Dejan Barac was born in Switzerland, despite the fact that his parents come from Croatia. The director has not visited his parents' homeland for almost 10 years and does not miss this place because he considers himself Swiss and does not feel linked with this country so much.
Dejan remembers: "As a child I was allowed to watch TV as much as I wanted and it used to be the best amusement for me. That was the time when I started to notice good acting. I started enjoying interesting films which became one of my greatest hobbies."
At the age of 16 the director began to set foot in the world of filmmaking by helping to organize the Upcoming Film Makers category within Schweizer Jungfilmfestival. This festival is held in Lucerne, Switzerland which is also the hometown of Dejan, therefore it was the perfect opportunity for him to get his first working experience and see the world of cinematography not only expressed in films, but also behind the scenes.
By the way, Dejan Barac still works for this festival, however, now his responsibilities are much wider. Together with a group of talented organizers he selects the movies for the program of the festival. Next to that, the director is responsible for the projection of the selected films. Dejan says: "These first working experiences of mine allowed me to watch a huge number of movies but I never thought about making them on my own. I was sure I wouldn’t be able to handle it."
The director told CineSud Magazine that he actually wanted to become a teacher at first. What is more, he even entered the University of Teacher Education in Lucerne.
As fate willed, Dejan's teacher at the university noticed his talent and encouraged the director to work in cinematography. Dejan Barac says: "During one of the seminars we had the task to tell a story only with the help of sounds. It was the first time I recorded anything." His teacher was astonished with the Dejan’s work and as the result of this experience the director left the university and applied for the School of Art and Design, which is also located in his hometown. He borrowed an old DVCAM and made a short movie about his friend who is a political refugee and who had told Dejan about all the difficulties he had faced and about his life in general. The director had only two weeks to complete his first movie because of the School of Art and Design’s submission deadline. This experience was extremely fruitful as Dejan was indeed accepted at the school.
These three years of studying were definitely not wasted, however, till now the director has not met any student who is completely satisfied with the study. Some complain about their schedules, others are displeased with the demanding teachers, ect. He says: "I do not want to complain, as I think that you have to get as much as you can from your studies. It depends only upon you."
The director remembers that during the first year of studying, he and his classmates were working on a movie about an old Swiss couple that emigrated to Costa Rica. During the second year he made a film on his own which was about his friend whose asylum request was denied 18 years ago.
Dejan Barac is grateful to all the teachers of the School of Arts and Design, still, he states that he personally learned most from Johannes Binotto, Hans Peter Gutjahr and Tania Stöcklin. Despite all the good things he experienced while studying, the most memorable aspect for the director was to get to know all his classmates since all of them are different but very talented. It was a pleasure for Dejan to communicate with people with such diverse backgrounds. He is still in contact with some of them.