Winners of the scripted category: Milena Džambasović and Matija Dragojević

NEM winners of the Writing Contest

You have been awarded with the NEM award, what is your next step, and how will you spend the money?

Yes, we are thrilled to get the Award! Thank you NEM. Our next step - continuing with script development and research, in parallel with communicating with potential financiers and partners. We think it's very important to get partners on board at an early stage to create a strong international core both for the story and the project.  As for the prize money, it's reserved for a nice dinner and the development process.


In which phase is the project now? How well is it defined? Do you know who will be the director, DOP, actors...?

The project is still in the early stage of development. At this moment, we have the basic structure, the characters, and most importantly - we know the themes that we want to explore. We're also on the same page when it comes to the visual approach for the story and looks forward to collaborating with new authors who will give their own input. We do have a vague wish list for people we would like to attach but it might be too early to talk about that now.


Did the NEM conference have any influence on your project, conceptually or production-wise? Have you talked to anyone about possible co-production, sales/distribution and so?

NEM really helped us with the contacts and it was great to hear first-hand reactions to the story and concept. The jury also has some good points that we will definitely consider. This was definitely a great first step and, hopefully, a launching pad for the series.


Since your story "WOOL" is based on real events, and we know how important that is, how did (or will) the real-life characters/people react to your project? Are they perhaps involved in the project?

Since we started to develop this concept in September, there wasn't much time to contact all the people we would like to interview for the story. We are still in the process. With some, we got in touch, and with others, we are planning to. The ones whom we did speak with had very positive reactions and seemed enthusiastic about helping us share this story with the audience.  


What do the two of you personally think about male-female relations today, equality, the differentiations of male-female occupations, and female entrepreneurship?

While female-driven entrepreneurship is increasing, we in the Balkans still face gender inequalities, especially when it comes to income and opportunities. The only way to do anything about this is through systematic changes in the fields of business, education, and awareness. That comes down to challenging both female and male stereotypes and gender roles. It's a slow process but when you look at excellent films and series being made and see young female authors behind them as well- there are signs that things are improving for the better. At the end of the day, we think that the best results come from working together and hope that our example will prove just that.


Congrats to the this year winners and good luck with the further development.
If you wish to apply with your script next year visit NEM website.

Danna Stern and Milena Džambasovic at the NEM award cermony