In Yugoslavia, after the end of World War II, a new and major importance was conferred to the role of cinema by the Tito regime. In a very short time, hundreds of new cinemas were built, Europe’s largest film studio was founded in Belgrade and Slovenia’s Iskra began the mass manufacture of 35mm film projectors. The most legendary of these would be the NP-21 (NP stands for Narodni Projektor, the Projector of the People). For Projektor, an NP-21 is completely dismantled. A mould is made of each separate part, which is subsequently cast and finished in bronze, then reassembled into a new, functioning and monumental projector. Dražić and Janssen filmed the entire process, registering the beauty of the original craftsmanship at the foundry and the material similarities between the bronze and the reel of film. The observation that a projector reveals the process of its own making reaches further than a purely conceptual statement. This project is at the same time an ode to producing things by hand, and to how, during the course of the 20th century, that crafting by hand underwent such fundamental change.
Authors: Dušica Dražić, Wim Janssen / Production: Wim Janssen / Co-production: Cats and Dogs production, Werktank / Director of photography: Hannes Boeck / Grip and Light: Jasper Janssens / With the support of: Flemish Audiovisual Fund, Flemish authorities, Claerbout studio, Film Center Serbia, Republic of Serbia – Ministry of Culture and Information, Cultural Centre of Obrenovac, Yugoslav Film Archive, Austrian Cultural Forum Belgrade, Austrian Cultural Forum Brussels, Courtisane / Special thanks to: Foundry Ljubisavljević (Dragan Ljubisavljević, Milivoje Đorđević), ACS Kinoakustika, Novi metal, DeJonghe Film postproduction