A film by Neven Rufio



A film by Neven Rufio


Logline In turbulent alternate history Europe, a detective and a TV host team up to solve the murder of a young actress to whom they were both connected.

Short Synopsis Four decades after World War II, Europe is split into two alliances: United Europe (UE) in the West, and United Socialist Republics (USR) in the East. When Nina Kovac, a young actress from USR, is found murdered in UE, Detective Michelle LeBlanc teams up with television host Rose Christie, both personally connected to Nina. Together, they investigate links between Nina's last days in the UE, and the devastating end to USR civil war a few years earlier that paved the way to Nina's demise. As past and present collide, Michelle and Rose weave the political waters of this changing world to find justice for Nina Kovac.
(Outline available on request)


Author's statement

Mythology of Kingdom Lost was born out of an idea of a chamber piece mystery set on a television show, but as character development expanded, it became a more complex piece that spans through two different timelines. Kingdom Lost follows the main character Michelle in a chaotic first act served to set up the plot and characters. The plot begins unfolding in the second act at a pace that remains quick to the end. The story is structured around reminiscence of two lead characters, Michelle and Danny, and it often bends and breaks in a non-linear way. The past influences the present, it influences character relationships, old and new, and creates conflicts that come to a head when the timelines join. Even though the focus was innitially on plot, Kingdom Lost became as much, or more, about character development for the six leads. The six form relationships of love, lust, friendship, brotherhood, ambition, envy, and betrayal. The common theme among all six is that they are all orphaned children, and the story explores what it means for them to be alone versus having someone they can call family. Originally set in 1990's Yugoslav wars, Kingdom Lost instead took that only as inspiration and eventually expanded into an alternate version of European history, one that's not entirely unlike our present, but modified in a way that allows freedom of plot and character development, some interesting world building, and avoids taking sides in Yugoslav conflicts. As the story's author, I used personal experiences during early 1990's wars to enhance this aspect of the story with a degree of authenticity. Kingdom Lost is designed to be rich and varied in content. Plot progresses through frequent switches. The setting often reveals new sides to its world. The attached actors who joined the film bring exciting dynamics, attention to detail, and emotional power. Pale Princess short film serves as the story's prologue, focused on Nina, the central character, and history of violence in her childhood. The second short, Neon & Blood (in development), will focus on world building and plot related events that eventually tie into the first act of Kingdom Lost. Both shorts are able to function independently, but individually and as a whole, demonstrate the atmosphere and visual identity of Kingdom Lost.

Neven Rufio is a writer and director. He was born in Yugoslavia, and lived in four different countries, including Canada where he finished film school. In 2017, Neven completed his first film 'Blue Eyes'. Soon after, he started development for a feature film project 'Kingdom Lost'. 'Kingdom Lost' and its expansive mythology spawned a prologue short 'Kingdom Lost: Pale Princess', and an upcoming 'Kingdom Lost: Neon & Blood". Neven currently resides in Serbia.

Blue Eyes (Feature Film) 2017
Kingdom Lost: Pale Princess (Short Film) 2018
Kingdom Lost: Neon & Blood (Short Film, in development) 2019
Kingdom Lost (Feature Film, in development)


Mood Board

Attached Talents

victoria guerra
«michelle leblanc»

simone collins
«rose christie»

NatashA Petrovic

ross mckinney
«james nemechek»

mateusz kościukiewicz

Producer's Statement

Meticulously written, producible script and set in the time of fictive conflict intertwined with historical events and at the moment in 2018 we are living in extremely tensed geopolitical situation, where still many countries are war torn, where the environment is suffering from human hands and the Wall Street can be shaken just by one tweet. Europeans seem to be further than ever from homogenous EU, conliftcts near the boarders of EU, disagreements about the refugee crisis and efficient solution for it, and the rise of nationalism and populism. Perfect time for this story and looking forward in challenge of realizing it, especially with amicable, professional writer and director Neven Rufio who is very sure about his work and definitely made me also believe in it. (by Denis Mujovic)


Production Notes

finaNcing / pre-production TBA
Principal shoot TBA
Post-production TBA
Format 2.4:1
First festival submision TBA
Budget 750K EURO
Filming Locations TBA



pilot / short film

Both films are structured to function individually and to be fully viewable without need of prior knowledge of events. They are built to stand alone, but to also add to the mythology of what's to come, and to enhance and be viewable multiple times once the entire story is available, when all detail is in place and can be appreciated in whole. Together, they will represent the tone and visual identity of Kingdom Lost.


stills from pale Princess

click to enlarge

click to enlarge


Pale Princess

Chronologically first in the line of events, Pale Princess is about Nina Kovac as a little girl and the events that lead her to be displaced from her established life and eventually lead to her death in Kingdom Lost. The film rejects dialogue as a tool to focus instead on perspective of Nina's memory and imagination of events. Dialogue exists but is not heard, as spoken words in these segments are not necessary to tell the story. This choice reflects two contrasting dynamics in Kingdom Lost; one being Nina's near blissful time with Michelle, and on the other end of the spectrum, her violent end in the film's climax. The film takes place throughout one day and only outdoors, from meditative morning to chaotic evening, to nightfall in the final scene, both a contrast and a parallel to what's to come for the character of Nina; from the freedom and openness of rural space, to suffocating grays of cities, towns, and bomb shelters.

Country: Serbia
Language: English
Release Date: 14 August 2018
Technical Specs Runtime: 9 min
Sound Mix: Stereo
Color: Color
Aspect Ratio: 2.4 : 1


Neon & Blood (in pre-production)

Set in between two Kingdom Lost timelines of 1984 and 1991, Neon & Blood follows Detective Irina Pavlov (Michelle's boss and mentor) as she clashes with a para-military group The Sinners whose criminal activities spread across Europe. With this film, we move away from nature and into the grays of an Eastern European small town, and the lights of a Western big city. Neon lighting with a phantasmagorical touch remains throughout, pulsing with the beat of the film. The film introduces a grittier atmosphere and visual identity we will see throughout most of Kingdom Lost. In contrast to the focus on one of the leads in Pale Princess, Neon & Blood instead focuses on enhanced world building, and sets up a plot thread that will be resolved in the first act of Kingdom Lost, serving as a guide into the world we will experience.




Feel free to email us and find more about the conditions to participate in KINGDOM LOST film project.


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