Licentious photos and "forbidden" video clips on mobile telephones recently brought Montenegrin movie and stage director Nikola Vukčević to the limelight. These two ubiquitous things are the main subject of his latest play called "Instant Sexual Education," a story about falling in love for the first time and what comes after that - growing up - a process that carries the same problems everywhere in today's globalized world.
"Instant Sexual Education," written by Serbian dramatist Djordje Milosavljević, is now a hit in theatres in Serbia. Vukčević intends the piece to have the same fate in Montenegro. Still, he has had to make some adjustments to the play to better suit local audiences.
Nikola Vukčević is a stage and film director. He works as an art director at the Podgorica City Theatre, and also runs a production company called Galileo, named after the famous astronomer who "saw the world with different eyes" than his contemporaries, as the company's internet site states. Vukčević graduated from the Academy of Arts in stage and film direction in Novi Sad (Serbia) in October 2008 at the top of his class, a year early. Since graduating, he has directed a large number of plays, one feature film, several shorts, several documentaries, and a number of music videos and commercials that are frequently aired on Montenegrin TV stations.
The Novi Sad Academy is one of the rare schools that combine film and stage direction. This duality is something that journalists routinely question him about, but Vukčević's usual response is to cite film and theatre director Ingmar Bergman who is now the subject of his doctoral thesis. Vukčevic says that while doing research for his paper, he stumbled on contradictory statements in Bergman's notes, in which the famous director claims that his life is like a film, only to say that it is like the theatre a little later. Vukčević adds that he is comfortable in his own skin.
Vukčević still likes to stress the importance of his debut film, "A View from the Eiffel Tower" (2005). The film came out at a time when, after years of inactivity, cinematography in Montenegro began making a comeback. The movie had its premiere at the Motovun film festival in Croatia, after which screenings were organized around the globe -- from Russia to the United States. The film received six festival awards.
Vukčević's work at the Podgorica City Theatre has brought him an array of awards for children's plays, but late-night shows as well. His latest play, "Instant Sexual Education," targets an entirely different crowd. "Tom Sawyer," a children's play, picked up five awards at the prestigious international children's festival in the Montenegrin coastal resort of Kotor. While preparing it, Vukčević was directing his father, an actor, and claims that his father listened to him.
The stage-film duality remains a subject of interest to Vukčević. His master's thesis later turned into a book titled "The Effect of Film on the Theatre of New Forms." Vukčević is a professor at the Cetinje School of Drama Art and a member of the Montenegrin Academy of Science and Arts' Committee on Film Art.