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Ljubljana Film Fest Opens to Standing Ovation

The film "Guardians of the Formula," partially filmed in Slovenia and helmed by Serbian director Dragan Bjelogrlić, opened to a standing ovation at the Ljubljana International Film Festival (LIFFe) on the 8th of November.

This cinematic work, a joint production between Serbia, Slovenia, Montenegro, and North Macedonia, draws its inspiration from the true events of the “Serbian Chernobyl,” as narrated in the 2017 novel “Slučaj Vinča” (The Vinča Case). The narrative centres on a 1958 mishap at the Vinča Scientific Institute, which resulted in six young researchers being contaminated with radiation.

In his address to the audience, Bjelogrlić expressed that the incident was shrouded in obscurity, with most related documents having vanished and witnesses remaining reticent. The director’s cinematic adaptation explores the intriguing notion of how an equation synonymous with death could be transformed into one that signifies life.

The film, subtitled “Chain Reaction,” portrays the aftermath of the Vinča Institute incident, following the affected researchers, primarily physics students, as they are airlifted to Paris for medical attention. This paves the way to the pioneering human bone marrow transplant from unrelated donors, successfully conducted by French doctor Georges Mathe.

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