English title: Once Upon a Time
The topic of this documentary is the punk-rock scene in Novi Sad (Serbia's second largest city), during the first half of 1990s.
The bands that are a part of the story ('Generacija bez buducnosti', 'Ritam nereda', 'Love Hunters', 'Atheist Rap', 'Zbogom Bruce Lee', 'Vrisak generacije', 'Obojeni program', 'Boye', 'Provokacija', 'Korozija' … ) had a far bigger influence than one might expect, especially considering the size of the province and the fact that the destruction and horror [of the Balkan wars of the 1990s] were taking place only a few hundred kilometers away.
The "mission" of the documentary is to preserve the spirit that kept thousands of young people mentally alive, even as they came of age during one of the worst periods in history of this part of Europe – Milosevic's Serbia. Against this historical context, it is amazing that such a positive force survived such destructive mechanism. Future generations could learn many lessons from these witnesses.
The cultural context of the story is an urban, western-oriented society that is to be credited for almost all positive changes in the not so progressive enviroment of the Balkans.
The film premiered in "Arena", Novi Sad's major cinema, on October 27, 2006 to an audience of about 800 people.
This documentary is made in coproduction with the independent film center 'Kino klub Novi Sad', with support from the Cultural secretary of the Executive council of the Province of Vojvodina.
In July 2007, the film was shown in "Black House 13", as part of the "Enter UK", program dedicated to British influence in Serbia. A week later, the film was screened in Croatia, at the Motovun Film Festival. In Autumn 2007, the film was screened at Omladinski kulturni centar "Abrašević", in Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina), and was included in the program of "Filofest" film festival in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in December 2007. In April 2008 film was screened during "Intro08" festival in Novi Sad, as part of the "Off scene" program.
During year 2008 "Bilo jednom..." was once again screened in Slovenia, on "Grossmann" festival in the town of Ljutomer, also in August on "GO Fest" in Odžaci, Serbia; the latest screening being in Warsaw, Poland, where film was shown at "Muranow" cinema in November 2008.