Ministry of defence Republic of Serbia

Premier of Film “They Defended the Sky of their Fatherland”

This evening, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Nebojša Stefanović PhD attended ceremonial premiere of a documentary film “They Defended the Shy of their Fatherland” held in Kombank Hall in Belgrade. The director of the film is Dragan Eličić, and the screenplay was written by Budimir Potočan, and the film was produced by the Military Film Centre “Zastava Film” of the Department for Public Relations.

Minister Stefanović pointed out, congratulating the crew that had worked on this achievement, that the film “They Defended the Shy of their Fatherland” carried a particular significance and that it, in some way, righted the historical injustice.

- We are a small country of a proud people and we must remember all our courageous deeds, and all our heroes. Those were the people who gave for this country the greatest thing that they had – their lives, so that we can be free today, autonomous and independent and we should not ever forget it – the minister said.

A documentary film achievement “They Defended the Shy of their Fatherland” speaks about the resistance, suffering and self-sacrificing of more than 130 airmen of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia who, in April 1941, put up unexpectedly strong and resolved resistance to Nazi aggressors.

- I wish our children to have the opportunity to see, not only museums, but the films such as this, and to know what our ancestors did for all of us. This evening, I wish to say one more thing. I have been heading this ministry for less than a year, but it is with certainty, and without making a mistake that I can tell you that Serbia has its heroes even today – airmen, infantrymen, tankmen, members of artillery and other members of their armed forces – who would not wait for one second to engage in every fight to protect their only Serbia – Minister Stefanović said.

He took the opportunity to thank all those who had opted for military profession, and all those who had raised their daughters and sons to become the servicemen.
- Long live our Serbia, and may we live in peace, and always remember those people who did so much for all of us – Minister Stefanović said.

On behalf of the film crew, the audience was addressed by the screenwriter Budimir Potočan PhD, who has been researching the role of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia Aviation in the April War for more than 35 years.

He called the pilots who had inspired his screenplay the heroic giants and the pride of Serbia, establishing that the truth about them had been lying in deep shadow for decades for the reason of ideology.

The crew behind the feature-length documentary film “They Defended the Shy of their Fatherland” was led by Director of the Military Film Centre “Zastava Film” of the Department for Public Relations Lieutenant Colonel Goran Ikonić.

The narrator in the film was actor Aleksandar Lazić, director of photography is Žarko Pekez while Dušan Milunović was in charge of editing. Aleksandar Veličković was the archives editor, Aleksandar Đorđević was a cameraman assistant, Sergeant Major Ivica Stojić was drone operator, Aleksandra Živković was the organiser, Draško Janković the composer, Boris Šurlan cameraman and sound designer, while  Mihajlo Vitezović was in charge of the graphic design. The text was read by actors Jelica Kovačević, Predrag Vasić, Pavle Mensur, Aleksandar Ranković and Stefan Jevtović.
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