A film festival, bringing experts of cinematography and young people together in the Western Balkans
As the master of cinema, Fellini says: “There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the infinite passion of life.” Yes, cinema could bring people together in an infinite passion for the life and living together. And, it is so needed in the Western Balkans. Colleagues from partner organizations of DOKUFEST, shared with us their experiences related to the festivals in Prizren and Pancevo. These interviews are initially published in WBF Newsletter (Issue 7, September 2018).
- Natalija Milojković, “Pančevo Film Festival”, Niš
- Kerim Sefer, “Pravo Ljudski Film Festival”, Sarajevo
- Boris Simic, young filmmaker from Belgrade
- You participated to the DOKUFEST in Prizren and Panč May we have your feelings about this regional cultural experience?
Natalija Milojković: First of all, I have to say that participation in this project and attending and jurying at these two festivals has been a great motivator, since I plan to study film directing. To meet a lot of people with similar interests, also to discover a lot of new filmmakers from the region, as well as further, was certainly very important and inspiring for me. Along with that, as these two festivals being international, I was able to meet people from around the world and learn about their cultures through their films.
Kerim Sefer: It is very important for young people to participate in such events because we embrace the change in the best positive ways. Many beautiful memories are going to stay right there, in the focus of Dokufest and Pancevo Film Festival 2018. We were able to meet another cultures that are very close to us and I am happy because we are sharing the same experiences with different people. For me, being a young juror was spectacular chance to watch new and inspirational short films, to discuss about it and share opini on in the way we feel; whether we criticise some aspects or we simply adore some scenes that can send general message. Overall, amazing experience, it’s all about building connection and celebrating diversity.
Boris Simić: It was fantastic! Prizren is a beautiful city and a whole new experience for me. Can’t wait to see it again. Pancevo is like 50 km from my home so it was not something really new except for burek with smoked pork knee! It was best thing I tasted in my life.
- What did you find new in this Festival? What is the experience that it brings?
Natalija Milojković: Since I come from a city where events of this kind are not frequent, almost everything was very new to me. I was able to see the most diverse films on big screen, e.g. seeing experimental films was really something unique. Also, what was very important for me were the Q&As after films, from which I learnt a lot, as well as from conversations with my colleagues. Only after the festival I realized how much this experience helped me in many ways and how much it changed me.
Kerim Sefer: Dokufest is an amazing event with a huge audience all around the world. We were delighted to be the part of this festival where so many amazing artists and producers meet with the same goal: to win hearts of film lovers. The mission of this event is to bring people together in Prizren, multicultural city with stunning vibes of love, peace and uniqueness.
Boris Simić: It brought me friends from all over Balkans! We enjoyed learning about cities and each other at the same time. Beautiful experience. It also helped me cleanse from all the stereotypes that maybe I had had.
- How was your collaboration and interaction with the colleagues from the region?
Natalija Milojković: As for the communication within the youth jury, I would say everyone was very collaborative and down for compromise. Of course there were some different opinions, but as for making our final decision, there were no big problems. The most important thing was that, despite having different opinions, everyone listened and tried to understand each other. Also, since most of them are either studying or want to study something concerning film, we might even be working together later on. While we were basically living together during these two festivals, we had the opportunity to get to know each other really well and I believe that I will stay in contact with many people I’ve met here and that we will stay friends even after this.
Kerim Sefer: We became big team with the goal of deciding about which film caught our attention and which one sends general and motivational message to all young people today. With the most respectful words I can descrbe our collaboration. By introducing our opinions, we open new ideas and clues for every aspect of particular film. By refilling our deliberation with so many different arguments, we get to see clear picture and vision: best film that touched us, with unique message and strong bonds and relationships existing in every scene.
Boris Simić: Well it surprised me how similar our opinions about films were. It wasn’t hard to decide. Also privately, we got along great with each other. We were together for the whole day and parties at night. For me it was experience I will remember my whole life.
- What is your message to the people of culture in the Western Balkans? What they could do more?
Natalija Milojković: First of all, being open to new things and forgetting prejudices of any kind is very important for progress. Going through these festivals I realized people don’t understand their importance. Events of this kind are very important for bringing cultures together, introducing them to one another and awakening understanding between people. On the other hand, they support and inspire new and upcoming artists and promote art, in this case film, and are usually the only places one can see unconventional and noncommercial pieces of art. So, I would suggest to invest more into art and promote it, therefore encouraging young people not to be afraid to show their art, since we have much potential and talent, which can be seen from this kind of events.
Kerim Sefer: Do whatever makes you happy, use every chance to proove your abilities. Create something new, let people hear for your work and it will bring you inspiration and motivation to continue with your lifetime journey. You can do much more to improve your skills and knowledge, don’t look back because, just in front of you, there are so many chances and possibilities waiting just for you. Love and be loved.
Boris Simić: MAKE MORE FESTIVALS! BRING YOUNG PEOPLE TOGETHER! It is the only way to solve problems that our fathers and grandfathers made. We shouldn’t live on their mistakes but solve them and live in peace and be friends to each other. That is enough. We don’t have to be comrades or brothers or one people. We should just be able to be friends with each other and live in peace!
For more info on the festivals please click here: http://dokufest.com/