The Kids from the Marx and Engels Street

Dječaci iz Ulice Marksa i Engelsa / The Kids from the Marx and Engels Street
Official Montenegrin national Oscar candidate for The Best Foreign film 2015

Short synopsis:

Story about youth of two brothers: in the same night – older brother, Stanko (30), is going to kill a man for a first time – and his 16-years brother Vojo is going to make love for the first time. Many things between two brothers will cross them on that important night, and – will review the meanings of terms: family, trust, youth, loyalty and priority. What seems to be easy – it is not at all at Balkans … and what is the price of being filled with satisfaction?

Medium synopsis:

Everyone thinks Stanko is living the idyllic life of a musician in London. His little brother Vojo believes he’s a hero. But what Vojo doesn’t know is that fifteen years ago, Stanko fled Montenegro after a failed attempt to kill the man who murdered their father. A chance glimpse of his nemesis on TV is all it takes to drive Stanko onto the first flight back to Podgorica, hell-bent on finishing what he started. Meanwhile, Vojo’s biggest problem is being peer-pressured into having sex with his girlfriend. Knowing he isn’t remotely prepared, Vojo turns to his brother for help. Stanko decides to postpone his revenge – but a sordid trip into the underbelly of Podgorica soon brings him face to face with the friends and promises he betrayed on that fateful night, fifteen years ago. Momčilo Otašević delivers an understated but affecting performance as Stanko, a man torn between his dreams, his desire to be a good brother, and his obsession with vengeance. Steeped in the miasma of the Yugoslav War, ‘The Kids from Marx and Engels Street’ spins a tense, melancholy, and yet startlingly hopeful tale of revenge and brotherhood.

Long synopsis:

A thirteen-year old boy Stanko witnesses his father, a basketball coach, being beaten up after an important game (1991). The father soon dies of injuries sustained. The club management forces Stanko and his heavily pregnant mother to move out of the family apartment. Stanko recognises one of the club managers as his father’s murderer and swears that one day he will have his revenge.
Five years later (1993), Stanko is the frontman of a popular Montenegrin band with a hit single. Stanko’s younger brother Vojo, born after their father’s death, adores his elder brother. Few day before Stanko turns eighteen his mother finds a gun hidden in his belongings. For fear that he may commit a crime she reports him to the police, who arrest him. His father’s murderer, now an influential politician, threatens Stanko with prison, or army (these were war years in former Yugoslavia) – offers a “painless” solution: Stanko is to leave the country. Stanko consents and leaves.
Eleven years later we find Stanko in a famous London music studio, making a record with famous musicians. During the break, in the studio, he watches the finale of European Waterpolo Championship (2008) in Spain on TV. Montenegro wins. While he celebrates, among the officials celebrating Montenegrin victory on TV, he recognises his father’s murderer. This reminds him of the unfulfilled pledge. Without an explanation, Stanko leaves the studio and heads back to Montenegro to complete his wow. But once he lands, he finds that nothing is the same as he left it, the town, or people.

His younger brother Vojo (16) is excited to see him. Stanko finds that Vojo has a few problems he can’t fix himself so Stanko tries to help him, postponing the revenge. Stanko emerges to his brother as a man very different to what he imagined, with dark past, and whose actions caused problems for many.

That same night, Stanko and his father’s murderer finally meet. Will Stanko find his revenge…?

On the other side of town, will Vojo and his girlfriend find their needs..?
…and what is the price of being filled with satisfaction?

Directors statement

Our film is story about two brothers: in the same night – older brother, Stanko (30), is going to kill a man for a first time – and his 16-years brother Vojo is going to make love for the first time. What seems to be easy – it is not at all at Balkans.
Also, many things between two brothers will cross them – that important night, and – will review the meanings of terms: family, trust, loyalty and priority. I am confident that this feature project has several important elements that guarantee a strong film story: truth, belief and precise dramaturgy mathematics. Our movie is about personal history, as opposite side of collective history – as fact. Balkan people – knows a lot about those two histories: intimate and collective history. During the last twenty years the history has been relentlessly and violently unfolding on the Balkans: wars, revolutions, strikes, violent government changes, fight for survival, murders, criminal, corruption, twisted system of values. In the shadow of these events, on their margins, are the personal histories of young people: first kisses, emotional growth, first and true loves are thwarted (and hatred, intolerance, vengeance…), twisted by the circumstances in their surroundings. This film places at the centre stage young people whose personal histories have no alternative and whose hopes and desires are stronger than the circumstances that divide them. In the search for their goals – they will learn more than they hoped for. Vojo and Stanko will reveal more than they set out to know, with more than 20 other characters, as a metaphor of way of living in post-transition Montenegro (independent since 2006), as the youngest UN country.
One of the film’s “characters” is the city of Podgorica itself. The capital of unknown country Montenegro (it was Former Yugoslavia, up to 2006) is undergoing transformation from old to new, from province to a capital, unsure of its own value but certain of its existence in its specificity, through its urban myths that have not yet been told cinematographically. This will, no doubt, be of interest to international audiences.

Cast and Credits

Cast: Momcilo Otasevic , Goran Bogdan , Emir Hadzihafisbegovic , Ana Sofrenovic, Nebojsa Glogovac, Branka Stanic, Branimir Popovic, Petar Pozovic, Andjela Micanovic, Fatmir Spahiu, Julija Milacic…

Credits: Milica Piletic, Nikola Vukcevic (screenplay), Vladimir Moritz (Composer), Dimitrije Jokovic (DoP), Stanislav Nikicevic (Art director), Srdjan Dido Stanojevic (Editor), Igor Vujovic, Dario Domotrovic, Dusan Maksimovski (Sound), Nikola Vukcevic, Ivan Djurovic, Nina Redzepagic, Ratko Jovanovic, Janez Kovic, Ivica vidanovic (Coproducers)

Biography and filmography of the director

Nikola Vukčević, Professor of Film directing, at Montenegrin national Faculty of Dramatic Arts – Cetinje, is a Montenegrin film director, born in 1974, in Titograd (Socialist Republic Montenegro), in Yugoslavia.

He graduated as Stage and film director, independent producer since 1995, member of Film board of Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts (CANU), and professor at national Faculty of Dramatic Arts – Cetinje. Also, he was Artistic director at City theatre Podgorica, 2004-2010.

Vukcevic worked as the director/ author in around 80 projects, including his debute feature film (A View from the Eiffel Tower, presented at around 30 international festivals), ten theatre performances, (performed and awarded at a number of important festivals, i.e. Budva Theatre City, Infant, Exit, TIBA, etc.) He also directed four short films, 25 half-an-hour documentaries for Montenegrin Broadcasting Service TV CG, as well as numerous music videos, commercials, TV clips.

Since 2004 – Vukcevic was at the position of Artistic director of City Theatre Podgorica (second important theatre in state of Montenegro, after its National theatre), and artistic head of new productions, with more than 25 stage productions in charge. Vukcevic is well versed in the use of modern cinematic technology, a skill he learned through collaboration with experienced production and postproduction crews (including Arkadena – Slovenia, Vizije – Croatia) as well as through attendance of international festivals, workshops and training sessions.
Nikola Vukcevic has been named an Ambassador of Montenegrin Culture by the EU’s Directorate General Enlargement. The Directorate is a project set up to promote the countries applying for membership of European Union, and the Ambassadors of culture will represent their country during the accession.
His second film – ‘The Kids from the Marx and Engels Street’ by the selection comitee of Montenegrin Ministry of Culture – is official Montenegrin national Oscar candidate for The Best Foreign film 2015.


Vukcevic received a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Theatre Directing from the Academy of Arts Novi Sad, Yugoslavia, studying under supervision of internationally acclaimed film and theatre director Vlatko Gilic (films on Cannes film festival – 1973, 1977, 1980; Berlin, Oberhauzen, Moscow, New York …), as Student of Generation 1998 from Drama section. Vukcevic has been included in category of the best University students in Novi Sad. In June 2001 he received a Master Degree of Arts in drama. His thesis was awarded and published as a book “I Influence of Film On Theatre of New Forms”.

Festivals: awards & nominations

1. Montenegro int. film Festival (Balkan & Mediterranean region): Awards for – BEST DIRECTOR, BEST CAMERA (sept. 2014)
2. Serbian Actors film festival, Nish, Serbia (sept. 2014), Award for – BEST FOREIGN ACTRESS
3. LIFFE (Ex-Yugoslavian Film festival of Film direction), september 2014: JURY SPECIAL MENTION
4. Montenegrin national Oscar candidate for Best foreign film, American Film Academy, Los Angeles, november 2014
5. Stockholm, Sweden, BANEFF (Balkan film festival), february 2015
6. Paris, France: European Independent film festival, april 2015 (Finalist in European Dramatic feature)
7. Paris, France: SEE film festival (Central Eastern Europe film festival), april 2015 – BEST ACTRESS
8. Vancouver, Canada: Canada International Film Festival, april 2015: 2015 Royal Reel Award / Foreign Film Competition
9. Philadelphia independent film festival, USA – april 2015, Film forum selection (Feature films)
10. American Movie Awards – Las Vegas, USA, may 2015, HONORABLE MENTIONS & OFFICIAL FINALISTS
11. Madrid International Film Festival, (Spain), july 2015, Nomination for BEST FOREIGN ACTOR
12. Boston Independent Film Festival, USA, Summer edition, july 2015, awards: BEST FEATURE FILM, BEST DIRECTOR, BEST SCREENPLAY
13. Vienna, CeeFilmFestival (Central and Eastern Europe), sept/oct 2015
14. Cinematic Int. film festival, Slovakia – september 2015
15. Dublin, Ireland – Fingal Int. Film festival – Oct. 2015, – BEST FEATURE FILM award
16. India, FFSI International Film Fest.: Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Bengalur – august-december 2015, Federation of Film Societies of India
17. Raindance International Film Festival, London, England, october 2015
18. St. Petersburg, Russia, Westwind film festival – October 2015
19. Cairo International Film Festival, Egypt, November 2015
20. Cottbus International Film Festival, Germany, November. 2015
21. Balkan Florence Express Festival, Italy, February 2016
22. Prishtina International Film Festival PRIFEST, Kosovo, April 2016

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