FEST INTERVIEW: Miloš Đukelić announces FEST PRO

Last year's segment of the International Film Festival FEST aimed at film professionals and lovers of the seventh art proved to be something that attracted the public's attention. Therefore, this year at the 52nd FEST we have the second FEST Pro, which takes place at the same place from 28 February to 2 March.
This year, too, the organizers of the FEST Pro programme announced a series of panels, meetings and workshops, with guests from abroad, as well as meetings with numerous domestic film professionals. We talked about FEST Pro with Miloš Đukelić, a member of the FEST Board, who is in charge of FEST Pro.
‘I am glad that people recognized FEST Pro as something that is necessary for the festival and for Belgrade, but also that a festival of this type deserves an 'industry' part that unites the interest of the professional public, as well as a wider audience that is interested in something a little more than film.
This year, FEST Pro is held under the slogan ‘More than a Festival’. According to the calendar, we have 29 February; therefore, in a symbolic way we have one more day of the festival. And our slogan says that the festival is not only made up of films that are shown, but also seeing people and the fact that film becomes the most important thing in the city those days. Those days, people start talking about film and where cinema is going, where society is going and it becomes a place where people gather,’ pointed out Đukelić.
According to him, just as a festival is more than a cinema, and a cinema is more than television, so this part of FEST is something additional.
‘This is something a little more than a festival, a place of gathering and a place of conversation and something that gives that added value and should ask some questions, lead to some thoughts, where is cinema, art heading, what is it that we are going towards. Therefore, I think it is necessary that this FEST Pro of ours grows into that,’ he stated.
The idea, as he said, is for FEST Pro to grow not only into some kind of panels, seminars, master classes, but to open in the ‘market’ part as well. ‘The goal is for our FEST Pro to become like similar places in the world, which all big film festivals have; a place where films are bought, sold, new films negotiated, where all industry people can see each other, make appointments and make deals. That is why this year it was very important for the FEST PRO to continue, to become a tradition,’ pointed out Đukelić.
He believes that it is important that FEST Pro becomes a standard part of the festival, but that in the future this segment of FEST could also be a kind of ‘pitching’, where certain people would receive funds for projects.
‘Through FEST Pro, we have the opportunity to expand the base of people who can be invited to come to the festival, because people who do not have a film in the programme directly that year can come here.
Therefore, it gives us the opportunity to have guests at the festival who are not only filmmakers, but we also have journalists coming from abroad and other film professionals,’ he said.

As he emphasized, one of the panels, will be dedicated to film criticism, which is very important at this moment.
‘Film criticism began to lose its significance, and I think it is important that it be re-established in our country. First of all, we need to understand why we need it and to help restore the reputation of that entire guild, because criticism is necessary as one of the elements of culture that affects the very course of the film industry,’ said Đukelić.
‘After last year's master class by William Hart, this year we have Lordan Zafranović, as well as a number of other workshops. One is a workshop for actors who will spend two days learning how to behave at a casting, in front of the cameras, which is especially interesting for the younger generation of actors who get an opportunity to work abroad. We also have a panel on the profession of casting manager, where we invited successful representatives of this industry to talk about what that job entails, because we have a number of new similar professions that have appeared since the opening of our market for foreign film crews. FEST has to keep up with all of this, and this segment of the festival, I repeat, enables exactly that,’ explained Đukelić.
FEST Pro, as he stated, is making a step towards genre film.
‘We have a panel on horror films with several foreign guests, who made their horror films here, but also shoot around the world, and our filmmakers of this genre, Milan Todorović and Milan Konjević, will also be present on the panel. The idea is to help spread the popularity of FEST Pro among interested younger audiences as well. A producer from Nigeria will introduce us to exotic cinema of that country, which is quite fertile, they have their own Nollywood. There is a panel on how production is done in Israel today, given that they are in the state of war. We will have a visit to domestic film studios and much more,’
concluded Đukelić, inviting all those interested to apply for participation via the FEST website and the application link in the FEST Pro section:

Ministry of Culture
Grad Beograd


Knjaz Miloš
Italijanski kulturni centra