Skip links

When the Kids Sing the Hits

December 15, 2022


When the Kids Sing the Hits

WKSH cover

When the Kids Sing the Hits

by Mina Djukic
Sense Production | Serbia

Fiction | 2nd feature


Jovana (7) and Milena (7) enter a singing competition for children in 1989. During three years of their young lives, they advance through the singing contest, but also witness the start of war and the gradual change of the scenery of their childhood.


Jovana (7) and MIlena (7) start elementary school. A big contest, called ‘’Children Sing!’’ approaches and the two friends plan on performing together. Their pact is jeopardized by the unexpected first romance between Jovana and a boy from their class and her wish to perform with him. Milena finds them on a hill, named ‘’The End of the World’’ by children for its often-seen rainbow – singing together. However, when, on the day of the contest, the boy doesn’t show up and Jovana is alone on the stage, Milena is there to save the day and they win 3rd place.

As the girls start their second grade, a new edition of the singing competition is announced. While the girls start corrective physio for crooked spine, Milena’s father joins military exercise at ‘’The End of the World’’ hill. Jovana’s father, on the other hand, turns out having an affair and is apprehended by confused Milena. Milena also discovers that Jovana is suffering from kleptomania, but when Jovana’s father finds out and wants to punish her, Milena blackmails him with his secret, so that he let’s Jovana compete. Jovana wins 2nd place in the singing contest.

Third grade starts with the understanding of the term ‘’(military) reserve’’ and the reasons for fathers’ absence and hiding at their relatives’ place. Followed by unbearable noise, tanks ride out of the local military base at ‘’The End of the World’’ and Milena’s dog Daisy, scared, runs away. Jovana learns that there will be no contest this year, due to war. While searching for the dog, girls accidentally witness the moment of bringing a coffin with the body of a young soldier, killed in war. Scared, Milena runs home, where she finds a note from her dad: ‘’I went to find Daisy’’.

That year, Jovana performs at an improvised contest for adult singers, held at a hotel bar and attended by local drunks. She wins 1st place.

Director’s Profile

Mina Djukic wrote and directed award-winning THE DISOBEDIENT (2014), which was presented at over 20 international festivals, including Sundance and Rotterdam. Screen International called the film ”beautiful” and ”a flamboyant lyric tale”, especially pointing out the films strong emotions and cinematography.

In the frame of Film House Kiselo Dete, which she is one of the founders, Mina also produced TILVA ROS (2010 / Locarno IFF, Sarajevo IFF) by Nikola Lezaic, A HAND FULL OF STONES (2017 / ACID, Tampere) by Stefan Ivancic and a short documentary YUGO, A SHORT AUTOBIOGRAPHY (2010), which she directed.

She co-produced THE BLACK PIN (2016 / Sarajevo FF) by Ivan Marinovic and YEAR OF THE MONKEY (2018) by Vladimir Blazevski.

Mina was born 1982 in Sombor. She lived in Kula until 2001, when she moved to Belgrade. She graduated at Faculty of Drama Arts and teaches Digital Filmmaking at SAE Institute in Belgrade.

Company Profile

Sense Production is a trio of producers: Maja Popovic, Marija Stojanovic and Milan Stojanovic. Our main focus is on compelling stories about youth and marginalised people, told by exciting, brave filmmakers. These can be auteur-driven dramas like Ivan Ikic’s ”Oasis” (2020) and ”Barbarians” (2014), or highly communicative children films like ”How I Learned to Fly” (2022) by Radivoje Andric.

We are very active as minority co-producers and our past films in this role include ”Malmkrog” (2020) by Cristi Puiu, ”The Uncle” (2022) by Andrija Mardesic & David Kapac, ”Riders” (2022) by Dominik Mencej, ”Her Job” (2018) by Nikos Labot and the drama series ”The Last Socialist Artefact” (2021) by Dalibor Matanic & Ankica Juric Tilic.