Length: 38 minutes
Film Category: Short Narrative
Cast & Credits
Director: Joseph Pierson
Screenplay: Joseph Pierson, Aida Čerkez
Producer: Damir Ibrahimović, Joseph Pierson
Director of Photography: Eldar Emric
Editor: Vladimir Gojun
Music: Joel Goodman
Art Director: Mirna Ler
Costume Designers: Hatidza Nuhic & Nejra Sinanbasic
Casting: Timka Grin
Zrinka Cvitešić, Rade Šerbedžija, Jasna Žalica, Sami Jonah Makarević, Aren Emric
"What’s This Country Called Now?" is based on the experiences of Aida Cerkez, a Bosnian woman who worked as a reporter throughout the Siege of Sarajevo. She spent four years enduring incessant bombing and sniper fire, and sharing Sarajevo’s story with the world.
In 1994, on the 80th anniversary of the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Aida had the idea of finding a witness to that seminal event in world history. She found Ismet, a 90-year-old who was ten years old and on a school outing to see the Archduke on that fateful day in 1914. He witnessed the shot that triggered WWI, and continued to live in Sarajevo through the years of conflict that followed. Aida interviews Ismet and in the process shares her own perspective on life during wartime. Ismet complements her wry view of the absurdity of war with a unique perspective on the long history of Sarajevo as a pivotal place in world history. Aida leaves Ismet with a deeper understanding of the Bosnian war, and her role in it.
Joseph Pierson, president of Cypress Films, Inc., founded the New York-based production company in 1987. Joseph’s most recent film is What’s This Country Called Now?, a dramatic short about the Siege of Sarajevo, filmed on location in Bosnia and Herzegovina, starring Zrinka Cvitešić and Rade Šerbedžija (Winner, Best Short, Best Actress, and Best of the Festival, East Europe Film Festival 2020, and Best Featurette, Gold Movie Awards, London 2021). Joseph’s recent producing and directing credits include Pocantico: David Rockefeller Remembers, a short documentary about Mr. Rockefeller’s ancestral home. Prior to that, Joseph directed EvenHand, a dramatic feature film shot on location in San Antonio, Texas (Sundance Channel/Arts Alliance).
Joseph also produced Julian Po, starring Christian Slater and Robin Tunney (Fine Line/New Line International), and several award-winning television films, including A Child’s Christmas in Wales starring Denholm Elliott (PBS), The Sound and the Silence, a four-hour miniseries for TNT (Brenda Fricker, Ian Bannen), and Kurt Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron (Sean Astin, Christopher Plummer) for Showtime.