A Tour Of America's Belgrades

The name Belgrade still rings for many with memories of the recent civil war in Yugoslavia. But now a Serbian film crew is touring some small towns in the U.S. that share the name — gathering material for a documentary. So far, they've been to Belgrade, Minn., and Belgrade, Mont. Host Melissa Block caught up with the team as they drove toward Belgrade, Neb. She talks to the film's director, Miodrag Kolaric.

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MELISSA BLOCK, host:

A documentary film crew spent the Thanksgiving holiday in Belgrade, Montana. They've already hit Belgrade, Minnesota. They are on their way now to Belgrade, Nebraska, and then Belgrade, Maine. The roving crew is from Belgrade, Serbia, and Miodrag Kolaric is the film's director. We've caught up with him between Belgrades. Mr. Kolaric, why are you doing this tour of Belgrades? What do you hope to learn?

Mr. MIODRAG KOLARIC (Filmmaker): Hi, first. Well, it's interesting that those four Belgrades, I mean, there are five Belgrades in the world. A few years ago, I was thinking there is only one: my Belgrade in Serbia. But then I realized there is four more in States. So, that was just a thought that it could be great idea to be make a documentary about that.

BLOCK: Just to figure out more about the communities?

Mr. KOLARIC: Yes, to figure it out how it works. How those people live there and what do they do? Do they ever heard about our Belgrade? And do they ever been there? All of things like that. Is there any connection between our Belgrade in Serbia and four Belgrades here in States?

BLOCK: Ah-ha. Well, you were first in Belgrade, Minnesota. Tell me about that Belgrade.

Mr. KOLARIC: That was a little small town, around 750 people. We had a wonderful time. It's a very, very nice little town. And the people there are so polite and so friendly. That cozy, warm atmosphere of little American town, that was the biggest impression.

BLOCK: Ah-ha, and then Belgrade number two was Belgrade, Montana. That's where you were for Thanksgiving.

Mr. KOLARIC: Yes, that was number two. It's a much bigger town than back in Minnesota. It's around - I don't know - 9,000 people. And we were very excited to be there on Thanksgiving. And one family was the host. And we spend the dinner time there in typical American family and have a wonderful time. I was watching on a TV, on movies, how it looks like. And finally I just experienced it here, in America, and that was a big thing.

BLOCK: Ah-ah. Have the folks that you've met in the two Belgrades so far, do they know much about Belgrade, Serbia?

Mr. KOLARIC: Well, they will make us stop on street and have a conversation with ordinary people. Well, 90 percent of people they have never heard about Serbia and Belgrade. Now, they will hear because it's very interesting for them also to know that there is a one big city in Europe. And they also didn't know that there is three more Belgrades in the States, also. So, it was surprising for them.

BLOCK: So, on to Nebraska and to Maine and to Belgrade Avenue in Boston.

Mr. KOLARIC: Yes, that's the last stop. It's the end of our journey - is Belgrade Avenue in Boston.

BLOCK: What strikes you as you've gone so far to two Belgrades here? Is there anything that connects Belgrades together do you think, besides the name?

Mr. KOLARIC: Oh, no.

BLOCK: No.

Mr. KOLARIC: That has connected Belgrade in Serbia and four Belgrades here, okay this two Belgrades. And so, differences are huge because it's a big city in Serbia. It's two million people over there. And, I think, that the way of living in Belgrade, Serbia, is just like in Chicago here or some big city anywhere in the world. And that atmosphere of the little towns, people - I think, that people are here are a little bit more friendly than people in Serbia. I don't know why, but people here just like to make friends, to have a conversation and to, you know, they're interested in many things.

BLOCK: Do you have a working title for the movie?

Mr. KOLARIC: Yes, working title is �Finding Belgrade.�

BLOCK: Excellent title.

Mr. KOLARIC: Yeah, thank you.

BLOCK: And I'm going to let you go to find your next Belgrade in Nebraska. Thanks for talking to us, Mr. Kolaric.

Mr. KOLARIC: Thank you, thank you very much.

BLOCK: That's Miodrag Kolaric, a filmmaker from Belgrade, Serbia, Nebraska, and Maine: here he comes.

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