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Fishing and Fishermen's Conversations, a film based on the Renaissance narrative poem by Petar Hektorović, was presented today at a press conference, where writer and director Milan Trenc expressed his satisfaction that the film will premiere at the Arena in Pula.

Trenc emphasised that Rade Šerbedžija supported him and worked with him on the screenplay, and that he knew from the start that Šerbedžija will be cast in the lead role. Pre-production took a couple of years, followed by the filming, and then two years have passed since then”, said Trenc. The extenuating circumstances were that the original locations from from Hektorović’s work, written in the 16th century, still exist, so filming took place at authentic locations. To offer more authenticity, the film also uses the local dialect of the time, however, it is modernised in some pats to make it more understandable.

Šerbedžija highlighted how satisfied he was working with Trenc. “He is a master of animated and documentary film, and is better known in New York than he is here. I congratulate him on making this film”, he said and added that it was difficult to work on the film, as they had very little factual knowledge about Petar Hektorović and his time. “This is where Trenc’s imagination shined. And I have to say, these types of films are extremely important for the culture of our people”, Šerbedžija emphasised. He concluded by saying he enjoyed getting into character for his role of a weird man, and also that Stari Grad on the Island of Hvar was a wonderful filming location, with kind hosts.

Romana Tonković and Filip Mayer play the young couple in the film. Tonković said that she has nice memories of Stari Grad and she decided to ‘get in’ on the film when she heard it was going to be filmed there. Trenc says she managed to do this thanks to her charisma. Tonković says the most difficult thing for her was to master the language of Stari Grad, but was a great challenge as well. Mayer plays the role of young Hektorović, and was recommended for the role by the late actor Robert Budak, who said Mayer looks like young Šerbedžija. “I was afraid of this role as I play young Hektorović, who is played by none other than Šerbedžija, so I learnt all the lines, in all accents, by heart. But I relaxed as soon as we started, and speaking like that became second nature”, he said.

Bojan Brajčić acted alongside Leon Lučev, and seeing how he is of Dalmatian origin, he mastered the language easily. He needed to learn how to row, as both he and Lučev had a lot of scenes of rowing, as well as sailing and casting nets. “We found our groove and it looked almost as a choreography of sorts”, he said and added that he trained for the rowing scenes for a year, working out at the gym.

Gala Nikolić has only recently started acting, and plays the muse. She says the muse is spirited, and added that she read a lot about Greek muses in preparing for the role.

The film will be released in cinemas on 8 October, and some parts will probably be subtitled using standard Croatian.

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