If you enjoyed the opening scenes of the 1992 Cannes film festival Palme d’Or winner Underground, then you will love this documentary. Gucˇa - Serbia’s most famous provincial music festival - is finally brought to life in this brilliantly executed documentary. But the real magic lies in the host of eccentric and entertaining locals who appear throughout: belly dancers, comic barbers and an extremely bizarre family on a hill. Gucˇa is the name of a small village in Serbia which for over 40 years has been home to the national trumpet festival. 200,000 people invade the sleepy village of Gucˇa for a week of music, drinking, dancing, and utter madness - all to the sound of Serbian/Roma gypsy trumpet bands, competing against one another like wild-eyed Mexicans in a standoff. Milivoj Ilic’s account of the place, the people and the competitors is as exuberant, joyous and noisy as the festival itself. The film captures the brilliance and the machismo of the performances at a festival where young men do battle with brass bands. The film follows two young players, the main rivals for the coveted ‘Golden Trumpet’, both of whom learnt as boys from fathers who have also competed in a country where mastering traditional playing is still held in high esteem. You’ll never look at a trumpet the same way again.
Though Guca is Milivoj’s first feature film, he is already well-known and regarded as a successful commercials director in the advertising world. He is also a commercially successful artist - both Virgin Atlantic and the Jonathan Ross Show have licensed his work. He has also produced installations for Club 11 in Amsterdam(2005), Red Cube(2002), The End Nightclub(2001), and Mezzo and Paul Smith(1999).