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On Location with Alex Holdridge and Linnea Saasen

The real-life couple on directing their globetrotting movie Meet Me in Montenegro

Life is said to imitate art, but sometimes it happens the other way around. Alex Holdridge and Linnea Saasen, who co-wrote, co-directed and co-starred in the romantic drama, Meet Me in Montenegro, based the movie on their own romance.

After the pair met in Berlin, they fell in love and moved to Montenegro. With no solid careers, no jobs and everything they owned on their backs, the couple rented an apartment in Sarajevo and wrote a script based off of their romance. A couple weeks later, they began shooting—back in Germany. 

They also juggled every role imaginable while creating the film. “You can only wrangle your crew for so long,” Holdridge says. “It got to this point where Linnea and I were shooting each other with 5D cameras, carrying all the different costumes and keeping track of everything.”

Over four years of shooting, they travelled everywhere from Berlin to Los Angeles, London and Montenegro. “We only had two days to shoot everything in London because it was during the 2012 Olympics,” says Saasen. “Then we shot during the winter in Berlin and it was quite brutal. When we shot in Montenegro we were all like, ‘Why don’t we shoot the whole film here?’ Montenegro is a magical place.”

Holridge concurs. “We’re not rich people,” he says. “That’s the cool thing about Montenegro, you can spend five to 10 euros and get a beautiful fish, salad and a beer. To find a place to stay, you just drive and find someone holding up a sign that says apartment.”

Despite the long hours, stress and years put into creating the film, Holdridge and Saasen agree what made it worth it was experiencing different parts of the world together.

“We took our time waiting for the snow to shoot in Berlin,” says Holdridge. “We shot on the cliffs in Montenegro. We got to go to all these underground clubs in Berlin that Linnea knew of before I met her. It’s not in our personalities to be actors, but the plus side was getting to travel to all of these places.”