TV series Christmas Uprising, made by Zeljko Sosic in national production, gathered many Montenegrin citizens around their screens.
After Oriđinal, that we watched a couple of decades ago, and unforgettable Đekna, national audience can again enjoy in a work that was made in Montenegro.
The title Christmas Uprising concerns an event from Montenegrin history that not many people know about. Of course, there is a love story amidst history, between Jelena and Danilo who returns from Russia.
In real life, Danilo comes from Belgrade and his real name is Miodrag Radonjic.
Young actor has been staying in Podgorica these days, promoting the series. His visit was a chance for CdM team to take a walk with him and learn more about the series.
If you were among 100 thousand viewers of series premiere on RTCG, you have seen Danilo at gunpoint.
“I do not want to reveal whether he survives. I myself enjoyed the tension of not knowing what is going to happen while filming”, Radonjic said.
This role is very significant for his career, and it’s written so that it inspires intrigue.
“There are actors who play heros, and there are actors who make heros. Danilo has a lot to hide, that’s why I liked the part. ‘The point is in the things the actor hides, not the ones he reveals’. It makes things much more exciting, in life as well”, Radonjic said for CdM.
In the first episode we learned that Danilo returns to homeland Montenegro from Russia. His promised girlfriend Jelena awaits him. Radonjic worked hard to make Danilo’s thoughts about love come alive on the screen.
“Things were much different back then. I can now sit on a plane, go to the US, and come back in two days. Danilo traveled across the Black Sea, Greece, Macedonia, Albania and came to Montenegro by Skadar Lake. The trip took two, three months, and Danilo doesn’t know if Jelena got married in the meantime, or if she is even alive. They didn’t see or talk to each other for eight years. This type of a relationship was a given at the time. If they decided to be together, no time can separate them, nothing and no one”, he said.
There is very little information about Christmas Uprising. The event was very significant in Montenegrin history and it still inspires discussions.
Radonjic didn’t know much about the event before the series.
“It’s a touchy subject. We always tried to prevail here in the region, to defend ourselves from great forces, and we never found a way to unite. There were some attempts. Christmas Uprising was among the first, and it failed. Then there was Yugoslavia, beautiful while it lasted. I didn’t know much about this subject, which is a shame. If a terrorist attack happens in Paris, all the world talks about it. During this uprising, many people were killed, and there has been only silence about it for almost a hundred years”, Radonjic said.
He had a lot of trouble learning the accent of Cetinje people, he admits.
“The accent was different back at the beginning of 20th century. I had 6 days to prepare, but colleagues from Montenegro also worked with me, because they didn’t know this accent either”. Radonjic’s colleague in the series, Natasa Ninkovic, spoke highly to CdM about his work.
He talks about his experience working with one of the most famous actresses of Serbian and Yugoslavian scene.
“Natasa is very honest, she speaks her mind. I liked her a lot, we still see each other in Belgrade. She is a critic, but she can also encourage and motivate”, Radonjic said.
Radonjic is considered one of the most talented new actors in Serbia. He had parts in several films and theatre plays. TV audience in Serbia knows him from TV series Ubice mog oca.
“I choose my roles carefully, sometimes I refuse. I lead my career based on my instinct, not money”, he said.
“Series such as Christmas Uprising is rarely filmed in our region. Zeljko is pleased with the achieved, and he should be”, Radonjic said.
Besides Radonjic and Ninkovic, there are also regionally famous actors such as Vojin Cetkovic, Mladen Nelevic, Boro Stjepanovic, Olivera Vukovic, Mirko Vlahovic, as well as young Montenegrin actors Dusan Kovacevic, Branka Stanic, Miso Obradovic, Sanja Popovic.
Producers are Zeljko Sosic, Rade Vojvodic, Branimir Popovic and Darko Sukovic. Screenplay writer and director is Zeljko Sosis, executive producer Ivan Djurovic, art director Miodrag Popovic, history consultant Novak Adzic. Scenographer is Milenko Jeremic, director of photography Ivan Kostic and costume designer Gordana Angelovski.
If the success of premiere is any lead, than Christmas Rising team is on a great road.
Christmas Rising is on Sundays at 20h on RTCG.
PHOTO: Vedran Ilić