Serbian Contemporary Short and Documentary Film Festivals
Five films were shown at the Festival: "The Same", a film that shows everyday life of convicts and jailers in some of the biggest jails in Serbia by using it as a metaphor to present identity in modern society; "The Bread Smiling At The Moon", a documentary about a special type of bread, also known as "cipovka", being made in Vojvodina. Cipovka is on the list of intangible cultural heritage of Serbia; "Open Skylight", a touching film about a pair of pigeons that raise their young ones on a window ledge. These dedicated and caring parents don't mind other tenants and their chaotic clamor, they are not impeded by threatening voices that come from invisible radio and TV receivers.; "Kosovo, ... Cheers!", a story about two friends, one Serb and the other Albanian. These two are able to sit together, drink and talk about politics, but they agreed that the “multiethnic Kosovo” project failed; "At the Border", a futuristic film that deals with immigration issues. Tens of thousands of people from rich countries now want to immigrate to poor Serbia where people still feel joy, love life.
There were ten films at 2017 Festival: "Bon Voyage", short fiction about Bosnia, 20 years after the war. Priest Mihailo and imam Hamdia meet each other during a bus drive along their deserted home region. Nobody wants to be the first to speak; "Justice", animated film on parental . When the system fails to punish drunk driver, who killed their daughter, grieving parents take justice in their own hands. Powerful statement about grief, justice and decisions we takes; "Destilated Village Tales", a story of an Eastern Asterix and Obelix saga from the heart of Serbia; "Lives", a symbolic story of life and death; "Las Distancias", a Cuban immigrant's story about coming to US; "Notes From The Cell No. 12", a theater performance based on Dostoyevsky's play, performed by inmates from County Jail in Belgrade; "Fliposcope", characters are in a hurry making their own movie; "Paper, Horse And Birds", documentary about a day in the life of a Roma. Despite the difficult financial situation, we see a complex family with solidarity and warm interpersonal relations.; "Fluffy", a story about Belgrade family packing to emigrate to Canada. When Fluffy, a gigantic prize teddy bear turns up at the door, the parents must decide whether they have room for their daughter's new friend; "Our City (Belgrade Waterfront 2)", Charming animated film for the campaign to preserve the city from overdevelopment.
We showed twelve films: "Adornment", about two pairs of twins that energize their family; "Iskon Anima Aeternam", a man desperately tries to materialize the ideals; "One Night", a story about two girls whose friendship is put to the test; "Glances Of Closed Eyes", how sound helps visually impaired people in their daily lives; "Strokes", a story of a boy who finds higher power in himself; "Hello Josephine", an animated photo album is created by taking a photograph each day; "Reminder", an artist dedicates his artwork to shepherds and shepherdesses; "Carousel", a Serbian choir, made of enthusiastic, full-of-life women, shares their daily routine with us; "To Kuyumba", a story of a young man from small town getting ready to leave to Kuyumba, Russia; "Just Another Day In Egypt", what is left after the Egyptian Revolution of 2011?; "Distances Are Overcome", last audio recording of Isidora Sekulić, renowned Serbian writer; "Radiovision - Of Slaves And Robots", the film revives the speech given in 1968 by Radivoj Kašanin, one of the most renowned professors of the Belgrade University.
Ten films were shown: "We Are Alive And Vinkl", a story from a town struck by unprecedented floods in May 2014; "Evening With Radio", a five year boy works the transistor radio dial and takes us to far away music worlds; "Flowers Of Evil", a dark comedy, dealing with privatization in Southeastern Europe; "Our Skin Is Going To Gray", two artists are going through the personal creativity crisis in the time of global crisis; "Restart", a painter accepts an invitation to exibit his works after 10 years of being in a passive and self-isolation state; "Shadows", Chech soldier is haunted by the shadows of the past remembering the time he spent in Terezin prison with Gavrilo Princip; "Nasty Soap", an unusual ritual from Vlach village in Eastern Serbia; "Joy & Joy", animated film as metaphor for intersection of prejudices and clues; "While They Were Flying To The Moon", while Apolo 11 lands on the Moon he and she are overwhelmed by mutual rapprochement; "In The Dark", a story of a young miner who doesn't want to spend his life as his father, miner too.
We showed eleven films: "Down On The Corner", people from a Serbian village spent their time in front of a local grocery store; "Springtime Suns", Four cousins, separated after the division of the former Yugoslavia, spend their holidays in the Serbian countryside before leaving for distant destinations; "Star Dust", although in wheelchair, fourteen years old Aleks travels from his microcosm to infinite space; "Way In Rye", During the German invasion of Soviet Russia, a humble farmer and his wife must protect a crate of five priceless paintings evacuated from Leningrad while waiting for news from their son, a soldier fighting on the Eastern front; "Rabbitland", The Brainless Rabbits live in Rabbitland - the "perfect" democracy. The Rabbits spend days voting on democratic elections, which take place in Rabbitland once a day, because Rabbitland is an ordered democracy; "When I Was A Boy I Was A Girl", impressive documentary with no clichés about sex workers; "The Bag", what happens when a women finds a bag full of groceries, and than after a few days finds out that there is something else inside the bag; "Five Minutes Each", a metaphorical story about the constant struggle of the artist to reach those five minutes of limelight; "Spasovdan", a story about an old women that lives alone, prepares "slava" as it used to be, but there is no one to come; "Kosma", a film about KOSMA radio network, the only thing connecting highly isolated Serbian communities in Kosovo.
There were eleven films shown at the Festival: "The 21st Second", 'the impossible' happened during the NATO bombardment of Yugoslavia in 1999 - by shooting down the pride of the USAF, the F-117 Stealth fighter; "Tata Morgana", two friends from Bosnia now in Western Europe, should they go back home ...but where IS home now; "The Mirrors", a fictional video-art inspired by our life’s choices and colors we make in our daily lives; "In The Land Of The Little Prince", students of a creative workshop for the persons with special needs are engaged in the animated film „The Little Prince“ using a rare animation technique; "Let There Be Light", a documentary about a family that lives near a giant hydroelectric power plant and still uses oil lamp light; "Breaking Point", a film about real-life heroes whose everyday job whose everyday job has the possibility to take away someone’s life, without a chance to prevent it; "Helium", young people and their uneasiness are shown in this film taking part in the process of regaining consciousness in Serbia; "Between Dream And Dream", three characters take part in this short psychological drama, connected by the same event, yet physically removed; "Fly", a portrait of a young construction worker Muha (Fly) who is trying to change stereotypes about the Roma through work and hip-hop music; "Tenzin Vasiljević", after several unsuccessful attempts to adopt a child in Serbia, Ivana brings Tenzin to the Vasiljević family. Tenzin is a three-year-old boy from Bhutan now living with Ivana in France; "The Wormwood Place", documentary about Serbian villages that get more and more desserted. People leave for urban places, the elder simply die. Result: vanishing of the whole traditional life. Poet Slobodan Ristović expressed his lament through the poetry book Wormwood Place.
We had thirteen films on the list for 2008: "Swallow", a story of an old man who nurtured and tamed a swallow that, for a while, was his only friend. With the swallow on his shoulder, he lived his life more easily; "The Raven", animated story about a man facing his ghosts of the past; "Birth And Building", nature and man last and disappear in a circular flow of birth; "Black and White", "You And I", a tale about love everlasting; "Packsaddlers", visually impresive story about Ritan family that lives under the Kozara Mountain. Their job is to take care of the unspoiled forest; "Joe Goes To Serbia", a lovely tale about Joseph Arone who has been spending his summers in Serbia. His mission: spread joy as a clown named Joe Mama; "Who Guards The Guardians", a soldier, on his way to battlefield, provoked by the events and the state of soldiers surrounding him, recalls his early childhood; "I, The Deceased", preparation for the burial ritual in the Walachian population in East Serbia begins during one’s life; "Her Side Of The Story", is based on recognisable characters and situations from famous dramas and novels, this movie is enlightened by a feminine point of view; "The Waiting Room", as the years go by the history repeats and the worn out Serbian people wait; "End of The Class", Strahinja is an eighteen year old, extremely antisocial, high school student. A series of disturbing events leads him to a possibly tragic end; "Chicken Elections", is about local traffic cop who pays a visit to his grandmother, gives her a mobile phone and tries to explain to her how it works.
We showed eight films: "Vanishing", the hero of the story is the loneliest little girl in the world. Her journey from her house to the school reveals the real string of motions, colors, sounds, folk customs...; "Looking Away", is a story about a mentally disabled young man and his view on life, friendship, love. One day in his life in the daily care center "OUR HOUSE" for mentally disabled persons in Belgrade; "The Angel", the subject of this film is the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999, the campaign named Merciful Angel; "Pretty Dyana", is an intimate look at Roma refugees in a Belgrade suburb who make a living by transforming Citroën's classic Dyana cars into Mad Max-like recycling vehicles, with which they collect cardboard, bottles and scrap metal; "The Day of Youth", Jelena was raised in a family that considered the Partisan victory of 1945 the day of their own defeat. 25 years later Jelena visits Tito's grave on his birthday; "The Cuban", is a story of a young boxer, his growing up in a blue-collar Belgrade suburb, and his rise from the bottom to the top and his fall back to the bottom again; "East of Eden", is about transition process which is hard for most citizens of ex-socialist countries on their way to liberal capitalism - followed by job cuts, painful dealings with the realites of market economy and getting used to a new way of life; "Lana, Natasha, Xenia", a story about a group of young enthusiasts in the transition-period-troubled Serbia who is trying a way out by keeping the national traditional music alive in the modern, urban landscape.
Our first Festival and two beautiful films: "Rough Cut Lives", film follows the everyday lives of four persons (all aged between 24 and 30) who are facing the crucial moments of their lives: they are all supposed to leave their parents - everyone in his own way, spiritually or physically. Each of the heroes carries within himself the conflicts which are the manifestation of the general problem of the lonely person in a crowd of the individuals suffering
because of the discrepancy between desires and
possibilities; "Casting", Sex, survival, Serbia, pantyhose ... what do they have in common? The girls that came for a part in the pantyhose commercial with the slogan: "The Most Beautiful step in Europe! Panties for Every Occasion: Eurolook finally in Serbia Too!" suddenly became protagonists of a full length documentary entitled Casting reflecting the problems of transition societies.