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Wednesday3September2014
Filming a long feature documentary
Friday, 10 October 2008 Written by Jakov Sedlar & fra Ivo Tadić

friar Vjeko Curic and Andre SibomanaDear friend,

We would like to inform you that we are in the process of filming a long feature documentary film under the working title “Friar Vjeko Curic – martyr”. Namely, the Croatian and world public is partially acquainted with the fate of the Bosnian Franciscan monk Vjeko Curic who was killed under still unexplained circumstances in Kivumuu, Rwanda on the 31st January 1998. During the war in this African country Friar Vjeko stood out by saving thousands of human lives (equally both Tutsi and Hutu) and by bringing humanitarian aid from neighbouring countries, so that he earned the nickname the “Croatian Oscar Schindler”. This year marks the 10th anniversary of his martyr's death, and the idea about a documentary film which would try to explain his life, missionary work and the circumstances surroundings his martyr’s death.

The Bosnian Franciscans began their activities in missionary areas back in the fifties of the 20th century. Due to obstacles of the then state authorities the realisation of this plan began in 1980. The first missionary from Bosnia Srebrena was Friar Rafael Lipovac who worked in Africa a full twenty years. Friar Vjeko Curic (born in 1957 Zepce) from his ordination he spent his life as a priest as a missionary in Rwanda. Helpful and self-sacrificing, accepted by the people and loved, Friar Vjeko did not want to leave tribal war torn Rwanda.

I came to Rwanda to serve these people, I have stayed with them during the war and I will stay until the end accepting all risks which these people are facing and continue to face

said Friar Vjeko. Friar Vjeko without a doubt falls among the many martyrs of the Bosnia Srebrena province throughout its history. He was buried in the church in which he served. Even today many people gather around his grave in the church in which he served to honour him. Presently four Bosnian friars serve in African countries.

The film “Friar Vjeko Curic – martyr”, will run for 60 minutes, will be filmed using the most contemporary digital technology, will use all the available archive material related to this subject (the war in Rwanda) and Friar Vjeko personally (life, novitiate, missionary activities), and a few important people (priest colleagues, people who remember him in Rwanda, his church seniors) will talk about Friar Vjeko in the film and in this way bear witness about everything important for the realisation of this story. The film will be taped in Bosnia and Hercegovina, Croatia and Rwanda. The script and text will be written by the Croatian author Hrvoje Hitrec, the Croatian version of the text will be read by Vanja Drach, and the director is Jakov Sedlar. We would like to complete the film by the end of this year in which we mark the 10th anniversary of his martyr’s death.

We consider this film to be important and needed, as it will remind the world (but also the Croatian public) about the continuous suffering of Croatian priests who have many times throughout history risked and lost their lives in the name of Christ and in the name of serving people. Especially now at a time when the media do not look at the Church in a positive way, this is an example which will not be ignored or negatively commented on. Furthermore, if we find the funds it would be good to also make a number of different languages versions so that TV stations around the world could also show this unique story about servitude and martyrdom.

To date the realisation of this idea has been supported by a number of prominent Croatians from the diaspora (Ilija Letica, Ante Kusturic, Anton Kikas). Namely, for this film to be realised it is necessary to find funds which will be returned to the investors after distribution and sale of DVDs. Immediately after the film is completed it will be shown in many communities (where the DVD will also be sold) and it will be offered to TV stations. The money collected will first be returned to investors, while the remainder will be used to build a school in Rwanda which will bear the name “Father Vjeko”.

At this moment we need 80,000 € to realise this film at the highest artistic and technical level. We would greatly appreciate if you could participate in the realisation of this, we believe, needed film by giving a donation. Aside from the fact that your donation will be returned from film distribution (except if you waive reimbursement of the invested funds to be used for the school “Father Vjeko”), your name will also be in the film opening credits among the names of the good people who have recognised and assisted in the realisation of this film which endeavours to say something more about a great and brave priest and about a small, but proud people from whom Friar Vjeko originated from. 

We thank you in advance.

Yours, Jakov Sedlar and Fra Ivo Tadic

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