The fact that during the Nazi era, during the time of genocide and racial laws in Croatia (1941-1945), there existed the Croatian national boxing team, which performed all over occupied Europe, and which was trained and led by the dark skinned American Professional Jimmy Lyggett, today this sounds intriguing and almost unbelievable. This motion picture script is based on these motifs, through which we are trying to investigate the drama of Lyggett’s life from 1938 until the end of WWII.
Jimmy Lyggett is an accomplished boxer who, after he finished his professional career started to drift through Europe, trying to establish himself as a boxing trainer. After he met an unsuccessful Croatian actress, they moved to Croatia, and he founded his boxing school. In Zagreb, he is a bizzare sensation, the only black man in town, trying to establish the culture of boxing.
After the fascist Croatian state had been established (April 1941), Jimmy had been drafted by the Ustaša regime to organize and train the Croatian National Boxing team. Trying to be a good trainer, Jimmy is facing all horrors of fascist repression, and has to confront all moral doubts.
He started to be a collaborator fighting with his good heartedness and the past of racial discrimination in his own country. He is fighting for survival his way. Although his marriage is under pressure through all these compromises he has to make – he manages to survive. But at the end, the fate catches him. He lost his biggest love but manages to leave for America. What stays is the legend of a black trainer in a fascist regime.
He was born in Zagreb, Croatia in 1967, graduating Dramaturgy at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb. His first dramatic works appear in the early nineties. His theatre plays, performed in Croatia and abroad, have garnered numerous awards (5 times «Marin Držić Award» winner). He has worked for the Drama Department of the Croatian Television from 1996 to 2005, supervising scriptwriting on some twenty long and medium-length features, and several miniseries.
In 2006 together with Dražen Žarković, he co-directed the film “Trešeta” („Tressette – a Story of an Island”) which had international premiere at 55th International Film Festival Mannheim-Heidelberg. Marinković was also the script writer. The film won 6 international and 2 domestic awards and has been screened on more then 30 international festivals.
In 2009 Marinković has written and directed an independent feature “Ljubavni život domobrana“ (“Love Life of a Gentle Coward“). This is the first feature he directed alone. The premiere was at Pula Film Festival where it won 3 Golden Arenas (Best main actress, Best editing, Best production design).
In 2013 he made a feature documentary “Occupation, the 27th Picture“ – the Czech-Croatian international coproduction. World Premiere was on International Film Festival Karlovy Vary and it was the opening film of Documentary Program on Sarajevo FF.
In 2016 he made “Ministry of Love”, a feature which was developed in the 8th edition of ScripTeast programme. The film has been shown on almost 40 film festivals, with International Premiere held in Montreal World FF. Film won several awards including Grand Prix for the best film on 33rd Alexandria Film Festivals for Mediterranean Countries.
Pavo Marinković is currently living in Zagreb and Vienna.
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“ScripTeast is the programme all the advisors wish they could have attended at the start of their careers. It would have saved all that stumbling around in the dark looking for the key that stimulates the imagination so much more effectively.”
BAFTA nominated, director of “My Son the Fanatic”, “The Yellow Hankerchief” and ”Opa!”, 5th edition ScripTeast creative advisor, UK
“ScripTeast’s top-notch team of professional advisors, each year’s talented group of participants, and venues in Poland, Germany and France continue to make it the very best development workshop in the world today.”
ScripTeast Head of Studies, Associate Professor – Screenwriting and Production at School of Cinematic Arts, USC, screenwriter and director, author of the script for the Oscar-nominated film “Shoeshine”, USA
“ScripTeast is a fascinating mix of cultures, political ideas, and voices. I learned a lot, and I think the participants learned a lot more. If only they served vodka!”
Golden Globe awarded author of “The People vs. Larry Flynt” and “Ed Wood” with two Oscars, 5th edition ScripTeast creative advisor, USA