(San Francisco, CA) – Unbeknownst to many, Serbia holds a long tradition of fishing white sturgeon to harvest their roe (or eggs) for caviar. It’s a highly profitable venture, as a female sturgeon contains anywhere from 20 to 250 kilos of fish roe that can sell for up to $200 per kilo. The Caviar Connection, directed by Dragan Nikolic, follows two brothers in a game of fishing roulette as they hunt for the fish that will bring them easy money, allowing them to leave their small village. The Caviar Connection will air nationally on PBS WORLD’s Global Voices on Sunday, June 6, at 10pm (check local listings).
This creative documentary focuses on two brothers — Ivan and Dragan Rat, sons of legendary fisherman Pa Drnda. The brothers resemble characters from classic slapstick comedies: they argue, cheat, calculate, and disagree on almost everything, yet in the end, they always manage to work together. The film follows these two men through their day-to-day worries, such as the painful awakening after yet another late and inebriated night, the practiced preparation of the boat and nets, the quarrels with other fishermen about fishing territories, and the disappointing catch, if there is one. Their greatest challenge comes, however, when a fishing ban is enforced by the European Union. While they gamble with natural and economic rules — both written and unwritten — these characters gain greater depth and dynamism than might initially be expected.
Director Dragan Nikolic explains, “The Rat brothers are following their naive dreams in a touching and subtle way that reflects a modern 'Wild West' that Serbia is a part of. Their optimism and motto are metaphors for the time in which we live.”
About the Filmmaker
Dragan Nikolic is an established screenwriter, playwright, and director. He achieved many notable successes with his previous projects, including writing and assistant directing the short feature film, Run Rabbit Run, which received the first award in the Cinefondasion category at Cannes in 2003; co-writing Made in Serbia, the first Serbian documentaty to be regularly shown in theaters; and working as the director of photography on Bar de Zi, which was awarded best Romanian documentary at the 2007 Astra Film Festival. Nikolic graduated from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade with a degree in Dramaturgy.
About Global Voices
Global Voices is produced by ITVS International and began airing on the PBS WORLD digital channel on Sunday, April 26, 2009, at 10pm. This 26-week series brings an internationally themed documentaries made by U.S.-based and international filmmakers to a national audience. This season, the series will feature the U.S. premieres of six documentaries funded by ITVS International, as well as encore broadcasts of other acclaimed ITVS programs. In addition to the PBS WORLD broadcast, select episodes will be available online post broadcast — via iTunes, Amazon, Netflix, and on PBS’s Video player through http://video.pbs.org. For the complete lineup and schedule, visit www.pbs.org/globalvoices/.
About ITVS International
ITVS International is a division of the Independent Television Service (ITVS) that promotes an international exchange of documentary films made by independent producers, bringing international voices to U.S. audiences and American stories to audiences abroad. Through a unique public-private partnership called the Global Perspectives Project, ITVS International administers the International Media Development Fund (IMDF) and True Stories: Life in the USA. The IMDF funds international producers and supports the American broadcast of their programs. True Stories: Life in the USA promotes a series of American independent films to audiences around the world. ITVS created the Global Perspectives Project in 2005 with support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the U.S. Department of State. More information about ITVS International is available online at http://www.itvs.org/international.
About PBS WORLD
PBS WORLD features documentary, public affairs and news programming from a number of public television’s award-winning signature series and acclaimed independent filmmakers. Produced and distributed by PBS, WGBH Boston, and Thirteen/WNET New York, in association with American Public Television and the National Education Telecommunications Association, PBS WORLD launched on 55 stations across the country, representing 24 licensees and reaching more than 27 percent of U.S. households. In most markets, PBS WORLD programming is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Programming on PBS WORLD includes such popular and critically acclaimed series as American Experience, Frontline, History Detectives, Nature, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Nova, Scientific American Frontiers, and The Tavis Smiley Show.
Voleine Amilcar, ITVS, 415-356-8383, ext. 244, Voleine_amilcar@itvs.org
Krissy Bailey, ITVS, 415-356-8383, ext. 254, Krissy_bailey@itvs.org