A screen grab from the film Krivina of leading man Goran Slavkovic. Photo courtesy of Gat Productions

Water polo coach stars in TIFF film

In Arts & Life /

By Arti Panday

Ryerson’s water polo coach made his Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) debut this year as the lead actor in Krivina, a Bosnian film.

Goran Slavkovic played the role of a Bosnian immigrant who returns to his homeland to search for his missing friend.

Krivina, according to director Igor Drljaca, was inspired by “the trauma in its different forms that is caused by war.”

“The root word ‘Kriv’ means ‘to be in the wrong’ and it has just so much more impact and weight than the literal English translation,” said Drljaca.

Slavkovic and Drljaca first met in 2005, when the actor was auditioning for one of Drljaca’s short films. Four years later, they travelled to Bosnia to begin filming Krivana. After working on the movie for the past three years, Slavkovic said he would change nothing about the experience.

“It’s Igor’s vision and it’s his story and I was glad to contribute as much as I could,” said Slavkovic.

But according to Albert Shin, co-editor, the process was lengthy.

“The film went through a lot of versions and mutations of what we thought it was and what it ended up being,” said Shin.

With the last portion shot in April, the editing process was only completed a few weeks ago.

“We didn’t have the luxury that we could work every day. All of us had to play around with our schedules a little bit,” said Slavkovic. “Sometimes on a weekend I would sleep in my character’s apartment and I would just stay there for a weekend so I would be there first thing in the morning and we would start filming right away.”

What with a demanding acting career, finding time for coaching the Ryerson water polo team is difficult, but a hobby for Slavkovic.

“[The students] all know what I do,” said Slavkovic, “[They are] such an amazing group. They’re always very considerate and helping. Even though it’s such a rough sport, they always find a way to respect each other.”

Krivina made its TIFF debut on Sunday at the Art Gallery of Ontario with a second screening on Tuesday. Slavkovic is also the lead actor in the short film Pirandello which will premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival in October.

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