Veljko Bulajic

Active - 1959 - 2007  |   Born - Mar 22, 1928   |   Genres - War, Epic, Drama

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Specializing in epic war films, Veljko Bulajic ranked among the former Yugoslavia's most popular filmmakers of the '60s and '70s; at his peak he received privileges denied other directors by Tito's regime, making him the object of considerable hatred amongst his colleagues. Bulajic's two most internationally popular films were the war spectaculars Kozara (1962) and Bitka na Neretvi/Battle on the River Neretva (1969); the latter featured an international cast and earned Bulajic an Oscar nomination. Bulajic began his career in the 1940s as a journalist and director of short Yugoslavian documentaries. During the 1950s, Bulajic enrolled in Rome's Centro Sperimentale film school, and afterward assisted several renowned Italian directors, including Federico Fellini and Vittorio De Sica. He returned to Yugoslavia in 1958 and made his feature directorial debut with Vlak Bez Voznog Reda/Train Without a Timetable (1959), which won him international acclaim. His 1963 documentary Skopje won many awards and established Bulajic as a prominent filmmaker. His popularity came to an abrupt end in 1983 when his epic Veliki Transport/Great Transport proved to be a critical and box-office failure. The film nearly destroyed Bulajic financially, and he subsequently spent many years in court involved in numerous public scandals.

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