The Second Meeting






Thrilling story of humane friendship

War met the two men once. One was a pilot of the invisible F-117A, the other the missile officer that shot him down.Their first meeting was on the radar.Dale Zelko and Zoltan Dani decided to meet each other 12 years later. A human story of a unique encounter.



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Format: HD, 16:9 Duration: 90, 52 and 4 x 45 min

Director/ Producer: Željko Mirković

Production: Optimistic film










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Zastava Film, Military Film Center

Municipality Pantelej, City of Nis

Municipality Apatin

Municipality Medijana , City of Nis

Municupality Kovin

Official sponsors

Jablanica MP doo, Belgrade, Serbia

Ekupi doo,  Belgrade, Serbia

Motel Jack Daniels Motor Inn, Peterborough, New Hampshire, USA

Em Dip Proteam doo, Smederevo,  Serbia

Statik doo, Kovin, Serbia

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“The Second Meeting” sends a message of peace and tolerance

“The Second meeting” is a story about the meeting of former American pilot Dale Zelko and former Yugoslav missile officer Zoltan Dani, who were enemies during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999. This unique documentary went around the world and international and worldwide press /USA, UK, , Serbia, France, Italy, Denmark, Brazil, Indonesia, Sudan, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Russia…/ describes the documentary as a remarkable and incredible story, which carries the message of peace, tolerance and friendship.

Brief press clipping

    The Reader’s Digest published big story – The Stranger Who Changed My Life: My Enemy, My Friend Read more: British ITN reports that the documentary presents “heartwarming tale, which tells the story of forgiveness and unexpected friendship.”

Also, British Daily Mail in lengthy reports writes that time heals all wounds.


American The Huffington Post writes that the documentary “tells us the emotive story of reconciliation between two former enemies.


French Le Figaro writes how during their first meeting Dani and Zelko wanted to kill each other, but their second meeting was full on emotions, during which they hug a lot. Le figaro quoted Zelko saying that “the war was not between him and me, it was not a personal thing, and even less between me and the Serbian people.”


BBC World News reporters that “a remarkable friendship has developed between a US stealth fighter pilot and the man who shot him down during the NATO air strike.” BBC reports that two men who were once in the war enemies and now are friends, what to send massage of “peace and tolerance.”


BBC reporter says that hostilities are history and that Zelko came to express his friendship to the man who shot him down. 


French TV5Monde reports that Zelko expresses his apologize for “suffering, pain, loss and anxiety” that Serbian people felt during the bombing and adds that “a war is not carried out by ordinary people, ordinary, but by governments.” Zelko’s message is “never do that again.”


French Courrier International writes that Zelko “landed in Serbia again, this time to attend the premiere of the documentary” which shows emotions of two families and that “the human outweighs the absurdity of the war.”


The headline of Italian Giornalettismo says that “Friendship can save the world.”


Zelko told Serbian national broadcaster RTS that when he was at Dani’s home he was feeling like at home and that Dani and his family “are people who give a lot, and forgive a lot.”


 The documentary director Mirkovic in the interview for Serbian wire service Tanjug told that the documentary is a result of “one adventure, the journey that lasted for five years, and which included three families, Dani, Zelko and mine.”


Slovenian National TV reports that film distributors argue that the story about the friendship of two former soldiers may find themselves even in the fight for Oscar. Award winning documentary maker Mirkovic came up with idea to connect Dani and Zelko, while he was filming the documentary how Serbian army shot down stealth F117A, driven by Zelko. Dani and his rocket unit shot down F117A during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999. The objectives of the NATO were to end the Kosovo civil war between Yugoslavian and Kosovo Albanian forces, and to move Yugoslavian forces out of Kosovo.

Author Mirkovic thinks that the documentary is relevant around the world, because it sends the message of “hope, peace – which could be accepted universally.” 


The Danish online blog about documentary film Filmkommentaren sees “The Second Meeting” as a product of Mirkovic’s commitment and his filmmaking qualities. 






Dale P. Zelko

Lauren K. S. Zelko

Keegan P. S. Zelko

Maille C. S.  Zelko

Torin K. S. Zelko

Rowan K. S. Zelko

Baby S. Zelko

Zoltan Dani

Iren Dani

Atila Dani

Tibor Dani

Irena Dani

Voice- Joseph Ryan Sweeney

Director and producer

Zeljko Mirkovic


Optimistic film

Project manager

Tamara Dinic Mirkovic


Zelimir Tot

Ian Hoban


Jorge Arsac

Branislav Balaban

Videographers for video diaries

Dale P. Zelko

Zoltan Dani

Lauren K. S. Zelko

Tibor Dani

Keegan P. S. Zelko

Sound record

Vladimir Stanojevic

Steve Burgess

Music by

Lajko Felix

Music performers

Lajko Felix,

Keegan P. S. Zelko,

Maille  Zelko,

Dani Zoltan,

Zelko Dale,

Women choir SKC Nis

Kurina Ferenc,

Kurina Michael,

Brasnyo Antal,

Kemeny Oskar,

David Imre,

Choir conductor

Zoran Stanisavljevic

Music recording and remix

Pap Janos

Pap Andrej

Studio K23, Subotica

Jim McClure of Betsy’s Folly Studios, Lyndeborough, New Hampshire

Miodrag Obradovic

Transcript and translation

Ivan Markovic

Sound remix

Steven Burgess

Editor and coloring

Pavle Nikic

Graphic design

Jemer de Jong


Dusan Ristic

Jagodin Zivkovic

Production partners

Marko Stojanovic, Serbia

Zoran Amar, USA

David Wicks , South Africa

Association for Art and Media, Serbia

Film Underdogs Collective, New York, USA

Event Media, Serbia

Sumadija film, Serbia

Associate producer

Ignasi Vargasurroca

Film is financed by

Ministry of Culture Republic of Serbia

United States Department of State- US Embassy Belgrade

Province of Vojvodina, Secretariat for information and culture

The Balkan Trust for Democracy

Radio Television of Vojvodina

City of Nis- Secretariat for culture

Donated by

Zastava Film- Military Film Center

Municipality Pantelej

Municipality Apatin

Municipality Medijana

Municupality Kovin

Official sponsors

Jablanica MP doo,

Ekupi doo,

Motel Jack Daniels Motor Inn,

Em Dip Proteam doo,

Statik doo,

All rights reserved

by Optimistic film



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