On the first meeting of the Board and Council after the Festival’s end, a decision was made for the Minister of Culture of Montenegro Mr. Branislav Micunovic to be awarded with the special prize “SEE Personality 2011” for the extraordinary contribution to the realization of the first edition of the International Film Festival SEE a Paris. The prize shall be handed to Mr. Micunovic in the first week of August of this year, at the opening of the 25th Montenegro Film Festival in Herceg Novi.
Here you can see the Letter from Ms. Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO, which was read on the opening ceremony of the first edition of "SEE a Paris" Film Festival. Ms. Bokova was also a guest at some of the projections during the Festival.
“Abandoned” is the first long feature film of the director Adis Bakrac. It is a co-production of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia and France. What is important to emphasize is the fact that this is the first official co-production of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia since the armed conflicts (1992-1995), in material as well as artistic matters. The Film Center of Serbia contributed with 20% of the total film budget.
All laboratory work was done in “Cine Lab” from Belgrade, while the editing was done by Misko Necak and the sound by Novica Jankov, both from Belgrade. The role of the Head Mistress was created by the great Croat actress Mira Furlan, while the role of the orphanage Director was the creation of the reputed Macedonian actor Meto Jovanovski. Therefore, one could say that this is a co-production in the manner of the “golden age” of the Yugoslav cinematography.”
-Zoran Tasic, co-producer.
The first edition of “SEE a Paris” film festival, held from 12th to 17th April in the prestigious L’Entrepot in Paris, was successfully finished with the ceremonial announcement of the awards. Before that, the public enjoyed the screening of the short fiction from Kosovo “Gjini” and Slovenian feature film “Piran Pirano”. During the decision making process of the Jury members, the film “The secret book” by director Vlado Cvetanovski was shown as a Macedonian/French co-production.
THE AWARDED FILMS AND AUTHORS:
- Best film production: “Piran Pirano”, Slovenia
- Special festival award: “Eastern plays”, Bulgaria
- Best Director: “Abandoned” – Adis Bakrac, Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Best Scenario: “Albanian Chronicles” - Ylljet Aliçka, Albania
- Best Actress: “The Crossing” - Sezin Akbasogullari, Turkey
- Best Actor: “Piran Pirano” – Mustafa Nadarevic, Slovenia
- Best Film Music: “The Crossing” - Selim Demirdelen, Turkey
- Best documentary movie: “Listening to Istanbul”, By Veysel Cihan Hizar, Turkey
- Best animation movie: “Black, white… and color”, By Sergiu Baiesu, Romania
- Best short fiction movie: “First day of classes”, By Dionis Papadhimitri, Albania
- Special jury mention: “Donkeys of the borders”, Kosovo
SEE a Paris continued on Saturday morning, with a selection of animated, documentary and short feature films. During this first part, the director of the Turkish film “Moment” Aysegul Okul was a guest, who was welcomed with ovations by the highly appreciative public.
The second part of this Festival day was reserved for the courageous and stunning “Kinofil” by Damir Janecek from Bosnia and Herzegovina, who honored the Festival with his presence along with his adorable dog. Dogs precisely were the center of his film, which is a story about the harassment of the stray dogs in Bosnia, and the ignorance and brutality of the human system towards the weaker ones. The shocking scenes of the film have raised many questions among the public, which started a discussion about it along with the director, after the film was over. “It is unbelievable how people who have suffered so much and have gone through the horrors of war, can be so cruel and inhumane towards any form of life”- as the director has stated. He further explained the background of the whole situation, the sacrifice of the people who were helping the dogs and fighting for end of the harassment, the threats that these people were getting and the whole network of people and institutions behind that. Even though at the spur of things this situation appears hopeless, the strength of this film opens new horizons for changes to start occurring in people’s minds.
The evening started with a Macedonian documentary called “Tobacco girl” by Biljana Garvanlieva about the crossroad in a young girl’s life, between society’s (family’s) expectations and her own dreams and goals.
After this, the public was amazed by the story about the cruel destiny of the children in a Bosnian orphanage “Abandoned” by Adis Bakrac. The present guests were touched by the decisiveness of the main character, the 13-year old Alen who took his destiny in his hands and lasted until the end, in his determination to find his biological parents. The screening of this film was also attended by one of the film producers.
This Festival day ended with the Bulgarian “Eastern Plays” by Kamen Kalev. On the projection of the movie was present Ms. Irina Bokova, General Director of UNESCO.
On the forth day of the SEE a Paris Festival there was a selection of short animated, fiction and documentary movies, followed by a projection of the short Greek Movie "Rosmarinus Officinalis" and the Full length fiction from Kosovo "Donkeys of the borders". After the projection of the movies, in the Amphitheater of ESRA, one of the most extravagant Macedonian musicians, Zoran Madzirov had an exclusive concert, performing on his legendary bottles.
On the 14th of April, an international academic séance was held at the Institute of Orthodox studies St. Sergei in Paris. The séance was attended by numerous theologists and high representatives of all the Christian churches from all across the world, for the promotion of the new ecumenical translation of the Bible- finished after 50 years of wok of Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant experts from the most important universities in the world. The promotion was presided by His Holiness The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartolomei, who called all nations and people of all religions on Earth to unite in tolerance, mutual respect and renew the idea of the civilization of love-called for by the New Ecumenical translation of the Bible.
One of the invitees of this ceremony was the Rector of the University of Audiovisual Arts ESRA Paris-Skopje-New York and President of the SEE a Paris Film Festival (of all 12 countries of Southeastern Europe) Mr. Jordan Plevnes, who introduced the Ecumenical Patriarch to this grand attempt of cultural unification of the Balkan countries.
The Patriarch Bartolomei blessed the Festival and wished it long-live success in the rebuilding of the bridges and the new cultural renaissance of the countries of Southeastern Europe in the City of Light.
- What gave you the idea to make “Benjamin”?
Well I am from Cakovac (the northern part of Croatia), which is 10kms away from the place of this story. So I have already heard about this child, he has been in the media before, but I was irritated by the fact that people emphasized him as a successful Roma. I was asking myself-why a Roma wouldn’t be successful? I thought it was a discriminating treatment and believed that there is a long story behind all this, then I had exams scheduled, so I had to make the decision quickly.
- Has anything given you special motivation during the shooting, to keep on going?
The shooting lasted for 6 days and my motivation was the fact that I am coming from a whole different world, the world of television (I've been a TV editor for 5-6 years), and there were a lot of things that I had to do, for which I am not an expert because a film is something completely different from my previous experience. Therefore, working on a fim is something else, and my motivation was not to go too deep in the TV form of it.
- And lastly, what is your opinion on the Festival and the idea of getting the Balkan cinematographies closer together?
It is great, considering the fact that Balkan and SEE cinematography is much dearer to me than Hollywood and similar to that. I love the Romanian cinematography above all, it has always had a special place. It is amazing for something like this to be happening, I am sure that the public will get bigger and bigger each day, because there are many great films to be seen and the idea itself is great.
On the 14th of April, SEE a Paris continued with the impressive insight of the SEE cultures through the films of the region. The first one “Benjamin” was illustrating the situation of one Roma boy who was deported with his poor family from Germany and is now literary identity-lost in Croatia where he is not completely accepted by neither community, aiming to break all prejudices and allow progress and self-fulfillment to everyone. The film’s young director Croat Matija Vuksic was a guest at the screening and spoke about his inspiration, goal and follow-up of the film, to the impressed public.
After this, the full hall was left speechless by the Serbian “Motel Nana”, a great deed of Predrag Velinovic. This touching story about the ever-powering love which does not recognize borders, nations, or war has embedded its’ sublime strength in each present guest and made them lust for more. Even though the director was not present, there were many questions and comments from the public, giving all compliments about the main actors (Nikolina Jelisavac, Zijah Sokolovic and Dragan Micanovic) and asking about the real-life situation and relations of Serbia and Bosnia.
The last feast for the public’s eyes for this night was “Need a Craft for T’night” of the Montenegrin Milorad Milic. An unique story about one village which is constantly living flooded, as one with the water, and the crafts as the only means for practically all everyday chores. This film showed how people manage to handle all natural disasters and embrace them as something simply natural, without panicking, complaining or giving up. The film director was also a guest at the screening and most kindly explained how this whole situation appears and feels live and all the background of this story, answering questions of the interested public.
Author’s perspective: Milic is speaking about the opportunity that seldom any director has – the chance to experience the fusion of waves and the craft, the silence that freezes the bones and the horrible smell of municipal waste floating all over the water. He has defined this as “apocalypse”. The scenes that have lead the public to laughter and tears simultaneously, left many questions in the minds of all present guest… “why is it so???”. - Milorad Milic, director of “Need a Craft for T’night”
The second night of SEE a Paris (the 13th of April) started with an introduction to the Macedonian cultural and religious wealth through the film “The Magic Hill” by the Macedonian director Petar Dzurovski, showing the beatuies of the hill above the Ohrid Lake and all historical secrets that it has wisely kept for centuries.
The next film for this night was “Albanian Chronicle” by the Albanian director Artan Minarolli and co-author Ylljet Alicka. The screening of this film was enriched with the pressence of the co-author Mr. Alicka who is also the current Ambassador of Albania in Paris, and numerous guests who watched the film with enthusiasm and had various questions afterwards. The impressed public was even more satisfied after the following screening of the breath-taking “72 Days”, by the Croatian Danilo Serbedzija starring highly reputed acting crew from the SEE region.
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