Aleksa Ristovic: ‘Time travel? Early 50s – rock ’n’ roll days, or else somewhere in the far future’

Serbian-born film director Aleksa Ristovic based in Malta tells all in our Q&A

Credit: Safoura Naraghi
Credit: Safoura Naraghi

Serbian-born film director Aleksa Ristovic was in Belgrade for over a decade with no major artistic or personal life achievement when at 41, he came to Malta. In 2019, he wrote and directed ‘Losing You’, a tribute to the Azure Window. The film has now been screened in 15 countries at 23 film festivals, winning one award, and making three finals and four semi-finals. In 2020 Ristovic directed ‘Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining’ filmed under the social distancing restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Check on and kiss my newborn daughter, Doroteja.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Patience, patience, patience.

What do you never leave the house without?

My wedding ring.

Pick three words that describe yourself

Determined, curious and generous… even though sometimes all these values don’t work in my favour!

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Staying alive in my turbulent homeland country; and becoming a father in my new homeland country – Malta!

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Staying up late during the week (even though my alarm goes off at 6:00am!) watching movies, while inspiring myself and snacking.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

To never, ever give up! A lot of times I hit rock-bottom in my life but my spirit didn’t want to let me go and crash; instead, it helped me lift myself up and try again.

Property and cars aside what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

Filming equipment and my gaming laptop.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

To play the guitar. As a teenager, I was a huge rock fan but I had no luck with instruments.

Who’s your inspiration?

My wife. She also motivates me a lot. Showing me around every corner of the island, woke up the sleeping artist in me.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Leaving my homeland, breakthrough and settling in another country.

If you weren’t a film maker what would you be doing?

Rock musician. Music was my first love, my first dream, but the universe wanted otherwise.

Do you believe in God?

Yes, I do. I truly believe His presence guides my heart.

If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be?

Nikola Tesla. My father used to call me Tesla when I did something very smart as a child.

That built in me the wish to be great and to be different in positive way – to achieve and share something great with the world. Childhood inspiration.

What’s your worst habit?

Driving my wife nuts most of the time.

What are you like when you’re drunk?

Sometimes fun, sometimes not, sometimes quiet, sometimes loud.

Who would you have play you in a film?

Mickey Rourke. His movies influenced me during my adolescence.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Manipulative people. When they take you for granted and try to impact their will.

What music would you have played at your funeral?

Some great movie soundtrack…

What is your most treasured material possession?

My new car.

What is your earliest memory?

Playing with my older brother. He had a particular way of sharing his dummy – he used to take it out of his mouth and put it in mine. We were very close as children but our paths drove us apart.

When did you last cry, and why?

I can be deeply saddened, not crying. Life itself is full of emotions and sadness is the part that we cannot escape. Right now I am very sad because my parents cannot visit Malta to see their granddaughter, because of the pandemic. They live in Serbia.

Who would you most like to meet?

Steven Spielberg.

What’s your favourite food?

There’s a lot of it. Potatoes cooked in various ways, cheese, fruit salad, vegetables and fish fillets, ice cream, etc…

Who’s your favourite person on social media right now?

I don’t follow anyone in particular on social media. I might start... who knows.

If you could travel in time, where would you go?

Early 50s – rock ‘n’ roll days, or else somewhere in the far future.

What book are you reading right now?

The wheels on the bus… some children’s book (because of my daughter.)

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

To fly – as a young child, sometimes I dreamt of flying, it used to give me a thrilling feeling after I wake up. It was so fascinating!

What’s one thing you want to do before you die?

To make a great international feature movie.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

The new Bon Jovi album.

In the shower or when you’re working out, what do you sing/listen to?

Rock of all ages.