once were humans

By Goran Vojnović


Co-Production Market 2018


Nekoč so bili ljudje

english titlE

Once were humans





Goran Vojnović


Goran Vojnović, film director and writer. He finished University of TV directing. He is well know by novels and film Čefruji raus. He received prestigious Prešeren’s Fund Award. Now he is preparing one big feature film Once were humans... more www.arsmedi.si


The story about Leo and Vucko is a story about people, who get involved into refugee trafficking involuntarily, out of necessity, because of one of many in a line of coincidences that shape our everyday lives. The plans are here only to fail.


Leo is an Italian, who lives in Slovenia. Vučko is a Bosnian, who came to Slovenia as a child refugee. Leo continues living in Slovenia as he hopes that he, his ex-girlfriend Anita and their son Valter would get back together and become a family again. Vučko does not want to leave Slovenia and go to Sweden to his brother, as he does not want to feel like a refugee again. When the bank refuses to give then a mortgage for the restaurant refurbishment, Leo and Vučko are forced to accept an offer from imposter Gianni. They must steal Gianni's truck so that Gianni would get money from the insurance. But instead of stealing Gianni's truck Leo and Vučko mistakenly steal a truck full of refugees. And so unwillingly the refugee Vučko and the migrant Leo hold the destiny of the miserable refugees in their hands. In order to solve their own financial troubles, Leo and Vučko decide to sell the refugees. Although it seems at first that they care for those people, day by day there's less and less humanity in either of the men.

directors statement

Film Once Were Humans is at the same time a thriller and a drama; a collision of two worlds, or rather, a gradual drifting of one into the other; a rapid transition from drama to thriller that still maintains the dramatic elements present at all times. It is a story of 2 friends and of their families. Story base on very strong characters, based primarily on the actors. The script fairly precisely outlines the relationships between the characters, such as relationship, love, feelings, friendship. Film is, in a sense, a film that greatly depends on the actors, because the characters are placed into highly complex situations that are full of moral dilemmas. Portrayal of 2 friends transformation from innocent small-scale entrepreneurs to human organ traffickers is challenging, not only for the actors, but also for the direction, as this cinematic portrayal of the dehumanisation of man and of society with him could quite possibly be the film’s most important highlight.

production company profile

Production Company ARSMEDIA was established in 1990.
It is a company with a big experience and high reputation, which confirms more than 25 years of experience and hard work on film field. We are searching for a good story, develop it and make them true. With professional team we belive in every written screenplay.

producers bio

Oštjan Iković, producer at the production company Arsmedia from Slovenia. After finishing Economics studies, four semesters in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and four semesters in Graz, Austria I have started working on TV series and feature films. Less then 10 years of producing, he can be proud of his production work. Whit passion and love to a film and his believes in his team he create all...


Fužine Rules, short film, 2002
Season 90/91, short film 2004 Bon Voyage, Nedime (screenwriter), short film 2005
– The Sarajevo Heart – award for best short film at the Sarajevo Film Festiva
– nomination for European Film Academy Award for best European short film My Son, Sexual Maniac, short film 2006
The Chinese Are Coming, short film 2008
– special mention at the Slovenian Film Festival in Portorož Piran – Pirano feature film 2010
– best editing, best actress and best screenplay at the Slovenian Film Festival in Portorož
– best film and best actor at the South-East European Film Festival in Paris
– award for intercultural dialog at the festival in Cottbus Chefurs Raus! feature film 2013 – best supporting role Award Vesna at the Slovenian Film Festival in Portorož
– best Actor award at the festival in Cottbus
– best director award at the festival in Alexandria
– best screenplay award at the South-East European Film Festival in Paris
– Media Award at the Pristina Film Festival
– 2 golden Roles for 50.000 audience in Slovenian theatres
City Lights, short film 2015 (screenwriter).



• A COMEDY OF TEARS, feature film, writen and directed by Marko Sosič, in post-production 2016, domestic premier is planed in October 2016. Festivals and awards:
- 19th Festival of Slovenian Film, Portorož, 13. – 18.9.2016
- Raindance Film Festival, London, 21.9. – 2.10.2016

- K3 Film Festival, Villach – Beljak, Austria, 21. – 25.9.2016 - Days of Slovenian film in Belgrade, 22. – 25.11.2016
- 15. Pune Intrnational Film Festival (PIFF), 12. – 19.1.2017 - 28. Trieste Film Festival, 20. – 29.1.2017

- 6. New Balkan film Festival Stockholm, Švedska, 16. – 19.2.2017
- 20th Annual Chicago European Union film Festival, Chicago, USA, Marec 2017 - EU Film Festival 2017, Kathmandu, Nepal, 24. – 29. 3. 2017. http://arsmedia.si/en/home/a-comedy-of-tears-2

• FAMILY FILM, feature film, written by Olmo Omerzu and Njebojša Pop Tasić, directed by Olmo Omerzu. Produced 2015. Festivals and awards:
2015 Family Film (Rodinný film, 95 min, fiction)
- Premiered at San Sebastian International Film Festival 2015

- Kamera Oko Ostrava - Competition (cinematographers festival in Czech Republic) - CinEast Luxemburg - Competition
- Tokio - section tbc
- Torino - TFL section

- Cottbus - Competiton
- LIFFE Ljubljana – Competition. www.arsmedia.si/en/home/family-film

• CHEFURS RAUS!, feature fiction film, written and directed by Goran Vojnović. Produced 2013.
3rd October, 2013 – the distribution of Chefurs Raus began. Up till 14th January 2014, 55.147 cinema goers have alredy seen the film. Distribution of the film in Croatia and Bosnia started in January 2014, in Serbia the film went into distribution in February 2014.
- 15th Slovenian Film Festival 2013 – award for best supporting role (Ivan Pašalić, Dino Hajderović, Jernej Kogovšek)
- Alexandria International Film Festival, Egypt, 10 to 16 September 2014 competition program, award for Best Director.
- 23rd Festival of Eastern European Film Cottbus – award for best actor Emir Hadžihafizbegović

• A NIGHT TOO YOUNG, feature film, written by Bruno Hájek, Jakub Felcman, Olmo Omerzu; directed by Olmo Omerzu. Produced 2012. Festivals and awards:
- 2012 Priliš mláda noc (Mlada noc, 65 min) premier at Berlinale 2012 (selection of Forum)
- Award for best film – Neisse Film Festival 2012

- Award for best directing – Voices Vologda 2012
- Award for best film – FAMU fest Praha 2012
- Award RWE – discover of a year (award of CZ film critics 2013). www.arsmedia.si/en/feature-films/a-night-too-young-orig-prilis-mlada-noc

• SHANGHAI GYPSY, feature fiction film, written and directed by Marko Naberšnik, based on the novel by Feri Lainšček The Untoucahbles. Produced 2012; distributed 2012. 4th October 2012 – the distribution of Shanghai Gypsy began. Up till now 47.003 cinema goers have seen the film.
- World premiere at the Montreal Film Festival 2012 – listed in competition programme – Award for best screenplay.
- 14th Slovenian Film Festival 2012 – award for best actress; award for best makeup

- Cinedays Skopje, November 2012
- Diaspora film festival Toronto, November 2012
- 20. Raindance Film Festival, September 2012

• PIRAN-PIRANO, written an directed by Goran Vojnović. Produced 2010.
Slovenian Film Festival, Portorož, 2010 Slovenia (Vesna Award for best screenplay, best editing, best actress)
Cairo International Film Festival, Cairo 2010,
Trieste Film Festival 2011,
Cinequest Film Festival 2011, San Jose,

Film Festival Innsbruck, May 2011
EU Film Festival at Ukraine, June 2011
Pula Film Festival 9.-23.7.2011 projection in front of ten thousand people and it was the only foreign film which was in competition for best public film. Film achieved the 3rd place with high points 4,51.
International Film Festival Summerfest, Dures, Albania 27.8. – 2.9.2011 in competition program.
27. Alexandria International Film Festival 10. – 14.9.2011 in competition program.
21. Film Festival Cottbus, 1.-6.11.2011, award for "The Dialog Prize".

• ROOSTER’S BREAKFAST, based on the novel by Feri Lainšček, written and directed by Marko Naberšnik. Produced 2007.
The film won Awards for Best Script, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Audience Award for Best Film at the Festival of Slovenian Film, 2007. In theatres, the film had more then 185.000 viewers and won the Academy Award »Viktor« for Special Achievements.
The film was a national candidate for the best foreign film Oscar Award in 2008. At the South East European Film Festival in Los Angeles film won the Critics’ Award for Best Film 2009. In Slovenia, film received the »Zlata ptica« Award for Best Film 2008.

project type

Feature Film

shooting format

1;1:85, DCP


100 min

color / B&W


based on

Theatre play


Slovenian, Croatian, Italian




1.399.304.- Euro

finance in place

1.003.104.- Euro

production company

Arsmedia d.o.o


Other information connected to the project at the Matchmakingforum at : office@matchmakingforum.eu