Taken from the gala film launch, November 30 2006 at Town Hall, Novi Sad, Serbia.

I mentioned how much I appreciate life here, and the freedom I have had to develop these ideas. I am especially grateful to the members of the film team itself. They all gave 1000%, and there was a real spirit of camaraderie that made it that much easier to overcome the numerous obstacles we encountered along the way.

First and foremost I must thank Brana Kovacevich, who literally saved the project at the start and prevented me from going into a prematurely arranged recording session ill-prepared. She was a great director, who handled the compositional, managerial and a hundred other aspects with great professionalism, creativity and good grace. Many times she put up with me being a prima donna (I didn’t do it on purpose!), and our long friendship meant that she had a deep understanding of my goals which she could bring to the project.

My director of photography, Sinisha Reljin, was really great; he’s got a great eye and a great sense of humour, as well as great stories about his adventures in virtually every corner of the world.

Alexander Ramazadovich was a real hero on the second camera. At one point we needed a slightly longer shot, and he, with camera in hand, took a step back, and fell right off the stage! Did he try to save himself? No, his only thought was for the camera, which he held up as high as he could as he himself fell to the ground! Our academy must be especially grateful to Alex that their camera remained in one piece!

Thanks as well to Vladimir Junozov, our sound man, who survived such ordeals as my playing so loud that I overloaded the microphone and his ears as well!

Thanks to Goran Bajazatov, our graphic artist, who worked long hours with me to get the timing of the opening sequence just right – and made many other contributions above and beyond the call of duty.

And to Academy graphic arts student Lazslo Antal, whose work on the printed materials as well as Maple Grove Music Productions’ lovely logo have leant a real touch of class to the project.,

But the prize for dedication above and beyond the call of duty must go to Zoran Nikolich, our film editor. Zoran was indefatigable, patient and talented beyond all criticism. One day I happened to find out that he was getting married the following morning, so at the end of our evening editing session I said, “See you tomorrow at ten,” and he said, “I’m sorry but I have another commitment tomorrow and I can’t work.” So I puffed myself up and said, “Listen, we are on an incredibly tight schedule, you know we have a deadline, and we simply can’t afford a day off – you have to work!” But that’s when I found out that Zoran will be a great husband as well as editor: he stuck to his guns, and no matter how hard I pressed, he simply would not give in. So finally I said, in my most dramatic and threatening voice, “Well in that case…” – producing a bottle of whiskey and handing it to him – “have a great wedding and we wish you many happy returns of the day.” To see his face break out into a glowing smile was worth all the trouble we went through in that editing process, which went on far longer than anyone had planned.

The film has subtitles in three languages, and some of our translators are here tonight. Thanks to Marie Curcic, who did the French translation, Judith Herzig who did the initial German translation, and to Bana Lagumdzija, who corrected the Serbian translation. And special thanks to my wife, Jelena Radulovic-Fraser, whose original, modern and spicy Serbian translation gave a refreshing breath of fresh air to what could have been an overly academic exercise.

The DVD has a really nice menu, for which I am grateful to Dejan Bondjich. Bondja also was a hero in the face of computer software that insisted on creating problem after problem. Creating the final DVD master turned into a real nightmare, but Bondza never complained, he just kept plugging away until we had the result we needed.

I want to thank as well: Sinisha Bokan who made many small but important contributions; Vesna Shiyachki and Olivera Marinkov at the Voivodina Cultural Center for facilitating the whole project; and especially to our Dean, Dusan Todorovic. One of the first things Dusan did when he became Dean was to contact the Voivodina Cultural Center and set the necessary financial wheels in motion, so it is largely due to his initial efforts that this whole project has come to fruition. Dusan is away at the moment but we do extend our grateful thanks to him in absentia.

There are many others who helped in really important ways, if I have left them out here it is only due to time constraints…

And now, enough talk, let’s take a look at a few excerpts from the film…