IT'S NOT every day that a 10-year-old plays the lead in a film.
But that's exactly what Bendigo's Loti Kovacic did in Moja Vesna, a film premiering at this year's Melbourne International Film Festival.
The young starlet had no prior acting experience - making the accomplishment even more impressive.
"This is my first movie," Loti said.
Moja Vesna is a debut feature film by Australian-Slovenian director/writer Sara Kern which follows a 10-year-old girl who must keep her grief-stricken immigrant family together.
And while most young actors get intimidated by the whole acting and filming process, Loti said once you got over the initial shock, it started to just feel like an ordinary job.
Loti wasn't allowed to read the script and improvised all of her lines for the film.
"I found it really easy and fun," she said of the experience of filming.
Loti's mother Michaela Kovacic was surprised when her daughter decided to audition for the role of Moja.
Ms Kovacic asked Loti if she was interested in auditioning and was met with a positive response.
"She said yes I would like to try," her mother said.
"So we went to the auditions and she beat out all the girls with acting experience and got the lead role."
"We love it here and we don't think of moving anywhere else," Ms Kovacic said.
"I think that if we stayed in Slovenia, we never would discover this talent.
"It was pure luck and coincidence."
Ms Kovacic said the family's own journey of migrating to Australia made them connect to the grief-stricken Slovenian immigrant family in Moja Vesna.
"I think it speaks to all migrants," she said.
"All other families that are from foreign countries could relate to this film."
Loti said she had ambitions of becoming an actress in the future.
"I'm feeling proud of myself and I'm also feeling like maybe this is something I want to do again," Loti said.
"I did not want it end."
Kern said Moja Vesna was her first feature film.
"I've kind of been interested in a childhood being cut short in one way or another in my short films already," she said.
"It's an emotional landscape of my childhood that I kind of wrote this story out of.
"It's based on feelings that I had growing up."
Kern has a sister who is 10 years old.
"I'm interested in this role reversal in families in general," she said.
"That features quite prominently in this film as well with Moja - this 10-year-old girl trying to be the adult."
The name 'Vesna' means spring in Slovenian and is also the Slavic youth goddess of springtime.
Kern said Loti was amazing and the actors in the film inspired her to keep rewriting the script.
"She was perfect for the role," she said.
"Everything kind of fell into place."
Moja Vesna had its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival earlier in the year.
The film will premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival which begins on Thursday, August 4.
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