The overwhelming reception for his forthcoming biopic about Nikola Tesla has led American director Michael Anton to deliver a new name to sum up the iconic nature of the man and his unique legacy. The new title for the most talked-about film in Serbia reflects the iconic nature of the great man and his legacy.
“Nikola Tesla does not need a controversial label,’ said director Michael Anton. “The fact that his name is not as familiar as it should be is one of the issues we intend to address with this film, which has progressed from a strong script with a modest budget into a potential voice that will finally break the great silence that is the history of Nikola Tesla.
“From now on, this film will be simply titled TESLA. Nothing more, nothing less.”
Today’s announcement was made at the R:brand Serbia Conference in a statement shared by Aleksandra Drecun, director of the Republic of Serbia Centre for the Promotion of Science. The conference in Novi Sad, attended by Serbia’s Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić, is part of the world famous EXIT festival, which attracts an international audience of many tens of thousands.
“Tesla was a man of his generation. Many consider him to have invented the twentieth century,’ Michael said in a statement. “His story must not be kept from the rest of the world. Tesla deserves to have a voice not only among the American people, but with everyone. Tesla sets an example for all of us. He showed that we are capable of unimaginable things as long as we believe in the impossible.”
“In Serbia, the land of his people, Nikola Tesla is revered as a national hero. He is the ultimate Serbian brand. His familiar image even hangs at the front of many classrooms to inspire each new generation. But my own children will grow up in America, in a school system that only preaches the history of Thomas Edison while ignoring the great man that was Nikola Tesla. I not only know that is wrong, I plan on redressing the balance.
“I have been so blessed to have the early support of the Serbian people in regards to our film, said Michael. “They appreciate my approach to the story of their national hero. I am confidant that audiences in the US, UK and worldwide will come to know the story of Tesla through our film.”
Confident in this bold new branding, Michael stands by his reason for picking The Mad Scientist as a working title for the film. “That title reflected that very misconception held by the rest of the world,’ he said. “I wanted to show the hypocrisy of the name, to show that it was the rest of the world who was truly mad for ignoring this great man. But we have attracted an internationally renowned cast whose award-winning work takes TESLA to another level. So we wanted a title to reflect that.”
German-born Serb Branko Tomović will play Nikola Tesla in the film. London-based Branko, who was recently awarded at the London Independent Film Festival, has been named International Actor of the Month by the British Filmmakers Alliance.
Michael is also in advanced discussions with leading actresses from Serbia and the Balkans to play Nikola Tesla’s family in scenes to be shot in Serbia, this October/November. Already, one of Serbia’s most celebrated actresses has come on board to play Djuka, the hardworking Serbian mother who had a big influence on the inventive instincts of the young Nikola.
In a move that is unusual in an American movie, the scenes to be shot in the Balkans will be spoken in Serbian. “They were Serbs living in what is now Croatia; I want the audience to feel the authenticity of those circumstances,’ said Michael.
Aleksandra Drecun, director of the Republic of Serbia Centre for the Promotion of Science, presented the TESLA statement and unveiled the new artwork at the conference, attended by Serbia’s Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić.
“Learning is one of the greatest gifts we can give as parents and adults,’ said Michael. “Who among us is not moved by the joy of discovery in a child’s eyes or the excitement of exploring the natural sciences? Science is a rich world of wonder, especially for young people.
“Imagine what we could accomplish if we believed that anything is possible as Nikola Tesla did? The examples he set not only in his contributions to science, but also in his beliefs that a world free of war would be an enlightened world capable of endless possibilities is a belief that all people should hold dear to their hearts.
“I tell you in good faith that my international team will work hard to make sure that every decision involving this film continues to enhance the momentum, not only among the Balkan people but across the globe. Together, we can ensure that the next generation is well aware of TESLA, one of the greatest men of the twentieth century.”
To achieve this will take money and support, not just in the US but from Serbia,’ too. “We have taken the decision to move back the shooting dates to later this year, allowing us time to explore our investment deals to elevate the film to the €2m budget that it clearly deserves,’ said Michael. “It would be good to think that Serbian businessmen, investment groups and government officials could come on board to help ensure that Tesla’s story reaches the widest possible international audience. It is time for Tesla to receive the respect and appreciation that he earned so dearly. Surely the great man deserves nothing less.”