14/04/2010 09:43

Interview with Aleksa Gajic

We had an opportunity to talk to Aleksa Gajić, author of the film “Technotise – Edit & I” which was, according to audience, the best film at last year’s Cinema City festival. During every screening (premiere and repeats) the film continued to ceaselessly charm with its originality, story, humor and animation style and was one among those recommended as a must-see! Since then, visitors of the festival link the name Aleksa Gajić with quality, and at this year’s Cinema City, Aleksa Gajić will be presented as a selector for Animatrix programme, which promises a lot…

At last year’s Cinema City festival the audience was overcome by your film „Technotise – Edit & I“. The film gained a special recognition for its contribution in development of Serbian cinematography and a special audience reward for best film. What do these awards mean to you and did they have any effect on further development of your career?

Before I answer this question, I would like to emphasize that, in my opinion, final result of a film can be regarded from two angles: artistic and financial. The best that can happen is a success in both fields but it doesn’t necessarily happen like that. Unfortunately, I managed to make, in the opinion of audience and critics, a good film but one that didn’t gain financial success. From that perspective, this recognition in Novi Sad is definitely the best thing that happened to me, regarding this film. It will continue to be so until I manage to sell it to Japanese for two million of something : )

Did you expect such a response from audience since applauding and ovations during and after last year’s screenings were truly exceptional?

That whole period before the premiere, in Novi Sad and Belgrade both, was very traumatic for me. It’s hard not to think of it: what will the film achieve. Every expectation leads to fear whether everything is going to be OK and the brain is like a little child, always goes where you don’t want it to, and I’ve suffered for months trying not to expect anything.

Film „Technotise – Edit & I“ with its ingenuity greatly enriched domestic cinematography. What are your plans now? Will new ambitions manage to overpower the great success of „Technotise“?

I sincerely hope that new ambitions will overpower the financial success of the film. I honestly don’t know what I can possibly do that can go worse : ( From artistic aspect, the situation is, unfortunately connected: no financial gain – no sequel. That is why I returned to my firs love, comics. I am again working on a comic book for a French publisher, and I’m doing illustrations here and there.

At this year’s festival you will play an important role of programme selector for Animatrix selection. Last year that selection screened some of the most original animated films of the past two years and remains one of audience’s most favorite selections at Cinema City festival. How do you perceive your task?

I must admit, I didn’t know anything about process of selecting films for festivals except being in a jury once. A call from Miloš Ignjatović made me real happy. There were always films that I wanted people to see, to show them how good they are, but no one cared. Now I have the opportunity to present the audience with four out of many of my favorite Japanese animated films (animas).

How complex a project is it to plan a film programme and what is the main guiding principle in creating this year’s conception for Animatrix programme?

In my case, the job is extremely easy. They simply told me to include several of my favorite animas. I started writing and then realized it won’t go as easily as I thought. The chosen films should present the taste of Aleksa Gajic in the best way. There are many films that I’d screen but there simply isn’t enough time. Then I started thinking real hard and came up with my selection. The principal idea was to screen something that isn’t easy to find and at the same time deserves to be seen.

Would you, from your perspective as a selector, specify criteria which have to be respected in order for selection’s film programme to gain in popularity and to make audience love it and visit it? As a director, what do you consider to be film’s key ingredient in oder for it to go under the skin?

I definitely think those criteria are film’s marketability and appeal. Under marketability I consider a film which is communicative and easy to watch and under appealing I consider film’s visual impression and screenplay.

As for the question on ways for a film to go under the skin, I think it is, besides the factors from previous answer, a thing of film magic. I don’t know how else to call those tiny inconspicuous details which make one film differ from another.

And at last, what are, in you opinion, main characteristics of Cinema City Film and Media festival?

Well, it is certain that it’s being made by the same people who make EXIT festival; it is modern, urban, fresh, enthusiastic, artistic, progressive and you get to eat and sleep in a nice hotel : )