The first press conference of the upcoming 45th FEST was held on January 30th in the Congress Hall of the Assembly of the City of Belgrade at noon. The 45th FEST will take place from the 24th of February to the 5th of March 2017.
At the press conference, the first one to address the reporters was Ivona Jevtić, the City Secretary for Culture and Chairperson of the Board of FEST, who pointed out the great number of sponsors and media patrons she thanked to. She said that this year the Secretariat for Culture of Belgrade set aside more than five million RSD for the biggest Belgrade film festival, and the results were eagerly awaited from the Ministry of Culture and Information. Jevtić also pointed out the company Lukoil Srbija, which has been the general sponsor of FEST the second year in a row. On that occasion, Ivan Brajović, a Deputy Director for Delivery and Logistics, also addressed the reporters, saying that it was a great pleasure for them to be the part of such an important event once again. Ivona Jevtić also pointed out the fact that the 45th FEST would premiere 95 films.
Next up was The Art Director of the Festival, Jugoslav Pantelić, who started out by quoting one of his colleagues: “We all change, but FEST remains a constant”, adding that he absolutely agreed with this statement. Hesaid that FEST is the kind of event that brings Belgrade closer to the world, and that many interesting films were included in the program, among which were several Oscar nominated films, but also classics that should not be forgotten. The main competition programme consists of 15 films, which will be competing for the Belgrade Victor prize in the amount of 10,000 Euros. The chairman of the International Selection Jury will be the Serbian director Srđan Golubović, whereas the chairman of the jury that will decide on the best film in the national selection will be the Croatian actress Ksenija Marinković. Ljubiša Samardžić will receive the Belgrade Victor for the exceptional contribution to the Film Art, and Karlos Saura will be awarded the Belgrade Victor for Creative Achievement. Jugoslav Pantelić announced that the famous actress Monica Belluci would open the Festival and Emir Kusturica’s film On the Milky Road would be screened at the Gala Opening at Sava Centre.
There will be seven films in the national selection programme competing for the prize, which is sponsored by the Film Center Serbia (FCS). On that occasion the director of FCS Boban Jevtić addressed the reporters and emphasized the diversity of domestic films in this selection. He also announced two premieres: Requiem for Mrs. J (Dir. Bojan Vuletić) i Afterparty (Dir. Luka Bursać), and pointed out the importance of the industry programme Fest Forward being a part of the cultural and film interlacing such as FEST. FCS is the sponsor of this platform for professional bonding and development as well. Next up was Mladen Đorđević, the Selector of Thrills&kills, Granice i Microwave programme, who promised another year of exciting films. Within the programme Granice the focus is on erasing the boundaries between documentary and feature films.
At the end of the conference, the Director of CEBEF, Nataša Ilić, addressed the reporters, informing the present colleagues that the preparations for FEST were well underway, and that the tickets would be on sale from the 4th of February. She emphasized that the tickets price was still affordable, that this year’s FEST would take place in many known venues in Belgrade, and that the novelty was the cooperation with the Palilula Cultural Centre, that is, the cinema “Vlada Divljan”. Nataša Ilić ended by thanking the Selectors for the diverse programme and wished every one a successful and exciting festival.