On the fifth day of the 51st FEST, Turkish director Selcen Ergun, British director Jack Spring and Algerian actor Salim Kissari presented their films to the media representatives.
Selcen Ergun spoke about the Turkish co-production ‘Snow and the Bear’, Jack Spring presented the British film ‘Three Day Millionaire’ and Salim Kissari the Algerian film ‘Houria’.
The director of the film ‘Snow and the Bear’, Selcen Ergun, presented the co-production of Turkey, Germany and Serbia with Serbian co-producer Miloš Ivanović. The FEST audience can see her film within the Main Competition Programme, and screenings are scheduled for 1 March in the Belgrade Youth Centre and 2 March in the Belgrade Cultural Centre Movie Theater. According to the director, whose film ‘Snow and the Bear’ is her debut, the story has similarities to Serbian culture.
"We had very difficult working conditions, we filmed at minus 19 degrees, we had snow and blizzard’, she pointed out, adding that in addition to the co-producer from Serbia, the entire sound crew had been hired as well, who had done a superb job.
‘My inspiration for the film was the experience that a young woman can have in Turkey’, she said, adding that the film also talked about the position of women in a patriarchal environment.
The film is set in a small, snow-bound and remote town in Turkey, where a young nurse is appointed to an obligatory post. One icy night, a man disappears in a small town, where bats have been the biggest problem for the police, raising rumors and suspicions. She finds herself in the middle of a vortex of power relations, secrets and suspicions.The screenplay was written by the director Selcen Ergun and Yesim Aslan, while the roles are played by Merve Dizdar, Saygin Soysal, Asiye Dinçsoy, Erkan Bektas.
‘Selcen Ergun and I met at the First Film First programme at FEST, which was created by director Stefan Arsenijević, I read her project for this film and I wanted us to work together’, Miloš Ivanović pointed out and stated that this was one of the last films made before the corona pandemic.
The director stated that the film had been awarded at the Antalya Golden Orange Festival in 2022, as the best debut and for the best actress - Merve Dizdar, and added that the actress had created an exceptional character.
Jack Spring, a young British director, presented his second film ‘Three Day Millionaire’ to the media, which is shown as part of the Fest Special programme. The audience will also be able to see it on 5 March at Cineplexx Ušće. Spring said that he had read reviews of his film and had seen him being compared to Guy Ritchie, adding that, in a way, it was a compliment.
‘After the first five minutes, apart from the visual experience, the film has no further similarities to Guy Ritchie or Wes Anderson’, he pointed out.
The director said that he insisted on a two-week preparation for the start of filming, during which, for example, it was normal for the actors who would play best friends to go to the pub and drink beer. He stated that the film had started showing a few days before and was already in the top ten most watched on platforms.
‘Three Day Millionaire’ is a black comedy in which a gang tries to pull off the heist of a lifetime.
At the press conference of the 51st FEST, actor Salim Kissari spoke about the new Algerian film ‘Houria’, written and directed by Mounia Meddour, which will be screened as part of the FEST Focus programme on 1 March in the Belgrade Cultural Centre Movie Theatre and on 4 March in MTS Dvorana. As was heard in the press hall, ‘Houria’ is also a film about a realization of a dream.
‘This film started as a dream, and then the story went on. It is a universal story about the conquest of freedom. By the way, Houria means freedom’, said the Algerian actor. He stated that ‘Houria’ was also a story about the search for oneself, but that it touched on the topic of the position of women in Algeria. According to him, the collaboration with director Mounia Meddour was superb.