One of the most famous former Yugoslav and Serbian film and photography director, Bozidar Bota Nikolic, passed away at the age of 80, RTS reported on Thursday.
As a director, he worked on some of the most prominent films ever to be produced in Yugoslavia, such as “Balkanski špijun” (“Balkan Spy”), “Tri karte za Hollywood” (“Three Tickets to Hollywood”), “U ime oca i sina” (“In the Name of Father and Son”), and one of the most curious facts about Nikolic is that he was the first to give the now world-famous Brad Pitt a leading role in the film “The Dark Side of the Sun” in 1988.
Nikolic was born in Niksic, Montenegro, in 1942. He mastered the craft of cinematography during the 1960s and 1970s as a television cameraman for Radio-Television Belgrade.
As the director of photography, he collaborated with directors such as Lordan Zafranovic, Zivko Nikolic, Vatroslav Mimica, Milan Jelic, Vlasta Radovanovic and Miso Radivojevic.
His film “The Dark Side of the Sun” was shot as an American co-production with former Yugoslavia and Canada, and next to Pitt, Cheryl Polak, Gal Boyd, Milena Dravic and Sonja Savic also starred in it.
Nikolic once said that, although 400 actors appeared at the casting for the role in “The Dark Side of the Sun”, he chose Pitt without a doubt, who later admitted to him that the role changed his life, RTS writes.
He was awarded two Golden Arenas in Pula for his cinematography – first for the film “Bestije” (“Beasts”) in 1978, and then for “Zivot je lep” (“Life is Beautiful”) in 1985.
He shared the Golden Arena with Dusan Kovacevic for directing the “Balkan Spy”.
At Sofest in 2016, he was awarded the Statue of Liberty, for his contribution to film.