festival team".
  4. ^ a b c Janković, Zoran. "Premiere of First Serbian HBO Europe Coproduction -". Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  5. ^ a b "'The Other Side of Everything' ('Druga strana svega'): Film Review - IDFA 2017". Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  6. ^ a b Simon, Alissa (22 September 2017). "Film Review: 'The Other Side of Everything'". Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  7. ^ a b c Indiewire (6 April 2011). "Meet the 2011 Tribeca Filmmakers - "Cinema Komunisto" Director Mila Turajlic". Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  8. ^ Indiewire (6 April 2011). "Meet the 2011 Tribeca Filmmakers - "Cinema Komunisto" Director Mila Turajlic".
  9. ^ Brownell, Ginanne (28 December 2011). "Balkans Reclaim a Place in Cinema". Retrieved 3 May 2018 – via
  10. ^ "The FOCAL International Awards 2011 - FOCAL International Awards - FOCAL International".
  11. ^ " - Movie".
  12. ^ Bilefsky, Dan (21 April 2011). "Tribeca Q & A: Mila Turajlic on 'Cinema Komunisto'". Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  13. ^ "Cinema Komunisto". Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  14. ^ García, Narcisa (4 August 2017). "Nuestro amigo común: "Cinema Komunisto"". Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  15. ^ Caucaso, Osservatorio Balcani e. "Mila Turajlić and the Balkan cinema". Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  16. ^ a b "'The Other Side of Everything' ('Druga strana svega'): Film Review - IDFA 2017".
  17. ^ Lodge, Guy (23 November 2017). "'The Other Side of Everything' Leads Winners From a Politically Charged IDFA Lineup". Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  18. ^ "Estonia's 'November' wins top prize at goEast".
  19. ^ Staff, FNE. "FESTIVALS: November Wins goEast -".
  20. ^ KG, VRM GmbH & Co. "goEast 2018: Filme aus Estland, Ungarn und Serbien räumen in Wiesbaden Preise ab".
  21. ^ "RIVERRUN ANNOUNCES 2018 AWARDS - YES! Weekly". 1 May 2018.
  22. ^ Journal, LYNN FELDER Winston-Salem. "RiverRun wraps up 20 years of movie magic".
  23. ^ Dollar, Steve. "Fighting Eventfulness Deficit at the 2018 San Francisco International Film Festival - Filmmaker Magazine". Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  24. ^ "New Reviews From The S.F. International Film Festival 2018 - Beyond Chron". 17 April 2018. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  25. ^ "RIDM+ : L'ENVERS D'UNE HISTOIRE de Mila Turajlic – présenté le mercredi 25 avril au Cinéma du Parc – L'initiative". 2018-04-13. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  26. ^ KG, VRM GmbH & Co. "goEast 2018: Filme aus Estland, Ungarn und Serbien räumen in Wiesbaden Preise ab". Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  27. ^ "The Other Side Of Everything".
  28. ^ "Icarus Films: The Other Side of Everything". Retrieved 2018-07-18.
  29. ^ a b c d "Intervju – Mila Turajlić o "Dosijeu Labudović": "Stevan Labudović u Alžiru uživa status nacionalnog heroja" «  FCS".
  30. ^ "Filmmaker Mila Turajlic with Yugoslav films from the Non-Aligned Movement - Orphan Film Symposium".
  31. ^ "Venčan sa kamerom".
  32. ^ a b
  33. ^ "Algérie-Monténégro: hommage au cameraman de la Révolution Stevan Labudovic - ToutDZ".
  34. ^ ""Tito's Cameraman" - Orphan Film Symposium".
  35. ^ "Preminuo Stevan Labudović".
  36. ^ "Šćepo".

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