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The Pain of Others

A short film by Slavisa Drobnjaković

Based on a true story

An IHOS Films Amsterdam & Golden Mountain Pictures Production

The Pain of Others is a story about human suffering from the perspective of a nine-year-old boy. Through a domino effect of empathy, the nature of his mother’s work will expose him to the tragic experience of a Jewish neighbour.

Writer / Director: Slavisa Drobnjaković
Executive Producer: Konstantin Koukias
Producer: Ivana Bozić (Golden Mountain Pictures)
Director of Photography: Aleksandar Mijailović
Editors: Jelena Rosić, Mina Petrović & Nevena Jovanović
Sound Designers: Aleksandar Mrđan & Willem Van Erven Dorens
Assistant Director: Boris Todorović
Costume Design: Aleksandra Lalić & Slavisa Drobnjaković


Current funding partners
Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, Film Centre Serbia, VEVAM, Film Investment Fund and Belgrade Jewish Community.

Slavisa Drobnjakovic

Slavisa Drobnjaković

Writer / Director

Slavisa Drobnjaković commenced his acting studies in classical theatre at the age of fourteen in Yugoslavia. Further study took him to the Art Academy and Cultural Anthropology in Belgrade. After moving to Amsterdam in 2001, he has been involved as a performance artist at Das Arts Amsterdam and Amsterdam Cyber Theatre and other artistic collaborations.

He has written several commercial scripts for ComradFilm in Slovenia and worked as a creative assistant on the films of Heidi Vogels and theatre director Boris Todorovic. In recent years, Slavisa dedicates himself entirely to film and works for the stage. He has been engaged as a writer/ director for Sluizer Film Productions for two long features:

       “The Tragic Death of Branka Djukic” follows the painful process within one highlander family, from the moment of the mysterious murder of their daughter to the act of revenge itself. In the development of the story there lie human instincts and irrationalities as catalysts to all further events.”

       “The Waste Land” is the frame tale of a man who tries to escape his homeland and his fate. Historiographic metafiction set in 1923, in the time of the first publishing of T.S. Eliot’s poem of the same name.”

For the stage, he is co-designing a new chamber opera for Nancy Black, for Black Hole Theatre based in Australia. For Foundation IHOS Amsterdam he has written and directed the film sequences for “A Deep Black Sleep”, a chamber opera for solo tenor and six masked musicians. Two short films “Eros & Thanatos” and “The Pain of Others” by Slavisa Drobnjakovic are planned for release in 2023/24.

       “Eros & Thanatos” is a love story based in an asylum centre, a particular kind of limbo realm where the temporal dimension of past and present intertwine and gradually disappear, reducing the individual to nothing but their life force. A grotesque exemplar, a trivialisation of the Freudian concept of Eros & Thanatos.”

Constantine Koukias

Executive Producer

Constantine Koukias is a producer of music, opera, and film.

Based in Amsterdam since 2013, he has created productions for the stage and screen ranging from large-scale music theatre and opera to mobile installation art and digital events.

His production-design credits from a career spanning over four decades include the internationally acclaimed Days and Nights with Christ (1990), To Traverse Water (1992), MIKROVION (Small Life – 36 Images in a Phantom Flux of Life) (1994), Medea (1995), Odyssey (1995), PULP – An Industrial Opera (1996),The Divine Kiss (1998), Sea Chant (2001), Tesla – Lightning in His Hand (2003), The Barbarians (2013), Backwards from Winter (2018), and A Deep Black Sleep (2023).

In 1993, he was commissioned by the Sydney Opera House Trust to compose the large-scale music-theatre piece ICON, in celebration of the building’s twentieth anniversary.

He has been commissioned by the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart, Tasmania, for Kimisis – Falling Asleep (2010), The Barbarians (2013), and Before the Flame Goes Out (2017). A Deep Black Sleep, a film-noir opera, premiered at the MONA FOMA festival in 2023.

Since 2018, Koukias has produced two short films: A Day in June (2018; dir. Peter Sieben) and The Pain of Others (2023; dir. Slaviša Drobnjaković). He is currently in planning and pre-production stages for Eros & Thanatos (2024; dir. Drobnjaković) and Shaped by Trees.

From 2024–2027, he will be producing a series of documentaries and performances for the new work Primordial.

Aleksandar Mijailović

Director of Photography

Aleksandar Mijailović was born in Užice, Yugoslavia, in 1976. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree and Master Degree in Motion Picture & TV from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts, Belgrade. He is a Member of UFUS – The Association of Film Artists of Serbia.

He has over 15 years experience in the field of film production, making documentary, fiction, corporate, and music videos, and over 20 years on numerous of television programs as the camerman and director of photography. Among his many programs are Road to Agartha (2020) – a feature-length documentary filmed in Southeast Asia, and Super Heroes of Media Literacy (2020) – a feature TV series over 18 episodes for young people on the topic of media literacy in the 21st century for. National Television of Serbia.

On the Right Track (2019), Young Minds of Serbia (2019), BURN (2018), and Controindicazione (2016) are four of a large number of documentary reports for the non-governmental sectors, such as the  United Nations, Red Cross, USAID and SeConS.

In addition to feature and documentary films, he often works as a videographer in the field of music. He has recorded and directed several music videos, both for classical and jazz music and for alternative rock bands.

In 2019 he was the Director of Photography for the opera A Deep Black Sleep, produced by Foundation IHOS Amsterdam. He has also had a long-term collaboration with the Opera & Theatre Madlenianum in Belgrade for several years.

Aleksandra Lalić

Costume Designer

Aleksandra Lalić graduated in History of Art at the University of Belgrade. She is well known for creating experimental clothing such as dresses made of human hair.

Under the label ‘LalicA’, she has produced her clothing line since 2002. According to Fashion Reverie, Lalić “represents a continuing trend in European fashion of re-imaging and re-inventing the way consumers and industry professionals consider form, structure, fabrication, and wearability.”

Her 2017 line was described as “all smooth lines and earthy colours, a subtle mix of contemporary style and traditional references”. In 2018, she participated in a group tribute to Boris Nikolić at Belgrade Fashion Week.

Lalić has become known for creating experimental dresses made of felt from human hair.  She uses hair that had been cut-off or rejected, as part of a habitual beauty routine. By re-purposing the hair, the designer views the transformed material as returning “… to the body in the form of clothing as an undesirable surface”. Aleksandra is currently creating costumes for the theatrical performance The Snow Queen at the cult theatre Little Theatre “Duško Radović”.

Boris Todorović

Assistant Director

Boris Todorović, is a Serbian director working for theatre, radio, TV and film. After completing his degree in English and Literature at The Faculty of Philology in Pristina, he took his BA in Theatre and radio directing at the renowned Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade.

During his training, he worked professionally for theatres in Serbia, Bulgaria and France. To date he has directed thirteen theatre performances based on contemporary Serbian and international authors, among which, Mansard by Danilo Kiš, Hyperbolic Paraboloidby Milica Konstantinovic, Wolve’s Pit by Miomir Petrović, Sava-Raka-Tinu by Jelena Lukić, In the Jungle of the Cities by Brecht, So it is (If you Think So) by Pirandello, stand out as clear examples of his ecclectic style.  

He has produced radio dramas for Radio Beograd 2. His productionss have toured successfully in Serbia and abroad, and some have taken part in national and international festivals to high critical accliam.

Though active in all theatrical genres and styles, from classical, through puppetry, to ambiental theatre, he has always cherished a passion for TV and movie directing. In film, he has worked in various capacities, as a script doctor, 2nd AD (TV Series: God Forbid! – PANIKAFILM Belgrade 2015), 1st AD (Some Better People – PFI Studios, Belgrade 2020), Second unit director – editor.

 Between 2005 to 2007 he worked as a project manager and Artistic Director of Open Arc Theatre in Užice where he took part in establishing and developing an open air theatre festival. From 2012 to 2015 he was the General Manager of The City Cultural Center, in Užice (Serbia).