For years, Marko Slavnic has had to observe things from a distance. As a child, he hung around sets his mother worked on as a television producer in Bosnia and knew then that he would follow in her footsteps. He also knew that even though he would move to America when he was eight, he would someday make a film about the place where he was born since his family was forced to stay in the U.S. after the conflict that resulted from the breakup of Yugoslavia prevented their return in the early '90s.
“I didn't want to make a film about the war, mainly because I didn't experience the war firsthand,” said Slavnic of his first feature. “So I told the story of the war from my perspective, how I experienced it.”
So far, Slavnic has completed a little over two-thirds of filming on “All That Remains,” a film that channels his experience through the story of two estranged brothers in their twenties who reunite in the war-torn nation after their father’s passing to scatter his ashes. However, to finish it, the young director has turned to Kickstarter in order to finish production and help with what’s sure to be an extensive post-production process.
Although the film has a little ways to go before its May 10th deadline, it’s a production that’s already come so far. Often staying on the couches of friends and family to achieve an international scale, Slavnic has shot parts of “All That Remains” in Switzerland, Italy, Croatia and Bosnia in addition to his now-native Austin.
“The experience of doing it overseas was amazing,” says Slavnic. “It was challenging of course, and I don't think any of us slept much the three weeks we were doing it, but it was something I wouldn't trade for the world. We shooting without permits, without a crew, and without a lot of the pressure bigger sets come with.”
Naturally, the filming resulted in a disjointed schedule befitting of its plot, which sees a father move his family to the U.S. for their safety but exposes himself to depression after leaving behind his successful career as a surgeon. As a result, his sons Tarik and Mirza are divided by his condition and one moves away while the other stays. While Slavnic has visited Bosnia regularly since moving to the States himself, “All That Remains” is his first narrative to be shot in the region, though he previously shot the short documentary “Where Were You in ’92?” in 2009 in which he revisited Sarajevo.
In fact, shorts have been where Slavnic has honed his craft in recent years, earning acclaim on the festival circuit with the surveillance comedy “Table 7” as well as the seed money for "All That Remains" after winning a prize from Nikon for the 2009 short “Chicken Vs. Penguin,” where feathers fly between the mascots of rival fast food restaurants. If Slavnic is able to find the proper support through Kickstarter, he’ll be back on the festival circuit later this year with a completed film and if so, he'll be ready for his closeup.
To back this project and see the filmmaker's personal pitch video, check out the Kickstarter page here. Follow the film's progress on the filmmakers's official site.