As a director, you're usually in a position to evaluate. What is the experience of being a member of the jury of international film festivals such as BOSIFEST?
In general I do not accept this type of call especially on the local festivals where you risk that because of unrewarded movie to gain lifelong enemies. I agreed to be a member of the jury on BOSIFEST, because of its specificity. The experience was very good thanks to the good selection of the director Maja Milos, so there was no weak films. It was interesting to get to know the films with different fates.
What criteria were crucial in evaluating the films?
I personally love those movies that are subversive in the choice of topics, but I love the diversity in the approach. Finally there are the other members of the jury and we harmonize our opinions.
Which movie left on you the strongest impression and why?
All three award-winning films, each in their own way. The film, which won the Grand Prix BOSIFEST 2013 "Chromosome 5", is a story that is told from the inside. Trying to get answers to the diagnosis of her daughter Andrea who lost chromosome 5, mother who is a photographer makes an intimate diary. The film is an intimate story that is told in a very professional manner and visually shaped. “A.K.A. Dok Pomus” is professionally narrated movie story about a man with whose hits I grew up and not knowing his life story. In the movie "The Last Taboo" people with disabilities talk about their love life in a very bold way. I think these films push the minds of people when we talk about people with disabilities.
In a world where solidarity and empathy are increasingly suppressed and lost, films that we will have the opportunity to see at this year's Bosi festival, first of all, will point us to think about these basic values of human society. We'll see special films with special personalities, which are not different because of their disability but because of permanent struggle and celebration of life. That certainly makes them special and distinctive in a society that has fallen into apathy. In such society often dominates superficial view that disabled people are only those who do not walk. These films reveal that they actually walk in open spaces that often most people in society can’t even imagine. The courage in the phrase, topic, procedure, tapping the irrational, the openness of views where the society is handicapped by blind spots, all this features are characterizing this year's selection of films. They will shake you, run, hit, make you imagine, laugh, surprise. Expect the unexpected!
You will see a variety of films from all over the world. Different cultures, customs and social circumstances. You will meet different characters and their stories. You'll see the struggle, suffering, joy, sadness, optimism and above all the desire to live. You'll learn something, you will experience and identify with interesting personalities, you will love and understand them. Get closer to something that you avoided - see and discover - universally human being. Once again you will discover the vitality and life force. Indestructibility of life, because there is always hope. Come to see and understand.
So far I have had the opportunity to watch a lot of movies that have treated the topic of people with disabilities, and some of them have become real classics such as “Rain Man” or “My Left Foot”, and some were so pathetic to me that caused " yuck " feeling in the stomach mixed with disgust because of the greed of some producers to use someone’s troubles to make merchandise for sale.
But the movies that I've looked at in a very short time (with deadlines is always a big deal) for me were however much it may sound like common place is really a completely new experience. Some of them are so serious that the recording may be homework for many Serbian filmmakers and their "warm human story ". I am fascinated by the lack of pathetic and self-pity. Cheerful, courageous, explorative and some moments truly shocking. These are some of the movies I watched. Those low quality movies, which can’t be found in the official competition with their charm knew to compensate professional ignorance and limitations of the budget. A good and interesting festival is not only socially responsible.
At a time when TV programs are flooded with various types of reality shows, and to serious topics are approached in sensationalist way, what is the significance of BOSIFEST - Belgrade International Film Festival for and by people with disabilities?
BOSIFEST is a serious international festival in all aspects and is a rare opportunity to hide from the onslaught of primitive, tabloid, entertainment and vulgar content. Any kind of such refuge is, no matter how small and temporary, really valuable.
For a good film is needed a good story, but sometimes it seems that there is no a better writer than the life itself. Which film and story you admire the most?
This is certainly winning documentary film "The Last Flight" by Yves Langlois, who endlessly witty and intelligent, and without dosing, redefines the terms "frustrated" and "disabled" in every sense. Epic, heroic movie.
As to a member of the jury which criteria were crucial in the evaluation of films?
Exclusively cinematic ones. As on any other movie festival. Relevance of the topic, the formal consistency, innovative solutions, passion ...
Which movie left on you the strongest impression and on which you would tape the label "must see"?
I will set aside two Canadian films: realization: "Last Flight", directed by Yves Langlois (grand prix of BOSIFEST 2011), cautionary tale of a man who pushed the limits and did not give up in situations in which most of us would not have persevered. Also like "Step Up!" by Thomas Wormser (crystal plaque for best director BOSIFEST 2012), about a young and promising dancers who lost his foot in a car accident. But that did not stop him to realize his dream, with a lot of effort and will he managed to triumph on the dance floor. These stories to all of us should be an incentive and inspiration in life.
What criteria were crucial in evaluating the films?
In evaluating the movies basic principle was the artistic quality.
For nine years you’ve been on the board of IETM, Europe's largest cultural network which brings together around 500 institutions similar to Youth Center. What are your experiences? How much attention is paid to festivals like BOSIFEST and how these kinds of festivals contribute to a richer cultural offer of a city?
Availability of program to people with disabilities is one of the very important issues within the IETM network. It is impossible to talk about multiculturalism and the impact that art should play in society, and that does not take into account the availability of program to all citizens. BOSIFEST program is important not only for the cultural life of our city, but also an important cultural foothold for the region when it comes to events that deal with promoting equality and breaking down prejudices related to persons with disabilities. As well, is very important the fact that BOSIFEST sends a message that the integration of people with disabilities is necessary in any society, but also possible, and that the public meets their needs, rights and status. Also, looking at the films that are the work of people with disabilities, we realize that they can deal with movie art equally well, story and experience that brought to life on the big screen teaches us that nothing is impossible if there is a will, solidarity and support for the environment and society.
Year after year, we realize that what we do, and the privilege to support such event, has only positive, beneficial and far-reaching good effects. Support is needed by everyone, nowadays, it is important to at least try to understand each other. The program and the people who organize BOSIFEST deserve any kind of support, and that we all should be proud of their work. Every event of this kind is important for all city of Belgrade and its people, like those who love movies, and those who love and understand people around them. Perhaps this is one of the opportunities offered to us to stop and think about the world and people around us.