A movie director turns into a town builder.
Many know Emir Kusturica (Serbian filmmaker, actor and musician) for his internationally acclaimed feature films, such as When Father went away on Business and Underground, for which he was awarded Le Palme d’Or in Cannes.
But few know him for his projects in town building. The scenery for the film Life is a Miracle grew into the town where the famous director now lives, Drvengrad (Timbertown) also known as Küstendorf and Mećavnik. It is located near Mokra Gora (Serbia), best known for Yugoslav Ivo Andric‘s Nobel-winning novel, The Bridge on the Drina.
The loss of his own city, Sarajevo, during the civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina instigated him to build a world of his own in an open environment with cultural diversity. The idea started with wanting to organise seminars for people who want to learn how to make cinema, concerts, ceramics and painting. A complete infrastructure arose from this vision to meet the visitors needs: a town hall, library, art gallery, cinema, sports hall, restaurant, hotel, ski slope, shops and for the believers, even a church dedicated to St. Sava.
Mećavnik viewed from a helicopter:
Since 2008 the village hosts the Küstendorf Film and Music Festival, a non-commercial event dedicated
to the author film and known for the anti red carpet protocol and Hollywood artifacts.
Trailer: Life is a miracle (Život je čudo), 2004.
His second town-building project, Andrićgrad (also known as Kamengrad, “Stonetown”) is located
several kilometres from his first town, Drvengrad in Serbia.
He has dedicated the entire town to the Yugoslav novelist Ivo Andrić.
Construction started in 2011 and is scheduled to be completed in 2014.
featured photo: www.kustu.com