Luxembourg – Damir Mehic, Utopia (Luxembourg)

LU - Damir Mehic Luxembourg - Damir Mehic

Cinema for me is…

Damir in 10 frames

1. What film made you fall in love with cinema?
The cinema of Federico Fellini made me fall in love with cinema. Specifically, the movies La strada and Amarcord showed me how powerful cinema can be in order to transmit stories and make us feel empathy for certain characters, while also reflecting on their characters and their exposed flaws, with dark but powerful endings defining a movie. Amarcord showed me what cinema is capable of doing with imaginations, fantasies and playing with childhood memories and dream-like stories, all the possibilities that cinema can present.

2. What are the 3 best European films you have seen in the last year?
The Hand of God. Especially the final scene struck me the most where the film director tries to challenge Fabietto as to why he wants to pursue cinema, telling him that only morons go to Rome and asking how can he not look at this city (Napoli) and not feel inspired by it; one of the most moving scenes that I have ever seen, I believe is defining the entire film.
Hive. A female empowering film about a woman who starts her own business of producing and selling homemade Ajvar to support her children, but facing the patriarchal society opposing her as a woman standing on her own, showing the reality of many women in the Balkans.
Quo Vadis Aida. A film about a genocide that doesn’t present a simplified black-white version of the incidents, not demonizing one group of people and victimizing the other one, but showing how the UN failed to protect a so-called “safe area” and being responsible for letting it happen.

3. What does Europe mean to you?
Europe means many things to me, but mainly for me it’s a meeting point between cultures, exchange of languages and a mix of people. It is a continent full of various different cultures, cuisines, religions, languages and identities – inside this continent, borders are open for us, we can travel without anyone hindering us with visas or border controls. A continent of free movement, of free exchange, one that I love to travel and to get to know people. This is Europe for me, a continent that rocks.

4. What do you like the most about your country that makes it unique?
My country is very small, with less than 700.000 people living there, smaller than the city of Lyon; but despite its size, it is a melting pot of different cultures and people from all over the world living together in the heart of Europe, entrenched between France, Belgium and Germany. At school, we learn from a young age to speak English, French, German and Luxembourgish and we are brought up to be open minded and multicultural. This is what makes Luxembourg so special, besides the fact that the country is small and charming.

5. Your favorite film theatre? What do you like about it?
My favorite cinema is the Cinémathèque de Luxembourg. It is an old cinema, a cinématheque as the name indicates, where old classics from the 40s to indie foreign films from Southeast Asia are projected. They show old vintage films in 16mm or 35mm film with their old projectors, with their old chairs and charming posters and decorations all around, making me feel enchanted every time I enter the cinema. This place takes me back in time to the old magic days of cinema and makes me feel the magic of the movies.

6. What is your dream job in the film industry?
Obviously, to be a director. I study film, and I make films, and it’s my dream to be able to express myself in cinematic form, and tell and share stories on the big screen. It’s a lifelong passion of mine and my life goal. To inspire people, to entertain people, to make them think, to make them dream, to even instigate some change, that is my dream. And writing films, directing actors and working with cinematographers, there is nothing more in this world I love more than collaborating with different artists and telling stories for the big screen.

7. Which film director would you like to be?
I would want to be like Fellini, as I admire how he utilizes his colorful imagination to create all sorts of stories. However, I would also like to be myself instead of copying someone else, having my own, authentic stories to tell and to be a detail-oriented director.

8. Which film character do you most identify with?
Fabietto in The Hand of God. I, just like him, was for the longest time in search of myself before coming to the conclusion to make cinema; there too, like him, I was in search of my identity as a director and what I want to tell, until I found myself. I can’t say I found myself completely but for now I have some sort of idea what direction I want to take.

9. Your favorite soundtrack or song?
The soundtrack of Trainspotting. You gotta love it.

10. If you had to live in a movie, which one would you like it to be?
Probably either La La Land or Amarcord, if I could have an opportunity to live in a dreamlike world of innocence without any care or stress, then why not? 🙂

Damir Mehic is the Ambassador of Utopia (Luxembourg). Find out more about the cinema here.

Luxembourg - Ciné Utopia (Luxembourg)