Project: BOY SCOUTS
It’s fairly easy to go through all of high school’s algrebras, physics, and world histories when you have already decided that you are an artist. The reality of the world simply does not interest you, you are the kid who was spotted reading Nietzsche and smoking cigarettes during lunch break. You ask for permission from your school to use the art studio during weekends because your art does not understand work days. Some ten years ago, this prick was me. One day, my art teacher looked at my drawings and with one swift sway of the sword, evaluated them as ‘shit’. And my fledgling heart was broken. ‘If not art, then what’s the point of my life?’
Drowned in despair, I hated everything and everybody. I started to paint and draw much more. I wrote short stories. I got a photo camera. And then I got rid of the idea that I need somebody’s approval to do what I wanted to do. That’s when the idea of being a film director was born. A few years later, I shot my first amateur short film and applied to the film academy in my hometown. In 2016, I graduated from the film academy with my first professional short film supported by the national film agency. Right now I’m preparing my first feature film titled Midnight Train and I cannot wait to start shooting.
The story follows a squad of six boy scouts on a quest in the mountains. As the boys form even tighter bonds between each other during the quest, one of them, Boyan, decides to come out to the rest of the group as gay. The atmosphere in the squad instantly changes and one of the boys, Viktor, hits Boyan in the face, telling him to men-up. He says that he will give him 10 seconds to take back what he said. Boyan feels the tension of the situation but doesn’t say anything. As the ten seconds pass, the squad begins to sodomize Boyan with the intention of bringing him back on the ‘right track’. Mirko, a fragile boy, is shocked by the sight of Boyan lying on the ground in blood and is the last one to run away. Back in the camp, the boys behave as if nothing happened and try to hide their agitation from their squad’s elder, but Mirko cannot calm himself down. He goes out into the night to look for Boyan. While looking for him, he is confronted with the unforgiving nature of the mountain and finds shelter in an old lady’s house.
The story of Boy Scouts is based on a real event that took place in Russia. I heard the story while I was making a short documentary on a transgender singer from Skopje, back in 2013. I was moved by the brutality of the idea that love and friendship can manifest themselves as the most perilous form of aggression, as they do in the original story in which a young man is raped and killed by his closest friends for coming out to them as gay. Is it possible that friends can do this to each other? And think that such a thing is the ‘right thing to do’? The story stuck in my mind and I kept going back to it, because it was a story that could very easily have happened in Skopje too, to any of my gay friends.
In my script, I decide to isolate the group of young boys on a mountain and make them all be part of a boy scouts squad. The mountain in the story becomes a metaphor for the world, like a micro-cosmos, and the boy squad – a metaphor for society. In terms of visualizing the story, I want to use authentic locations from Macedonia’s West and to emphasize the contrast between the restless human spirit and the calmness of nature, but at the same time to show how nature is unforgiving. My intention is to make the audience feel that something as alarming as this could be happening right now and might continue to happen unless we (as society) stop discriminating against LGBT people and people who are different.