Talk after the screening of The Lake 

    6. 11. 2019

    On the afternoon of 6 November 2019, a special preview of The Lake was given for members of the press. The Lake constitutes the first two parts of an eponymous television series to be shown within the context of Liffe’s Avantpremieres on 16 and 17 November, while the six-part TV series will be broadcast by TV Slovenia towards the end of the year. After the screening, festival director Simon Popek talked to the series’ co-director and co-screenwriter Matevž Luzar, executive producer Janez Pirc and Jani Virk, TV Slovenia’s narrative programme editor. 

    Luzar explained that the writing of the script had resembled a dialogue and although several writers are uncommon in filmmaking, things are just the opposite when it comes to TV series; various scriptwriters are the norm, echoed in the expression ‘writers' room’. The Lake was written by four screenwriters: Srdjan Koljević, Matevž Luzar, Miha Hočevar and Tadej Golob, the author of the novel on which the film is based. The script was being developed throughout the course of one year and the movie was shot in fifty-five days, between December 2018 and February 2019. In scheduling the shooting, the filmmakers had to take into account the busy schedules of the cast members whose obligations include both filmmaking and predominantly national theatres engagements. Being shot in winter, as becomes a noir Scandinavian or ‘Alpine’ crime movie, the project was technically demanding; after the screening, members of the audience praised both the cast and photography, especially the snow-covered Bohinj lakeside landscapes. The director commented that the novel itself, being extremely cinematic, was great movie material and, moreover, that the cinematographer Miloš Srdić had done a great job. 

    The viewers wanted to know how the filmmakers had casted the actors; had they had any names in mind beforehand. Luzar explained that he and co-director Klemen Dvornik had had no preferences and that they had approached the casting in a similar way. He went on to say that the actors had been highly motivated throughout the shooting and that none of them had been taken ill despite the harsh weather conditions. When reading the novel, each director visualised his own main character, Taras Birsa, and several auditions had to be held before actor Sebastian Cavazza fully convinced them. Like the character in the novel, Cavazza gradually develops his role and gives a stellar performance. Virk was unable to provide a conclusive answer to the question whether the sequel to the crime novel, Lenin Park, would also be adapted for the screen. 

    Written by Nataša Šušteršič

    Photo Iztok Dimc