Hadzi-Aleksandar Djurovic

Director of A Cross In The Desert Winner Winner of Best Feature Film 2022/23 Edition

Graduated on Academy of Arts in Belgrade in 2010. From 2011 to 2016 he was assistant professor on departments of tv and film directing. He founded independent production company Aleksandrija Films in 2009. He directed 13 internationaly awarded short fiction and documentary films.

His debut feature "Love Comes After" had premiere at Belgrade 61st FEST 2013, won award on Beverly Hills Film Festival in category Best Director, and was nominated for Best foreign film and Best director award on NYCIFF in 2013. His short film The “Bloody Lilly of the Valley” was in official selection of 2015 Montreal film festival. Feature Documentary “You Leave, I`ll Stay!” was in official 38th Moscow Film Festival Documentary Competition 2016. His short film ""The touch to pain" was in official selection of 62. Cork film festival. Short film "Cuckoo" was in official selection of Houston WorldFest film festival. "A Cross In The Desert" is his second feature film.

Credit: Nemanja Maraš

What is your project about?
My film is about ones journey into becoming better person on a path dedicated to serving God. It is universal story of how people can try to overcome their weakneses. At first, it might seem as just Christian film, but since i had great feedback from people from other religions, as well from atheists, i assume that film as an poetic art form can overcome those tags and labels and share universal morals and emotions, understandable anywhere in the world, because every single person believe in something.

What are your ambitions with your project?
This was, so far, my most chalenging project in terms of directing and production, and since it is an arthouse project, it reached more than we could imagine, and more than our ambitions were. A year after world premiere, we have more than 40 festivals, with more than 20 awards, around 100.000 viewers and more than 20 countries where film was distributed. That is huge success for this kind of film. Our ambition is to make film available to as many people as we can, who still didnt have a chance to see it. We will try to get it on digital or streaming.


Share a memorable experience from your project's production. What pleasantly surprised you?
It was first time that i directed abroad, with and international cast and crew. It was my first co-production. We shot most of the film in beautiful Jordan deserts, and that experience was amazing. Jordanian cast and crew were wonderful and so supportive to my vision. Even this is realively small budget film, with tight shooting schedule, everyone gave 100% of effort to finish everything as imagined. Their previous experiences on huge Hollywood projects like Star Wars, Aladdin, Dune, Martian etc. helped us a lot, but knowing that, i am even more happy that jordanian crew and our coproducer accepted to work on one small arthouse poetic independent film.

Why should distributors consider your film?
By the reactions, impressions and feebacks i got so far from various audience, film is something different than anything else they've seen, and it realy touches people deeply, if they are open to it. This is something that can be watched in 10,20 or 50 years, and it will still have same impact on viewer. I think that it is most valuable quality of any film.

Which cinematic themes interest you the most?
My debut film LOVE COMES AFTER (2013) was small low budget omnibus about loneliness and relationships. A CROSS IN THE DESERT is an journey through the soul. And my next project that is in development is family drama, biopic, and story about parenting. So as you can see, various topics and subjects. I don`t have some kind of type of the films i would like to make. It is all based on feeling, and what i find interesting in a story that i feel close to me, and think i can tell in interesting way and share with the world. We will see were this artistic road and growth will lead me in next decades, but i hope that i will gain audience's trust and that every next film will be better than previous one.