Genre: Love story / drama

Duration: 124 min

Domestic premiere (Slovenia): 4th October 2012

World premiere: The Montreal World Film Festival 2012 – World Competition (Festival des Films du Monde de Montréal 2012 – Compétition mondiale)
The Story 

The main protagonists of the film are members of the gypsy family Mirga. Lutvija Belmondo Mirga narrates a story about four generations. Belmondo is the central character of the film, a gypsy king, who decided to establish his own gypsy village. He names it Shanghai. Belmondo makes a living smuggling and his power and influence grow big. He even gets the local police and politics on his side and that helps him to become untouchable for law. But with the downfall of Yugoslavia, smuggling of goods is replaced by smuggling of the arms. Though lucrative the business starts to threaten Belmondo’s personal life and he finds himself at the crossroads. Will he protect his own family or is he going to sacrifice his personal happiness for business ambitions?

Shanghai Gypsy is a story about eternal longing for happiness; it is a story about love and family ties, in which tears are intertwined with laughs. The story is set in times of the downfall of Yugoslavia. The film is shot in the authentic Romani language.

Marko Naberšnik, director/ screenwriter
Marko Naberšnik was born in1973, inMaribor, Slovenia. After graduating from the high school in Maribor, Marko attended a film-directing course at the New York Film Academy in 1996. There he made his first short film The Beginning and it was with this film that he passed the entrance exam and began with studies of film and TV directing at the Ljubljana Academy for Theatre, Radio, Film and Television (AGRFT), University of Ljubljana. In 2002 he graduated from the Academy in film and TV directing, and in 2010 he completed his Masters Degree. Marko has been working as a Docent at the Academy for Theatre, Radio, Film and TV in Ljubljana and as a director of films, documentary films and various TV shows. So far he has directed more than 500 TV shows, among them:StudioCity(a primetime weekly informative), Victors (the national media awards in 2004, 2005, 2008), As ti tud not padu? (a hit primetime  TV show), Zmago Batina – Take It or Leave It (a hit primetime entertainment show), Cheers! (Na zdravje – a hit primetime music show) and many more. Already Marko’s student films were great success: his short film With Love received the prestigious University Prešeren’s Award in 2001, his short film Pavle was awarded as the best student film at the 5th Slovenian Film Festival in Portorož in 2002 and received the Jury Award at Etuda – The International Film Festival Krakow. In 2007 Marko directed his first fiction feature film Rooster’s Breakfast, which became one of the biggest box office hits in Slovenia and a receiver of many film awards at home and abroad. At the Slovenian Film Festival in Portorož, Rooster’s Breakfast received awards for the best directing and screenplay and was chosen the best film by the audiences. Rooster’s Breakfast was regularly distributed in Bosnia and Serbia. The film also received the Victor – a national Award for special achievements and was the Slovenian candidate for the Oscar. While on tour inUSAthe film was noticed at the 4th Annual South East European Film Festival (Cinema Without Borders) inLos Angelesand received the best film award by the choice of film critics. Shanghai Gypsy is Naberšnik’s second feature fiction film.
Feri Lainšček, author of the novel
Shanghai Gypsy is based on the novel The Untouchables written by Feri Lainšček, who is one of the most notable contemporary Slovenian writers. Feri Lainšček was born in1959 inDolenci in Prekmurje. Today he lives and writes in Murska Sobota. He is a very prolific writer; his bibliography of monographic editions contains more than 100 titles. Five of his novels were turned into feature films: Halgato, Mokuš, Summer Hit, Rooster’s Breakfast, and Tractor, Love and Rock’n'roll. Shanghai Gypsy is the sixth feature film based on one of his novel. For the novel The One Brought by the Fog Lainšček received the Prešeren’s Fund Prize in1995. In1992 and in 2007 he received Kresnik – award for best Slovenian novel twice, namely for the novel Instead of Whom the Flower Blooms and for the novel Muriša. The Untouchables is Feri Lainšček’s greatest literary success. In the year when it was published The Untouchables made it into the finals for the national award Kresnik as well as for The European Book Prize. The Untouchables has already been translated into English, Italian, Czech and Danish language.
Visar Vishka
Visar Vishka comes from the younger generation of the Macedonian actors. After finishing his acting studies at The Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Skopje, he has worked a lot in theatre and on film. Today he is employed in the National Macedonian Theatre in Skopje. Among notable performances he made in feature films are roles in: This is not an American Movie (Ova ne e amerikanski film, 2010, directed by Sašo Pavlovski), Bunilo (2009, directed by Darijan Pejovski), Balkan Bazaar (2011, directed by Edmond Budina) and his performance in the NBC serial The Philanthropist. In Shanghai Gypsy Visar Vishka is the leading male character, starring as the Gypsy king, Belmondo.
Asli Bayram

Asli Bayram; On the beginning of her international career, Asli Bayram acted with Patrick Swayze in “Jump!”. Ensuing she appeared in a very prominent role in the black comedy “Short Cut to Hollywood”,  shot in USA and successfully presented at the Berlin Film Festival 2009.  Asli Bayram embodied impressive character roles in “180°- When Your World Turns Upside Down” (Drama, Swiss), “Sevdah for Karim” (Drama, Bosnia), “Sirat” (five-part Turkish TV drama) , “Die Wüstenärztin“ (English Title: The Dessert Doctor, German TV drama”, “Body Complete “ (Thriller, Bosnia/Austria,  a 6 Awards winning film  on USA film festivals)  and “Shanghai Gypsy” (Love story, Slovenia).  She learns her diverse roles in the local language and has never been synchronized. Films with Asli Bayram, has been shown at numerous international Film Festivals. Her solo theatre performance of “Anne Frank: The Diary “was a great international success with its premiere in Luxemburg followed by a tour across Germany, Czech, Canada and USA in a German and an English version.  Asli Bayram finished the acclaimed tour on invitation of the “Museum of Tolerance” on the 80th birthday of Anne in Hollywood, Los Angeles. The British newspaper THE TIMES commend her performance as Anne Frank: “One of Germany’s most convincing and subtle actresses.”  THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER praised her acting in “180° – When Your World Turns Upside Down” as a heartbreaking portrait of a young woman.  Asli Bayram, born and raised up in Germany, wrote a very personal report about her days of one’s youth in Germany as daughter of Turkish migrants, “Grenzgängerin. Leben zwischen den Welten”, published at Random House and achieved with this book a record in the Guinness World Records for the number of most people in a public reading relay. Asli Bayram was the first elected Miss Germany with Turkish roots. In “Shanghai Gypsy” she portrays the wife of the main protagonist  Belmondo and  embodies her role in 3 languages: Italian, Slovenian and Romani.

Asli Bayram lives in London. Her manager is the renowned Austrian producer and artist manager Robert Hofferer. The official website: www.asli-bayram.com

Bojan Emeršič
Bojan Emeršič was born in1963 inMaribor. He is one the most recognizable and popular Slovenian actors. At home he is well known after his performance in the successful TV show Čari začimb (Charms of Spices), which he hosted together with his fellow actor Gregor Bakovič. His popular performances include also the part of Doctor Jarc in the legendarysitcom Naša mala klinika/Our Little Clinic directed by Branko Djurić – Djuro; the part of Zmago Batina as the host of the popular TV show Vzemi ali pusti (Take It or Leave it) and the hosting of the TV show Minuta do zmageboth produced by the Slovenian commercial TV station – Pop TV. Bojan Emeršič attracted attention of national audiences with his performance in the feature film by Vinci V. Anžlovar Babica gre na ju (Grandma Goes South) in 1991. Later on he performed also in other Slovenian feature films: Summer Hit (directed by Metod Pevec, 2008), Bastards/Rascals (directed by Miran Zupanič, 2001), and in Blues for Sara (directed by Boris Jurjaševič, 1998). Bojan Emeršič is employed in The Slovenian National Theatre Ljubljana, where he has made a number of noteworthy theatre performances in: Hlapci, Waiting for Godot, Art, Romeo and Juliet, The Hall, The Brothers Karamazov, Blues of Fužine etc. In Shanghai Gypsy Bojan Emeršič portrays the police commander Gabriel Galič.
Senad Bašić
Senad Bašić was born in1962 inTrebinje,Bosnia. He graduated from the Sarajevo Academy of Performing Arts in 1987. Today he works as a professor at the Academy. His work includes numerous parts in theatre, film and TV. He is one of the most renowned and popular actors of the former Yugoslavia. He acted in the original theatre performance Audition (along with Branko Djurić – Djuro), which was seen by more than 2 million of people and has as such become a sort of phenomenon of its times in the former Yugoslavia. Senad remained popular and loved by the audiences up till today. His work includes also the notable parts in the films: Preko granice (Over the Border), Gori vatra (The Fire Is Burning), Kod amidže Idriza (Days and Hours), Neočekivana šetnja (Unexpected Walk), Ratno dijete (Warchild), Nafaka, Estrellita – pesem za domov (Estrellita) and Body Compete. A comedy TV series Lud, zbunjen, normalan (The Crazy, The Confused, The Normal One) was also a huge success in Bosnia, and it is still on in Serbia, Macedonia and Croatia today. In Shanghai Gypsy Senad Bašić performs as Ujaš, the father of the leading character Belmondo.
The Crew
Saša Lošić – Music Composer
Saša Lošić was born inSarajevo. His career began with the music band »Plavi orkestar«, the success of which in the 80′s was huge and is still believed to be a cult pop phenomenon of the former Yugoslavia.  The band has up till today sold more than 5 million copies of the music albums. Apart from that Saša Lošić has been composing music for film and theatre. Today he lives and works in Ljubljana and in Sarajevo. Director Pjer Žalica made a documentary film Orkestar (Orchestra, in 2011) about Saša Lošić’s prolific and successful career. Lošić is the author of the music for more than 50 films, among which many were great success: Outsider (directed by Andrej Košak), Gori vatra/The Fire Is Burning (directed by Pjer Žalica – best film score award, Bosnia, 2003), Kraj doba neprijatnosti (directed by Pjer Žalica), Hop, skip & Jump (directed by Srdjan Vuletić), Welcome to Sarajevo (diretcted by Michael Winterbottom), Kajmak in marmelada / Cheese and Jam (directed by Branko Djurić), Zvenenje v glavi/Headnoise (Andrej Košak – Portorož 2003, Vesna – best film score award). Saša Lošič also composes music for theatre performances, e.g.: Elvis de Luxe (by Iztok Lovrić, Romeo and Juliet (by Haris Pašović) and Bakhantke/The Bacchae (by Vito Taufer).
Miloš Srdić – Director of Photography
Miloš Srdić studied cinematography inBelgrade. He has worked as the director of photography in many commercials, music videos and notable short films: Zadnja Želja/Last Wish (directed by Petar Pašić, 2003), Koyaa (directed by Kolja Saksida, 2005), Totalka/Write-off (directed byKlemen Dvornik, 2006), Osa/Wasp (directed by Kaja Tokuhisa, 2007), Embrio/Embryo (directed by Boris Dolenc, 2007), Robutanje koruze/Stealling The Corn (directed by Martin Turk, 2009), Mulc – frača/Kiddo – The Slingshot (directed by Kolja Saksida, 2009), Lasje/Hair (directed by Barbara Zemljič, 2008), Nebo nad blokom/Sky Above the Town (directed by Žiga Virc, 2008). Miloš Srdić worked as the director of photography also in the TV film Vampir z Gorjancev/The Gorjanci Vampire (directed by Vinci V. Anžlovar). Shanghai Gypsy is his first feature film.
Miha Ferkov – Set Designer
Miha Ferkov was born in 1976 in Ljubljana. After finishing high school Poljane in Ljubljana, he studied architecture. His work includes films, TV and Slovenian and foreign commercials in collaboration with production houses Propeler, Arkadena film, Studio 16, Basproduction etc. Miha Ferkov also works as interior designer on numerous private and public projects. His filmography includes more than 30 short and feature films and TV series: Gremo mi po svoje/Going Our Way (2010, produced by Vertigo/Emotion film, directed by Miha Hočevar), Distorzija/Distortion (2007, produced by TV Slovenia, directed by Miha Hočevar), Božja pot/God’s Path (2007, produced by AGRFT, directed by Slobodan Maksimovič), Vučko/Wolfy (2007, produced by AGRFT, directed by Matevž Luzar), Made in Slovenia (2006, produced by Arsmedia, directed by Miran Zupanič), Petelinji zajtrk/Rooster’s Breakfast (2006, produced by Arsmedia, directed by Marko Naberšnik), Totalka/Write-off (2005, produced by Zijalo produkcija, directed by Klemen Dvornik), Trafika/News-stand (2003, produced by Mangart, directed by Vojko Anzeljc). The official website: www.mihaferkov.com
Nataša Rogelj – Costume Designer
Sponsored by the scholarship of the Slovenian Ministry of Culture Nataša Rogelj finished her Master’s Degree in Theatre and Film Set Design at DAMU in Pragueand at St. Martins School of Arts and Design in London. Since 2003 she has worked as the professional film set designer and costume designer. Her work includes numerous film titles: Predmestje/Suburbia, directed by V. Möderndorfer, Uglaševanje/Tuning, directed by I. Šterk, Traktor, Ljubezen in Rock’n’Roll/Tractor, love and rock’n'roll, directed by B. Djurić, Petelinji zajtrk/Rooster’s Breakfast, directed by M. Naberšnik, 9:06 directed by I. Šterk. She has worked on many TV series as well as on Slovenian and foreign commercials. She worked with director Marko Naberšnik on his student short films Z ljubeznijo/With Love and Pavle/Paul.    
Mirjam Kavčič  – Make-up Artist
Mirjam Kavčič has worked as a make-up artist on film and TV. She has created make-up for more than 20 feature and short films.  In 2001 she worked in the internationally co-produced film Nikogaršnja zemlja/No Man’s Land, which won the Oscar for the best foreign language film. Other her work includes film titles: Oča/Father (directed by Vlado Škafar, 2010), Piran – Pirano (directed by Goran Vojnovič, 2010), Trst je naš!/Trieste is Ours! (directed  by Žiga Virc, 2010), Ljubljana je ljubljena/BelovedLjubljana (directed by Matjaž Klopčič, 2005), Oda Prešernu/Ode to The Poet (directed by Martin Srebotnjak, 2000), Barabe/Rascals (directed by Miran Zupanič, 1999), Nepopisan list/What now, Luka? (directed by Jane Kavčič, 1999), Križišče/Crossroads (direted by Igor Prodnik, 1997), Sirota s čudežnim glasom/Picollo Willy (directed by Miha Mazzini, 2002), Hot Dog (directed by Igor Gajič, 2001), Zlato srce/Golden Heart (directed byKlemen Dvornik, 2001), Izlet/An Outing (directed by Martin Turk, 2002), Alan Ford (directed by Robert Černelč, 2003). Apart from the films Mirjam Kavčič also works as the make-up artist on numerous TV shows and series.
Franci Zajc – Producer
The production of Shanghai Gypsy was carried out by the production house Arsmedia, which is one of the most prominent productions inSlovenia. The producer Franci Zajc has worked on the hugely successful feature film Cvetje v jeseni/Blossoms in Autumn and on TV series Dekameron/Decameron. His further work includes the following successful film titles: Temni angeli usode (Dark Angels of Fate) (directed by Sašo Podgoršek), Sladke sanje/Sweet Dreams (directed by Sašo Podgoršek), Nepopisan list/What now, Luka? (directed by Jane Kavčič), Barabe/Rascals (directed by Miran Zupanič), Ljubljana je ljubljena (Beloved Ljubljana, directed by Matjaž Klopčič), Petelinji zajtrk/Roster’s Breakfast (directed by Marko Naberšnik), Piran-Pirano (directed by Goran Vojnović) as well as numerous documentary films, among them Zgodba gospoda P.F./The Story of Mr. P.F. (directed by Karpo Godina), Kocbek, pesnik v pogrezu zgodovine/Kocbek, A Poet in Recess of History (directed by Miran Zupanič) and a hugely successful documentary Otroci s Petrička/Children from Petriček Hill (directed by Miran Zupanič). Franci Zajc co-produced also a successful Czech film Mlada noč/A Young Night (directed by Olmo Omerzu), which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in 2012.
Interesting facts 

Shanghai Gypsy is proud to feature one of the most colourful international casting done in the history of the contemporary Slovenian film. Actors from all countries of the former Yugoslavia star in the film, and so besides Slovenian actors there are also actors from Macedonia, Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia, whereas the main actress Asli Bayram comes from Germany. The international casting was conducted by the casting agency Zona from Sarajevo, lead by Anila Gajević. Some of the most successful casing done by the casting agency Zona includes actors starring in Mission Impossible 4 – Ghost Protocol and in the latest James Bond episode Skyfall.

The shooting of Shanghai Gypsy took place at original locations in the northeast of Slovenia, Prekmurje, precisely in Filovci, Murska Sobota, Panovci, and then in Maribor, Ljubljana and Trieste. Most of the settings had to be built, whereas the greatest challenge for the crew was to build an authentic gypsy village Shanghai. The building of the village, situated on the plain next to an idyllic small lake in Filovci took 6 months. After the shooting the village was pulled down and all the fields returned into their original conditions.

The film was shoot in the original Romani language, which was quite a challenge by itself. The entire screenplay was translated into Romani language, and proofreaders for Romani language (Sandra Rudaš, Mirzian Fetahi, Darko Rudaš, Ingrid Pojbič ) were present at all rehearsals and during the shooting.  Also Jožek Horvat Muc helped at the translations. Besides Romani language also Italian, Bosnian, Serbian and Slovenian language are spoken in the film. Shanghai Gypsy is set in the times of the former Yugoslavia therefore the authors of the film decided for every character to speak in their own mother tongue, but when the characters of various nationalities meet they use the former Serbo-Croatian language or a variety of the Slovenian dialect.

Even before its official premiere in Slovenia Shanghai Gypsy was invited into the competition programme of the prominent Montreal Film Festival in Canada, which is one of the biggest film festivals in the North America. On this occasion the Minister of the education, culture and sport, Žiga Turk, PhD., personally congratulated the authors of the film for this great success. According to the film director Marko Naberšnik this can be a good start for the film’s international tour and may as well as bring about possible future collaborations also outside Slovenian borders.


Screenplay: Marko Naberšnik

Based on the Novel by: Feri Lainšček

Director: Marko Naberšnik

Director of Photography: Miloš Srdić

Composer: Saša Lošić

Sound Recordist: Jože Trtnik

Sound Designer: Boštjan Kačičnik

Editor: Janez Bricelj

Production Designer: Miha Ferkov

Costume designer: Nataša Rogelj

Make-up Artist: Mirjam Kavčič

Executive Producer: Boštjan Ikovic

Producer: Franci Zajc


Lutvija Belmondo Mirga – Visar Vishka

Amanda – Asli Bayram

Ujaš Mirga – Senad Bašić

Phirav Pao – Marjuta Slamič

Baka Rajka – Jasna Diklić

Deda Jorga – Miodrag Miki Trifunov

Gabrijel Galič – Bojan Emeršič

Sulij Bajraktarij – Saša Petrović

Jože Sfiligoj – Vlado Novak

Polde Šeruga – Ivo Ban

Mladi Belmondo – Anđelo Kontrec

Belmondova sestra 1 – Anja Gujt

Belmondova sestra 2 – Natalija Šarkezi

Belmondova sestra 3 – Rosana Šarkezi

Dono Mirga – Mišo Kontrec

Speranza Mirga – Nina Glavač

Fedelita Mirga – Ivana Horvat

Šerif Salkanović – Emir Hadžihafizbegović

Mufti Salkanović – Senko Velinov

Šejlo Salkanović – Haris Burina

Semir Salkanović – Dominik Kontrec

Grga Tomić – Goran Navojec

Selma – Saša Pavlin Stošić

Dragan Kovačević – Voja Brajović

Donatello – Marko Sosič

Giovanni – Sergej Ferrari

Salvatore – Blaž Valič

Učiteljica 1 – Barbara Jakopič Kraljevič

Učiteljica 2 – Simona Cizar

Sodnik – Bine Matoh

Pevka v nočnem klubu – Lara Komar

Štefan Hozjan – Janez Starina

Kriminalist – Rastko Krošl

Carinik – Andrej Murenc

Ravnatelj – Tone Kuntner

Bekim – Andrej Nahtigal

Lepa temnolaska – Shanell Rama

Fadili Hodžić- Alojz Domnik

Mali Dono- Uroš Šarkezi

Azra – Metka Kisilak

Glasbena skupina 1- Skupina Langa

Glasbena skupina 2- Duet »Nataša & Saša« (Sinji Galeb)

Glasbena skupina 3- Gitano Band

Godba na pihala- Prekmurska godba Bakovci


Jadran film Zagreb

Radio and television Slovenia

MARIBOR 2012 - European Capitol of Culture

With the support of the MEDIA Audiovisual Programme-i2i of the EU

Technical support
Film studio – Viba film
Slovenian Film Centre
Domestic distribution: 
Kolosej – zabavni centri Ltd.
Technical data:

Format: 35 mm; 1:2,35; 24/fps, color

Dolby digital 5.1

Year of production: 2012