Grand prix at the 8th Belgrade International Film Festival of Persons with Disabilities won Matthieu Firmin for the film "Arise and Walk". The French author in the film talks about his struggle against the paraplegia that he suddenly received after a stroke.
Matthieu Firmin for the BOSIFEST website speaks about his impressions from the festival, the heaviest moments in the fight against paraplegia, but also about the next film he prepares, which he hopes will also be shown in Belgrade.
What impressions do you take home from BOSIFEST?
- Serbia seems to be in some things ahead of France. I'm not just saying this because I'm a guest of the festival, but I am really impressed that Belgrade has been holding a festival of disability films for the eighth consecutive year. In France, for example, a film festival of people with disabilities was held for the first time only last year. It is very impressive to see that a beautiful country like Serbia, with a great tradition, is so advanced when it comes to the problems of people with disabilities.
Is that why Grand prix that you won has bigger value?
- Absolutely. I'm relieved of this prize. This is a serious festival, and the prize is especially significant when it is known that more than 150 authors have applied for the festival. Being successful in such a competition is not a small thing, although, I must say, at the festival, I see many great films that leave a strong impression, such as "Daniel" or "They went dancing".
How long did your paraplegial struggle last, and when was the worst?
- It lasted for two years. First, I had a difficult period of recovery at a hospital that lasted six months, and then I went to the hospital every morning and returned home in the evening, for one year and a half. Every recovery period was difficult in his own way, but with the help of good therapies, I managed to win. So I would recommend to Serbs to protect public health because I probably would not have enough money to cure myself that the hospitals in France were not well organized.
What is the message to other people with disabilities, how to best deal with problems?
- Physical strength is important, but psychic power is much more important. As I have shown in my film, everyone has this power somewhere deep inside, just needs to find a way to discover it. It's very important thing to find that power for yourself and find a way to get to it.
Are you already preparing the next film?
- Yes, it will be a wonderful story about people who will cross the Atlantic Ocean themselves in a small boat, only six meters long. They intend to do so without any communication, without any technological instruments, as it used to be the only way to do it. It will be a story of courage and the realization of your dreams as something most important in life.
At this year's BOSIFEST, 18 films, selected by the prominent domestic documentary Goran Radovanovic, were shown, 10 in the competitive and 8 in the non-competitive program. This year, for the first time, the Conference "Start a Change" was organized, on which students and high school students participated in addition to the experts.
BOSIFEST 2019. This year's tenth festival will take place at the Yugoslav Film Archive Belgrade from 21st - 23rd of October. We are going to present 9 films in the competitive and 7 in the non-competitive part of the program, chosen by the selector Igor Toholj. As this year marks our jubillee, 10 years of BOSIFEST, we will be reflecting on past years, through the accompanying program during the Festival.
Director: Elad Cohen, Iris Ben Moshe
When El-Ad was a child, his mother told him: “Raising you is like raising three kids.” Ever since that moment, he felt guilty for being deaf, and tried extra hard to be like everyone else.
Director: György Dobray
They live together independently, they fight, they reconcile, they desire, they dream of having a baby, but most importantly they love, above all. Like couples do, properly. The difference is only that society labels them as “mentally disabled”. Cili and Marci have Down’s syndrome. This is what the film would be about, their everyday life, their infinite love for life and for each other. A world that may be completely unfamiliar to us, a world of wholeness and happiness.
Director: Wojciech Klimala
The story of deaf Iwona is a modern Cinderella fairy tale. A life of a seemingly ordinary woman turns upside down when the Miss Deaf International crown lands on her head.
Director: George Gogua
Born in the small town of Chkhorotsku in Western Georgia, Gia (Jeme) Kikvadze has been visually impaired since birth. Nonetheless, despite his condition, he has always been active and in the 1990s even set up his own radio station which still functions today.
Director: Alessandro Stevanon
The world is a continuous formation of desires and possibilities. There are many obstacles between them, but Luca has found a way - in his own way - to overcome them.
Director: Stratis Chatzielenoudas
Leonidas, a 33-year old punk rock paraplegic and his friends plan to climb on the highest peak of Mount Olympus. For whom is it going to be more difficult?
Director: Nicky Maas
Noëll – Little Fire – Schulte, an 11-year-old boy with autism, isn’t the most easy going type and has a hard time connecting with people. When Noëll gets Gerrit, a though buddy with a motorcycle, appointed to him they head of on an adventure. On the motorbike Noëll is freed from the outside world that tells him how to be. A road trip full of dreamy and observing moments follows. Will they learn to trust each other and let their guard down?
Director: Fanny Bräuning
Just a "love story". "Only" film about connectivity, intricacies, reliability, trust.
Director: Laura De Miguel
The Lunzo Association is a non-profit organization of sociocultural intervention, whose purpose is to favor the interrelation of people with disabilities and without it.
Director: Pierre Verdez
Simon, a young tenor promised to an international career ends up paralyzed after an accident. With uncommon strength of character, Simon decides to pursue his singing career, even though he is now rooted to a wheelchair...
As volunteers at BOSIFEST in 2018. they would have told their friends that they must visit BOSIFEST this year. Through movies and workshops, we have gained new insights that have changed our minds towards people with disabilities, as well as more responsibility for our own lives.
Ada Protic, GENERAL MANAGER
As a representative of Belgrade Inn Garni Hotel, on behalf of the owner and all the employees, I can say that it is very important for companies of all kinds to consider providing support for cultural events and cultural organizations, especially when it comes to raising awareness and supporting people who need this kind of help the most, like people with disabilities.
Dragana Rajak, Banquet Sales Executive
Hotel Tulip Inn Putnik Belgrade is located in the center of New Belgrade, in a business center, just 100 meters from the bank of the Danube.
This Golden Tulip Hospitality Group hotel is a 10-minute drive from the old city center of Belgrade.
Ilija Smiljanić, –Sales Manager
Although young, Mark hotel is trying to support as many socially responsible manifestations, as well as those with a humanitarian character. Our vision is to become known for that, because the values of such programs are something that all of us should strive for in our private life, and aim to grow closer to. It is a fact that our public is dormant when it comes to the non-commercial festivals, but that's why we are here - to jointly do something about this situation, and show our general public the problems that people with disabilities are facing every day.
Invisible wave - an experimental tactile comic book
"Invisible Wave" is a doctoral art project authored by Dragana Kuprešanin, awarded in 2018 with the Prize for Accessible Artwork, at the "Inclusive Gallery" competition. This project is the first doctoral art project of the University of Arts which deals with the subject of inclusive comic books through the experiment of bringing together artistic and applied forms of media.
For the first time, the "Invisible Wave" makes the media of comic books available to the audience with disabilities (blind and visually impaired), who has never had access to such a media until now.
Dragana Kuprešanin (1982)
Graduated artist - specialist in painting (Faculty of Fine Arts, Belgrade, 2011) and graduated graphic designer (Faculty of Applied Arts, 2008), author of alternative comic book.
In their lifetime, people with disabilities often encounter obstacles within their own beings, which can be the most difficult problem for overcoming. Much bigger than all the physical and emotional obstacles created in their everyday environment.
The films I have chosen for the program of this year's jubilee of Bosifest, contain the strength of heroes, fighting for every day of life and shifting the boundaries of power. In this struggle, they often refine or simply make better people who are referred to daily by the nature of their illness.
This exchange of emotions leads to unexpected accomplishments for which we did not even know that we are capable of at the one hand, and the happiness in small, everyday pleasures that make life better, on the other.
In addition, the selection reflects the current world trends in the documentary film, both thematically, and aesthetically, thoughtfully and affirmatively, with the author's great love for his heroes.
Igor M. Toholj was born in 1968. in Belgrade. He is editor of the film program DKSG. He is the author of twenty experimental and documentary films, which were screened and rewarded at festivals in the country and abroad.
He began his film career as a member of several of the most important cinema clubs of the former SFRJ-Cinema Club of the Youth Center of the City of Belgrade and the Academy Film Center since 1984.
Scenarist and director, born in 1975. in Belgrade.
Graduated in dramaturgy at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts. He wrote a screenplay for 16 award winning short feature films and animated films. Written and screenwriter for documentary films Dread and horror, Closing word and Valter; and television documentary series Football, football and some more ...
She was born in 1972. in Trebinje (father Branko and mother Milena) where she completed her primary and secondary medical school. After finishing secondary school she went to Belgrade, where in 1994. she graduated from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in the class of professor Vladimir Jevtović. During her studies, she had small roles movies The Best and Three Tickets to Hollywood. After that she acted in several films, TV shows and theater performances.
Biljana Tutorov graduated in Archeology and History of Art at the Catholic University of Luwen (Belgium). In Paris, she studied an anthropological film at Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes and acted on Ecole Internationale de Théatre Jacque Lecoq.