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The Pain of Others

A short film by Slavisa Drobnjakovic
Based on a true story

In a time and place where therapists, life coaches and spiritual advisers are not commonly found, Mira devotes her time to those in need. Her apartment becomes a revolving door for many distraught and hopeless visitors. But one unexpected guest, a survivor of the Holocaust, is about to challenge her life.

Pavle Minh recalls the day when he and a group of gypsy musicians were arrested and incarcerated by the Nazis. The Germans smashed all of their instruments, and burnt them in a bonfire. Decades later, Pavle is still haunted by the memory of the gypsy musicians performing Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville” in the concentration camp.

What Mira does not understand is the effect this story will have on her son.


Creative Team

Writer / Director – Slavisa Drobnjaković
Cinematography – Aleksandar Mijailović
Editor – Sophia Ralston
Assistant Director– Boris Todorović
Sound Design – Nina Bjelajać
Location Liaison – Ivana Bozić

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 and Thanatos” and “The Pain of Others” by Slavisa Drobnjakovic are planned for release in 2021.

       “Eros and 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 and Thanatos.”

Aleksandar Mijailović


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.

Sophia Ralston


Sophia Ralston, was born in Sydney, Australia in 1998 and grew up in Zurich, Switzerland with German Nationality, where she graduated with a matriculation certificate on a music path in Cello in 2016.

She became interested in filmmaking after writing, producing, directing and editing her first short film for her awarded graduation project “Roller Coaster through the Clouds – a short film about ADHD”. Since then she has been based in Zurich, Basel, London and Germany where she continued making short films.

Sophia took part in film challenges and courses in Zurich and Germany before moving to London where she was enrolled at the Met Film School for a part time course in acting for film, and gained work experience at Working Title Films. For the past two years, she has been living and working in Switzerland, working in the Swiss film and television industry amongst others at the Gässli Film Festival in Basel (as a video-editor/social media intern), and as an assistant director, extras coordinator and/or production assistant for films and television such as the SRF series “Der Bestatter”, “Frieden” and “Wilder”, and feature films “Spagat”, “Stürm”, as well as many others.

Currently, her most recent film “The Red World” a short film written, produced, directed, and edited by Sophia is running on several national and international film festivals and has received a number of nominations and awards among others for best science fiction short film and best visual effects.

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).