In this week’s Four River Friday section we are featuring Miha Verdonik! His film Home on the Road won an award for the best documentary film at the last year’s Four River Film Festival. Mika told us he is still hoping to experience the amazing atmosphere of the Youth Film Festival & Four River Film Festival this year and that we wouldn’t miss it for anything!
Home on the Road is a short story about a young girl who is forced to leave her home at 13, so she joins a traveling amusement park in hopes of finding a new family. A member of the selection committee, professor Ana Đordić, described the film with the words: “A warm human story with which everyone can identify”, and film critic Boško Picula thought of it as: “Honest, impressive and authentic.”
Miha Verdonik studies production at the East London Arts & Music College, and mostly works with short films and music videos. He works as a director, cameraman and editor.
Read more about when Miha realized that he wants to become a filmmaker for life, what he is currently shooting and what yellow motive he predicts for this year’s Four River Film Festival! Follow our conversations with other young filmmakers every Friday in our Four River Friday section.
1. How did you fall in love with filmmaking?
I fell in love with filmmaking when one of my earliest short films was screened at my prom when I was 15. That was my first time seeing a bigger audience of people reacting to my work in real-time. I saw my family at my table and my teachers and friends and their families at other tables seeing the film. Some of them reacted to it very emotionally – it brought some people to tears. I think I fell in love with filmmaking when I was making that film because I just had so much fun making it, but seeing my friends and family react to it in such a strong way, really made me want to do this for the rest of my life. That night I realized I love making people feel things with my art.
2. How did you like our last year’s online edition of the Four River Film Festival?
I really enjoyed it! I first heard about the festival a couple of years back when some of my friends were nominated for a film I worked on as well. They really seemed to like it and I have since wanted to come to the festival. Seeing some pictures and videos of it last year, I was going to go to the festival with a friend of mine whether my film would be nominated or not. I was really happy to find out we got nominated and even though it had to be held online, it was still very exciting being a part of it.
3. Where do you find ideas and inspiration for your films?
Ideas for my films usually come to me naturally. I really don’t like forcing things when it comes to idea generation. Instead, I go about my day, watching films, interacting with my friends, or reading stories online and an idea will come to me. But for me, the most important part is what I do after it comes – I need to translate it onto the notes on my phone as fast as I can because when one idea comes, a handful more come at the same time so I just start typing before I forget it. And writing a certain idea down will trigger a set of new ones and so on.
4. How do you manage with planning filmmaking during the pandemic? If you’re making any new films, which stage of production are they now in?
Since the COVID restrictions are pretty strict in the UK, all of the projects that I am currently working on are in the development or the pre-production stages. I think a good loophole to still making films during the pandemic is working on animated shorts. It requires fewer people to make and everyone included can work from home, so that works even in the peak-pandemic times. But I am in pre-production working on a short documentary at the moment that I’m really excited about that will most likely start filming in the summer.
5. Do you plan to join the FRFF this year as well and what do you expect from the festival in Karlovac?
Since the film I am working on now, won’t start filming until the summer, I won’t be submitting anything this year, however, I am still planning to go to the festival this year since I will most likely be in Croatia at the time. I am hoping to experience the great atmosphere of the festival that my friends were telling me about and to meet some like-minded passionate filmmakers there.
6. What do you think, which yellow theme will FRFF have this year?
My prediction for this year’s yellow theme is a sunflower! I received the rubber duck keychain from the festival in September alongside the trophy and the duck has been stuck on my keys since then so I am curious about this year’s choice.