01/05/2009 08:06

A conversation With Editor of RTS Film Programme

Interview: Ivan Karl

Film festival Cinema City and film and series editorial team of RTS (National TV Station) are going to present a collection of nine films, which were shown at Cinema City 2008. On this occasion we had a conversation with the editor of RTS film programme, Ivan Karl and we found out how important the link between the festival and television is, as well as the ways to contribute to the culture of watching films...

- Did you watch the programme of the festival in 2008? What is your opinion about the general concept of the Film and Media Festival Cinema City?

I think this is an ambitious project with good outlooks, and with careful management it could grow into the most significant festival in Serbia. The choice of films is appropriate, especially because the final list, which is presented to the audience, is made under the circumstances which cannot always please the organisers and the selectors.

- Do you think that film festivals can contribute the culture of watching films and in which way? Is this culture cherished enough in our country?

Today, there are more manifestations related to film than cinemas. This tells us that the culture of watching films on the big screen is dying and that the majority of potential cinema audience, generations between 14 and 30, are used to watching films on televisions and computer screens. Nowadays, film festivals and multiplexes are actual film oases, but they can not return the audience to cinemas. This has to be done by a co-ordinated action with broad social significance and it has to be done by distributors and cinemas who will adopt sensible policy regarding ticket prices as well as by the state which will fight piracy, invest in renewing cinema infrastructure and carefully chose which cinemas should be privatized.

- How important is the co-operation between RTS and Cinema City to devotees of good-quality films who watch films on television regularly?

I think this kind of a bond between the Festival and television is important because of films that will not be distributed further, so seeing them on television is the only way to show them to broader audience. In fact, nine films will be shown on RTS in a series called Films of Cinema City, six of those were not planned to be shown in cinemas.

- What criteria do you apply when choosing films for RTS's television programme? Do you think that those criteria differ from those applied during selection of films on film festivals?

My basis for selecting is diversity, mixture of different genres, authors, themes and productions. The criteria certainly differ since television audience is broader than the audience on festivals, and by that more demanding as well. Balance has great importance in selection and offer of films and series on television. Thanks to that, RTS's film and series programme is the only one in Serbia today, which has entertaining and cultural function.

- In your opinion, what should the perfect programme selection for film festival and television be like ?

There is no ideal festival selection nor an ideal film selection on television since there aren't any ideal conditions. There isn't any festival without competition and which has all kind of resources, as well as there isn't any television company that has unlimited budget and monopolistic position among other companies. On every market there are many players, so the quality of selections and programmes depends on effort, creativity and skills to make the best selection out of everything that is available.

- Which film creations would you sincerely recommend to admirers of good films such as visitors of Cinema City Film and Media Festival?

Whatever they chose out of this year's programme, I'm sure they will not regret it.