Independents for the Truth

The “Independents for the Truth” project was started in 1999 by Veran Matic. This project was realized through B92’s television production company and is based on a more widespread project of coming to terms with the past which includes the B92 Samizdat publishing company for organizing conferences and public debates, etc.

Since its founding in 1994, B92 television productions have been recognized as one of the documentary projects of the highest quality which dominated domestic festivals and whose films were noticed and awarded at international festivals and by international television stations. It was simply clear that it was not enough to broadcast only programs of war crimes proceedings, broadcasting live feeds of the trial of Slobodan Miloševic in The Hague, broadcasting programs of foreign productions, because these kinds of programs are easily discredited in xenophobic regions that are not ready to come to terms with the past. Because of the fact that domestic programs are a lot more convincing and because B92 has a high level of credibility throughout Serbia’s population, as well as an untainted, positive image in other countries of the former Yugoslavia, initiating the “Independents for the Truth” project was a logical move.

The thematic basis is dedicated usually to individual crimes and getting to the bottom of them, naming the culprits and counting the victims, in the goal of informing the public of the crimes against humanity, the ethnic cleansing, the manipulation and lies, the robberies and destruction taking place during the war on the territory of the former Yugoslavia from 1991 to 1999. Some of the films, such as “Otmica” (Abduction), by Mladen Markov and Jasna Jankovic, directly resulted in court processes. The teams that work on these documentary programs are made up of journalists, non-governmental organization officials, and production teams with great amounts of experience.

Whenever possible, the teams are multi-ethnic, from various countries, in order to achieve maximum credibility for the documentary films. When it is determined that another production company can do a better job than the B92 team, then co-productions are made, like the documentary about the Lora concentration camp in Split, which was done as a co-production with Zagreb-based production company Faktum, or in the case of the crimes in Suva Reka, which was done with Koha vision TV from Priština. The regional approach is not limited to the production and the presentation of the finished films, it is used in the showings and debates and the broadcasts of the films on television stations with studio debates, all the way through the broadcasting of the films for educational purposes. In Serbia the films are shown on B92, but also through local television stations within the network of the Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM).

List of documentaries:

• Vukovar – Poslednji rez (Vukovar – Final Cut) – authors: Janko Baljak and Drago Hedl

• Otmica – (Abduction) - authors: Jasna Jankovic and Mladen Markov

• Lora – author: Nenad Puhovski, co-production with Factum / Zagreb

• Suva Reka, co-production with Koha Vision / Priština

• Operacija Dubrovnik (Operation Dubrovnik), co-production with Arhitel, director: Goran Kovacic

• Etnicki cisto (Ethnically Clean) – director Janko Baljak

• Anatomija bola (Anatomy of Pain) – Janko Baljak

• Anatomija bola II (Anatomy of Pain II) – Janko Baljak

• “Kad pališ, pali bolje“, (When you burn, burn better) director Ivan Andrijanic/ Ivan Stefanovic

Awarded by the European Cultural Foundation at a festival in Košice, Slovakia

• Srbija u kontejneru, (Serbia in the Garbage Can) director Janko Baljak

• Mafija ne ubija na Uskrs (The Mafia does not Kill on Easter) – a reconstruction of the assassination of well-known journalist and media chief Slavko Curuvija

• Memento 26, - about operation Bljesak, author: Drago Hedl

• Srbija – godine nulte, (Serbia – Year Zero) creator Goran Markovic, an international co-production


Series:

• “Ko je ubio Antu Markovica?“ (Who killed Ante Markovic) – the economic destruction of Yugoslavia, 10 episode series, author: Janko Baljak

• “Sav taj folk“ (All that Folk), 8 episodes, creator Radovan Kupres

• Dobri ljudi u vremenima zla, (Good People in Evil Times) 10 episodes (author: Svetlana Broz) about positive examples; where people of one community help those of another community, and by doing so, risk their lives

• “Strogo poverljivo” (Strictly Confidential)