PREMIERE / "Brothers" / Nino Jurlina / INTERVIEW

One of the perks of LIVE Skateboard Media is the opportunity to collaborate, curate and present the works of many underground artists with blossoming talent, and a common bond to one activity that in turn influenced lifetimes of stories to tell. Here we are very proud to showcase a new, amazing full-length video from Croatia: "Brothers", by Nino Jurlina, who also runs Simple Skateboards, a humble one-man operation with barely a Facebook page (but with a steady feed of videos on Mondays). Nino's whole enterprise really qualifies as an independent effort, quietly nurtured by hand, and with a certain appreciation for the tangible, the physical - sensible life in short; driven by his perception of his passion, the man has been a figure of the underground Croatian scene for quite a while. "Brothers" reflects just that and as such, is a beautiful piece the kind of which justifies the activity of skate media altogether. But before or after you dive head first into it, please take a look below as we jumped on the opportunity to catch up with Nino, and chit chat about his general direction!

Ph.: Nino Jurlina

LIVE Skateboard Media: Hey Nino, thanks for doing this! May you please introduce yourself to our readers and explain it to us where you're from, and how you first got into skating there? What was your introduction to this underworld and when does that date back to?

Nino Jurlina: Nino Jurlina. 27. Traffic engineer but just on paper. Coming from Benčinići, small village near Rijeka, Croatia.

My older brother Marin and I started skating seventeen years ago, one day after we played Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2. Completing that game with Rodney Mullen as a character definetly influenced our skateboarding, and gave us a taste of what freedom might be.

A lot of flatground skateboarding, "inventing new tricks", golden full-length movies and my brother as my biggest supporter forever shaped my skateboarding mindset.

 Nino Jurlina, backside smith grind. Ph.: Hrvoje Skočić

It was all about five friends skating all day, every day, not knowing the difference between boardslides and lipslides, filming never-ending lines with home cameras, free from the influence of a pre-existing worldwide skateboarding.

To this day, those were the best days of my skateboarding. It was all so simple. Shout outs to Modry, Pino and Luša.

LSM: How did the initiatives of taking up filming and starting your brand (Simple Skateboards) come about? Have you always felt driven to share your vision of skateboarding with the world like you're currently doing by the means of those two outlets? How would you describe the message you're trying to convey via those enterprises, if any?

Nino: When it comes to filming, I believe that skateboarding, music, and filming are like one holy triangle that most of the readers shouldn't need any introduction to, right? [laughs]

About Simple Skateboards, there are two main reasons why the idea of it came to me.

"I started Simple Skateboards as a reminder of times when skateboarding had more soul"

Eventually came the time period where I learned the difference between boardslides and lipslides, weeded out my teenage years' idols, and that's also when skateboarding changed a lot. It seems like it outgrew the naive, innocent picture I had of it that I was refering to earlier, but in negative, more industrial way. It became something I could no longer feel like being a part of.

I had (and still have) the feeling that skateboarding is losing its independence, which just so happens to be the very thing that drew me to it.

So in 2016, I started Simple Skateboards as a reminder of times when skateboarding had more soul and less outside trends and corporations in it.

It also used to be more educative or at least informative, see 411VM or ON Video for example; try to asking kids about those nowadays...

I think those values should never be forgotten because they are basically the general knowledge of skateboarding, in a way.

One second, more subconscious reason for me to run Simple is the fact that I may be trying to do what my brother has been doing for me for all these years; so thank you brother.

Marin Jurlina. Ph.: Mihael Šandro

LSM: What was your goal with this full-length of yours, "Brothers"? Skate video offerings from Croatia were rare to come by for a while but the scene has been getting some exposure over the past decade, notably due Nikola Racan's work on the Vladimir Film Festival and the full-length "Solsticij", making it apparent the scene there was boiling and had a rich history. What did you have in mind initiating this new project, did you feel like shining some more light on certain heads from the Croatian scene for instance? How did you pick the skaters you wanted to be a part of this? Can you introduce some of them - Zoe Miloš (coming through with my personal favorite of a first part), Mario Fanuko and the like?

Nino: Nikola Racan's "Solsticij" and the Vladimir Film Festival definitely helped shine more light on the Croatian skate scene and connected it with the rest of the world. It's an incredibly positive skate event, led by true skate rats.

"You can't film a part by yourself. And you don't want to."

My main goal with "Brothers" was to create one artifact of memory shaped by my vision; just to capture one moment in time with skaters sharing the same life and skate values.

The history of the Rijeka / Istria skate connection runs deep and dates back to many former generations (in the nineties), so the selection of skaters for video came naturally as we usually skate and film together and everything comes together spontaneously, yet at the same time in the context of a certain concept and purpose.

Nikola Racan. Ph.: Hrvoje Skočić

The Krunoslav Dundović / Dino Šertović shared part, for example, was purely my wish. We have known each other for years and years and even though they live on the other side of the state and we rarely get to skate together, their point of view on skateboarding and their charisma is something I like and respect so much, they were such a perfect fit for each other.

I'm not a fan of those unwritten editing rules in skate videos about giving the first and last parts to so-and-so and keeping the best trick for the end, but here if Zoe Miloš got first part it's solely due to his creativity, individualism and skill as a skater, as well as how well he introduced the concept of the whole video (due to his age, skate spot...).

Mihael Šandro & Dagor Jugovac. Ph.: Nino Jurlina

He had no idea how much I intended his part to actually be a metaphorical backbone of this video. Talking about backs; Mario Fanuko, who filmed a three-minute part after years of rehabilitation following a dramatic accident is somebody who definitely brings more value to this video, and is a living reminder of why we all skate: to have fun.  

LSM: Is there a certain concept to the video? It has a very poetic vibe from the actual filmmaking to the general aesthetics and also the name; you and your brother are the curtains of the video (and you happen to deliver a sick, lengthy well-rounded section too), overall a certain emphasis on humanity can be felt with the skateboard acting like a common bond connecting different individuals. But maybe all you really wanted was to film radical Croatian bank tricks and manuals?

Nino: For the video I used the name "Brothers" because all skaters are brothers (from different mothers): they don't even have to agree on everything but they skate and that's usually enough. You can't film a part by yourself. And you don't want to.

"The video is a metaphor for time, cyclicality and our awareness of it"

Before I started filming, I wrote the whole concept on paper and had a really clear idea of what I wanted to present with this video. The only thing that was more important to me than the concept was to present the true character of the skaters involved and show those little things that make them who they are.

At one moment I even told the crew that the tricks would be very much in the background of the video, which is kind of absurd to say when you're trying to make a skate video but really, during the whole filming process I was met with nothing but full understanding and trust from every one of the skaters, so I must say that it was a real pleasure and joy to skate and film with these guys. Humanity before tricks.

Marin Srzentić, Zoe Miloš, Nino Jurlina, Marino Valenić, Filip Selihar. Ph.: Hrvoje Skočić

The video is a metaphor for time, cyclicality and our awareness of it; one moment in time fragmented into segments representing certain stages of the day and life... For instance, see Zoe and Marin: first and last part, both filmed long lens at just one spot, in black and white, representing the morning / birth / childhood where you are mostly stuck in one place and you don't see things nearly like you will as an adult. And then there is Marin’s part which represents the evening / age / death. Unfortunately, Marin also has big trouble with his back and can't skate as much as he would like to, which definitely inspired the concept of the video; aging.

Elvis Butković, Raul Zgomba, Nino Jurlina. Ph.: Hrvoje Skočić

The rest, I'll leave up to viewers and their own interpretations.

LSM: What's next up for you, any other video project you plan on working on? Anything in the plans with Simple? Any last words and shout outs?

Nino: I really hope that in 2019, we will all have get chance to see a new full-length video from Croatia made by one certain strong, young individual who also skates in "Brothers", but I can’t say too much.

Maybe I'll have a short part in his project and then "Brothers 2", but it’s too early to say.

Raul Zgomba. Ph.: Hrvoje Skočić

I would like to thank everyone who was involved in the makings of this video, in front or behind lenses, and everyone who supports healthy skateboarding.

Thank you Aymeric for the nice words and for doing this.

Special thanks to Mihael Šandro.

Shout out to all skaters!

Ph.: Hrvoje Skočić

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