52nd FEST is starting!

Before the 52nd International Film Festival FEST officially begins on the evening of 23 February, the leading people of this event, artistic director Jugoslav Pantelić, festival producer Vanja Vuksanović, and FEST Board member Miloš Đukelić, director and producer, spoke at the opening press conference.
As Pantelić stated, the slogan of the 52nd FEST is ‘Come and See’, and the inspiration for the slogan comes from the film of the same name directed by Elem Klimov from the mid-1980s.
When asked about what messages were the main focus of the films in the competition programme, Pantelić replied that there was no single answer to this question. ‘Each film gives its own answer, given that there is no single dominant theme that inspired the filmmakers to make these 17 competitive films. As before, the Belgrade Victor Award is presented in the categories: best film, director, screenplay, actor, actress and debut,’ Pantelić said and added:
‘The jury will have a very difficult task, but also a beautiful one, because it is a selection of films that I am extremely proud of!’
As a reminder, the Jury of the Main Competition Programme includes Radivoje Raša Bukvić, actor (jury president), Croatian director Zrinko Ogresta, Nataša Bučar, director of the Slovenian Film Centre, Biljana Maksić, playwright, and Marko Grabež, actor. According to Pantelić, FEST FOCUS has a very important theme this year, especially after the tragedies that befell our country last year - violence against children and young people.
‘Many filmmakers were inspired by this topic, and it is a topic that I do not want to avoid. The topic is violence against young people, and there are filmmakers from all over the world, and I want to believe that watching such films can have a preventive and educational effect on people. I would like to single out one of the films in the Focus selection, ‘Monster’ by Kore-eda Hirokazu, which talks about peer violence,’ said the artistic director of FEST.
He also reminded that the honorary Belgrade Victor Award for Outstanding Contribution to Cinema would be awarded to Želimir Žilnik.
‘Žilnik will be presented with the award at the opening ceremony, while on 29 February, the Victor will be presented to Asghar Farhadi, who will arrive at the ceremony from Los Angeles,’ Pantelić said.
Festival producer Vanja Vuksanović reminded of all the technical details without which the 52nd Fest could not take place.
She stated that the programme would be held in six halls and eight cinema halls. What is new is that part of the FEST programme will also be shown in Sava Centre, in the adapted Hall 1. Ticket sales for Sava Centre will begin on 23 February, only on the page, and before the screenings, tickets can also be purchased at Sava Centre.‘This represents the festive return of FEST to Sava Centre,’ she said, reminding that tickets for the screenings planned for the MTS Hall can be purchased at the MTS Hall ticket office, as well as on the website, for the Belgrade Youth Centre at the ticket office, and for Cineplexx Ušće and Cineplexx Galerija at the box offices of those cinemas or on the website, while tickets for the Yugoslav Film Archive and the Belgrade Cultural Centre can be purchased only at the box offices of those halls.
When asked by a journalist whether this means the full return of FEST to Sava Centre, Jugoslav Pantelić joked: ‘Next year in Sava Centre’ and added:
‘Of course it is coming back, it is a festival venue, and so is the MTS Hall. Some immediately associate Sava Centre with FEST. However, I love both venues and think that both venues are festival spaces and that they are FEST.’
Vuksanović reminded that 108 films would be shown at FEST this year, including six domestic films.
‘We are very glad to have six domestic films as part of the FEST programme. In addition, we will have 59 guests from abroad and the region, who will attend the FEST Pro and other programmes,’ she stated.
Vuksanović added that there were very few seats left for most of the evening sessions in the MTS Hall, and that the tickets for the opening and closing ceremonies of the festival were sold out.
Miloš Đukelić pointed out that he was proud of FEST today and referred to FEST Pro. ‘We are also very satisfied with the films that will be shown, I think this is one of the best programmes in recent times. FEST is one of the most important events both in Belgrade and in Serbia,’ said Đukelić and added:
‘When it comes to my responsibility at FEST Pro, the industrial part with panels and seminars, it is taking place again this year, it is becoming part of the tradition in a way. FEST is not only the films that are shown, but also everything that happens around it,’ Đukelić concluded.
On 23 February, the film ‘The Holdovers’ by Alexander Payne will officially open FEST, as well as the directorial debut of Radivoje Raša Bukvić, the short film ‘One More Day’.

Ministry of Culture
Grad Beograd


Knjaz Miloš
Italijanski kulturni centra