Zeljko Mirkovic, director of documentary Tesla Nation
A long time ago, Nikola Tesla, one of the most appreciated inventors in the world, came, as an immigrant, to America to continue his life and work in the new country. Through his devotion to hard work, he became one of the most renowned inventors in the history of humankind, but he never forgot his Serbian heritage, tradition, and language. Tesla is not the only Serbian immigrant who has come to America to continue his life and work in the country that offers numerous opportunities for everyone. This was the theme of the documentary Tesla Nation created by Serbian movie director Zeljko Mirkovic.
Nikola Tesla, one of the most respected scientists in the world
“Michael Pupin, Serbian-American physicist, physical chemist and philanthropist, Walt Bogdanich, a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, Gordana Vunjak Novakovic, the only female member of the New York Academy of Science, Karl Malden, the legendary Academy Award winner, Steve Tesic, Peter Bogdanovich…
Famous Hollywood actress Lolita Davidovich has Serbian background
These are just some of the famous names that had significant roles in the history of the United States. And, when a nation has individuals like these people, it seems strange that a story about them has not been told yet. That’s why I decided to make a documentary about remarkable people who came from Serbia to America and, like Nikola Tesla, have achieved great results in this country“, Mirkovic said.
Vladimir Bulović holds the Fariborz Maseeh Chair in Emerging Technology and is the MIT School of Engineering’s Associate Dean for Innovation
Talking about the beginning of making this movie, Mirkovic said that idea was created in 2014, when the Tesla Science Foundation organized the celebration ‘“200 Years of Serbs in America” in Philadelphia. “At that time I was promoting my documentary ‘The Second Meeting’. I talked to Nikola Loncar, the president of Tesla Foundation about the project that will tell a story about Serbian people in the United States. Tesla Science Foundation initiated project Tesla Nation and I started working on film production. It took me more than four years to finish the movie. It’s been a journey from the East to the West Coast, the journey through the past, from the first Serbian immigrant George Fisher, who immigrated to America in 1814, until present days”, Mirkovic said.
Why did you give your movie a name Tesla Nation?
Entire diaspora knows wonderful Mrs. Mim Bizic. she is famous for her enthusiasm and patriotism. She was former supervisor at University of Pittsburg
Tesla Nation is a symbol of the possibility of bonding to achieve positive goals. That is a symbol that doesn’t require a geographical explanation. That is a globally recognized brand which states that positive values can only be achieved by efforts and results.
What would you like to achieve with this movie? What was your goal?
Djordje Koldzic, Attending Psychiatrist; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
The movie searches for the identity of a nation, and the nation is best represented by its people. I think that the Serbian nation has so much to offer and a lot to be proud of. The participants in my documentary movie recognized the value of the project and, for that reason, they’ve been open to tell their life stories.
There are many remarkable people in your movie. Some of them were born here, some of them arrived later, but all of them have undivided love toward motherland Serbia. How did you and chose them?
Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, Serbian American biomedical engineer, University professor at Columbia University, as well as a Mikati Foundation professor of Biomedical Engineering and Medical Sciences. She also heads the laboratory for Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering at Columbia University
More than 70 prominent Serbs who made their marks in the United States of America by their work and accomplishments appeared in the film. This is a story about our nation that made a global mark through its people.
What is the biggest difference between old and new waves immigration?
Sasa Novakovic, Founder & CEO at Alchemy in San Francisco, California
The last generation of people who emigrated from Serbia has still fresh memories of the places they were growing up. They have families in Serbia and they have contact with them on a daily basis. Older generations of Serbian immigrants try to retain their identity by exploring Serbian culture, country, and heritage. They didn’t forget who they are and they are proud of their Serbian identity.
What would you like motherland Serbia to learn through the movie? What would you like Serbian immigration to learn?
Peter Bogdanovic, famous Hollywood move director
We are all one. People and knowledge are the greatest strength of any nation, no matter where they live. We need to find a way to connect to each other and to create our global network. By creating harmony among each other, we are building wisdom for the present and the future.
The movie was archived at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., Harvard University Library, Columbia University Library, Yale University Library, Hilandar Research Library, Ohio State University and many others across of America.
~ Milica Puric , Urban Culture Tribe, 2019 © ~
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