INTERVIEW :: Mladen Maticevic, director of „How to Become a Hero“


The decision to give up hero movies and to do something heroic in life has changed the life of our collocutor, director of the film „How to Become a Hero“ Mladen Marticevic.

- The reasons I have made the film were primarily therapeutical. You wake up one day, you’re 40, you realize that you have 120 kilos and that you are not really happy with your life, the career you thought would be much different, more successful, etc. When that happens, you can either carry on sinking in the same direction – which is unfortunately where life usually leads you to – or you can do something that will restore hope in your own capabilitites. This film is, hence, the consequence of my life crisis which I have, I hope, overcome with the attempt this film deals with.

You could not have chosen a less massive event that the Belgrade Marathon. Did you do this to hide if the attempt should fail?

-I am the kind of man who very often puts in front of himself some kind of grand objective, just for the sake of saying it. And when this objective starts approaching, I realize that it really looks more terrifying than I had thought. The decision to run the marathon is the craziest possible considering my frame, years and the circumstances of my life. On the marathon you can hide until the moment when the faster guys don’t pass by you. Then you remain in the end and everybody can see you.

I was never into running. I was into various other sports, but I felt the need to put as a goal to myself something which is, at first glance, absolutely impossible, because success would mean the possibility to put forward to myself other goals. This is the story of most of the people of this age who are solving it in their own way. I am handling my problems always in the extreme way and it was the same this time.

How serious were preparations for the Belgrade Marathon?

They were awfully serious and they enabled me to actually run the whole marathon. When someone with more that 100 kg manages to run 42 kilometers, these preparations must be serious. I have prepared myself as a professional athlete, under professional supervision and although I didn’t look that way, I was in seriously good shape.

How did you fare?
I ended up coming last, but I my time was within the propositions allowing to be registered in the official classification. You have run the marathon if you have managed to pass the track in five hours. These are the rules of the European Athletic Federation and I exist now in their records as the man who has run the Belgrade marathon.

It was my first marathon, but not the last. I wanted to run this year too, but I gave up due to an injured foot. But I am addicted to the marathon and I will run again

I hope that the audience of FEST shall find this film interesting, because it was done to be interesting in the first place. I have tried to have an entertaining approach, with lots of humor. The achievement was quite serious, but the approach is humoristic.

The Producer?
- I have chosen myself for producer, e.g. my production company “Starhill”. After a period of working for so-called famous Serbian producers, I decided to work a bit for myself. I have applied at the competition for funding films of the Belgrade Assembly, obtained the initial funds and manage to make a film. I shall be for ever grateful to the city government for having funded this film, because they have recognized a value in this story.