A Sit-down with Aleksandar Jovic, Director & Producer of Beyond the Peak, now streaming on Amazon Prime and Tubi 

Sandi Radoja: It has been 3 years since we last wrote about Beyond the Peak and have last heard from its Producer & Director Aleksandar Jovic. A lot has happened since then, I know the movie has played at several film festivals, won some awards and then you organized, and now it is available to watch on Amazon Prime. Please catch us up on all that has happened.  

Aleksandar Jovic: Yes, first thank you, Sandi, and the American Srbobran for your continued support of this film. I think this is a wonderful newspaper for our people here in the US. 

A lot has happened since May of 2021 when the last article came out. Working on this movie, which is my first, this has been a huge blessing and continues to teach me new things. 

Since completing the film in March of 2021, we have been to several film festivals in Australia, the US, and Europe and luckily walked away with a few awards and more nominations. The two biggest highlights from our film festival runs have been the World Premiere of film at FEST in Belgrade on May 12, 2021, and winning the Best Diaspora Documentary Award seven months later in Chicago. 

I remember when I was at the test screening prior to the World Premiere, I was in tears seeing my movie play on the big screen for the first time. It is such a cliche, but it is impactful to see all of your hard work, blood, sweat, and tears play seamlessly on the big screen for the first time. Making a movie is incredibly difficult and there are overwhelming challenges every step of the way. I hear from many veterans that it is a miracle when a movie is completed, that alone should always be celebrated. It was a dream come true to have my movie play in my country of birth at arguably the top film festival in Serbia and one of the oldest in Europe. What an honor! I hope to bring back many more.

In December of 2021, Beyond The Peak played at the Chicago Serbian Film Festival and I received my second award, Best Diaspora Documentary. I remember watching a movie at this festival in 2015 and wondering how the heck do I become a director and screen a movie at this film festival. The rest is history. 

In May of 2022 my family and I took it upon ourselves to theatrically self-distribute the movie, completing 15 screenings across the US and Canada. We played the movie in theaters and church halls and drew about 1,000 people total averaging about 50 guests per screening. This is no small feat because in the current climate of media with so many options it is very difficult to promote an independent film. Regardless, we are extremely passionate about sharing the film with the Serbian Orthodox community. We believed that these screenings would serve as grass roots promotions for the eventual release on streaming platforms.

My favorite screening was in Indianapolis, the hometown of the mountain climbers. It was more than just a night at the movies but a celebration for the hometown heroes. Out of all the screenings this audience resonated with the film the most because they already knew the characters, therefore were completely in tune with the film, absorbing every detail and reacting to every nuance as I intended. It felt like the giant movie theater shrank to my little office and the audience was editing the movie with me. The level of intimacy was surreal. The celebrations afterwards were the icing on the cake. I know David (Rayman-Rajkovic) and his mountain climbers, and their families sacrifice a lot for mountain climbing trips. I was proud to see them get proper recognition, and for us to all celebrate together.

A lot has happened since the movie was “finished.” And now I am excited to share that the movie is now available on Amazon Prime. it is unbelievable that in 2016 I met David and his climbers and eight years later I have a finished movie to present to the world of their spiritual climbing adventures in Colorado. Check out our website,, and find out all of the places you can see the movie. More streaming services will be added in time.

Sandi: How would you describe the story of Beyond the Peak?

Aleksandar: Beyond the Peak is a modern day Serbian Orthodox story that encapsulates our community but shows how this unique group of me connect with God in nature. There are not many Orthodox films, and the few that I know of are more focused on biblical stories and our saints. I think it is cool that this story focuses on everyday  people and their connection to faith. 

From the day I met David and his mountain climbers, I knew that their story was special and had all the elements to be a compelling documentary film. The movie begins with a sucker punch to the stomach, an accident that leads to a death in the family which then leads David, our main character, to do the selfless act of climbing a mountain in memory of his brother. Through tragedy they helped create something positive. 

Sandi: What do you hope the audience will take away from the film? 

Aleksandar: I honestly hope that the audience can walk away feeling inspired to go into nature and do a little soul rejuvenation. What I liked most about what David and his mountain climbers do is that they utilize nature as a facility to have a deeper connection within themselves, each other, the universe as whole, and God. They seek out nature and through the rigors of mountain climbing which allows themselves to be present and in-tune with the world. This is something we need more of  in our society. Father Marko (Bojovic) said it best in the film, “I always loved going to nature, but up until then I never had such a close connection (with nature). And ultimately through that I felt closer to God.” 

Hiking in nature is great for both the body and mind. From personal experience, I always feel calmer and a little more at peace after hiking or camping. This time is great for personal reflection, meditation or just a time to switch off and just take in the sights and fresh air. I do not expect nor encourage everyone to go on an epic pilgrimage to find answers to life’s questions. A lot of this self-reflection can be achieved with a small walk in the park or local woods. However, if this film does inspire a new generation of mountaineers who want to bring faith into the mountains, I think that would be really cool and humbling.  

Sandi: How did you find the project? What made you want to make it a movie.

Aleksandar: To be honest, the film really fell in my lap. I did a short documentary for Fr. Dragan (Petrovic)  about a winter youth retreat at New Gracanica a couple of years prior in 2012 or 2013. He liked that documentary, which was my first, and asked me to come to his parish in Indianapolis to interview these mountain-climbing parishioners and turn that into a video. What is really ironic about this is that there are no mountains in the state of Indiana or in the neighboring states. I was intrigued. 

Once I met the club and started rolling the camera, my jaw dropped. Here I am thinking I just need to make a short film but instead I am given a story for a feature length award-winning documentary. I couldn’t believe what they were telling me. Once I got their footage, I knew that I was going to make this movie because the story was compelling, it had a unique prayer element, it had emotion, it had adventure, and I knew that I could tell an amazing Serbian Orthodox story that we could all rally behind. 

Sandi: What does the future hold in store for you Aleks? 

Aleksandar: At this point in time, I am working on completing my first narrative short film that I am producing. It is called Saint Arcadia, a short film in the thriller genre about a young woman struggling to make ends meet who then ends up signing up for an experimental drug trial that ends revealing inner traumas. It’s a film that deals with some heavy topics such as rape and suicide yet offers a beacon to overcome those hardships. We hope to have that film finished in the coming months and will be going on a film festival run and eventually the internet as well. 

Outside of that I am living the life of a creative freelancer, continuing to build out my career as a producer and director in Hollywood. I currently work on TV shows like “Celebrity IOU” with the Property Brothers, and yes I know both Drew and Jonathan on a first name basis. They actually saw Beyond The Peak, and they loved it. I also worked on an unnamed Netflix docuseries to be released in the near future, and another HipHop culture show for Tubi. I can also say that I have worked with Danny Trejo on three occasions. Ok, now I am just name dropping (he adds with a laugh). 

With how difficult the TV and fFilm industry is, especially these past few years of COVID-19 lockdowns, the disruption of AI, and the current strikes that are going on, I am lucky to say that I am pretty blessed with what my career has brought me and hope to keep climbing higher. 

Sandi: Any other films?

Aleksandar: I have one or two feature films in the works, one of them being another Serbian Orthodox story, way too early to say at this moment, unless you want to be an investor then please reach out (another laugh, but a suggestion worthy of consideration). 

Sandi: Final thoughts?

Aleksandar: I am really excited for people to check out Beyond the Peak, the movie is perfectly catered to our Serbian Orthodox however, I purposefully made it to be seen by all people. My small asks from the audience after watching the film is to please rate the movie and leave a review either on Amazon Prime or on Facebook. Also, please share the movie through word of mouth and social media you can find us on @BeyondthePeakFilm (on Facebook and Instagram). Any little bit helps when it comes to leveraging the algorithm to get more eyes on the movie. Thank You! 


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