Miodrag Miša Novaković (Serbian Cyrillic: Миодраг Миша Новаковић; 1940—8 September 2023) was a Serbian giant in the world of cinema. His numerous roles encompassed those of a cineast, writer, cultural expert, film and TV director, screenwriter, critic, theorist, esthetist, and pedagogue. He even directed a number of vital Yugoslav film festivals.
One of his noteworthy contributions was as an expert on Nikola Tesla. His profound insights into Tesla’s life and work are evident in his many studies, essays, films, and popularization efforts.
Born in Belgrade, he was the brother of another pivotal cultural figure of SFR Yugoslavia, Slobodan Novaković. Miodrag’s academic achievements include a graduation from The Faculty of Law in 1967 and from The Theatre, Film and Radio Academy department for dramaturgy (now known as Faculty of Dramatic Arts) under prof. Josip Kulundžić in 1969.
His professional journey saw him at the helm of the Film center of Dom pionira (currently known as Dečji kulturni centar Beograd, Children’s cultural center Belgrade) from 1970–1972. He played a pivotal role in starting and selecting films for the Film parade—an international festival for children and youth—from 1971 to 1972. Additionally, he headed the Yugoslav film festival in Pula and the FEST in Belgrade between 1972 and 1974.
His literary contributions, including short stories, essays, and articles on film and theatre, graced publications like Politika, Student, Odjek, and many others.
He authored several books, such as Fini ljudi (Nice people) and Gledanje u film (Watching in the film). He co-wrote Pars pro toto, medijska pismenost za nastavnike osnovnih škola (Pars proto, media literacy for elementary school teachers) with Gordana Zindović-Vukadinović.
His flair for direction was evident in his short films like Beograd na šoferšajbni (Belgrade on the windshield) and Zima u Pragu (Winter in Prague). He also contributed to TV with portraits of personalities like actor Raša Plaović and film directors Žorž Skrigin and Žika Mitrović.
Miodrag’s association with child film amateurs in Serbia and the former Yugoslavia spanned decades. Apart from discussions, he imparted his knowledge by lecturing on film dramaturgy to a variety of audiences, from filmmakers to youths.
His lifetime achievements were honored with numerous national (both Serbian and Yugoslav) as well as international recognitions.
The film and cultural world bid farewell to Miodrag Novaković on 8 September 2023.