On Sunday, the 15th of June, first public discussions in Academic program of the festival took place, beginning at 12:00 in Radio Café in Novi Sad. The first conversation initiated the issue of Ex Yu inspiration for Ex Yu co-production; extremely interesting participants in the dialogue were Vinko Bresan, director of Will not End There film, Dejan Vračalić, Predrag Vušović, and program moderator, executive director of Studio Balkan Buster Television and true expert of the film art, Jugoslav Pantelić.
After the first open dialogue which lasted for an hour in a highly pleasant atmosphere of Radio Café’s garden, the second part of the academic program, called from Talent Campus to Sundance followed.
This time, Stefan Arsenijević, our young director whose debut film called Love and Other Crimes can be seen in Serbian National Theatre on 20th of June, at 20:15, and American director, Lance Hammer, were participants. Hammer’s Ballast was awarded for best direction and best photography in prestigious Sundance; visitors of Cinema City Festival had the honour and opportunity to see it yesterday at Serbian National Theatre.
Quite pleasant conversation of two young and modest, but at the same time, extremely talented directors got us closer to the problems that film industry carries, film budget problems, existence of popular high-commercial blockbusters that bring profit, and contrary to this, an attempt of survival of original film creations which are product of the spirit and ideas of the very authors. According to Hammer, Ballast was primarily a reaction to the Hollywood type of film. How omnipresent Hollywood is, both on television and in cinema, is seen in the radical thinking of the director himself who, right before creating Ballast, searching for financial sources, decided to sell a part of his own land in order to film something completely different and original; in short, to make a ”non-Hollywood” film.
Both directors, in addition to Jugoslav Pantelić, were specially introduced by the main selector of the festival, and a renowned film critic, Dubravka Lakić. She has seen Ballast as an esthetically minimalist film with a solid construction. According to Lakić, this nature of the film is the result of primal Hammer’s profession, which is the profession of an architect.
Young directors also talked about the problem of film distribution on the film market which, especially in Serbia, almost does not exist as such. Stefan Arsenijević‘s presentation about his experiences from Berlin Talent Campus and its significance for young ambitious film artists, was especially interesting to the young.