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Producer and director Miloš Đukelić, a member of the FEST Board, is the programme director of the new segment of the festival, FEST Pro, which takes place from 2 to 5 March, under the umbrella of FEST in MTS Hall.
Miloš Đukelić speaks for the FEST website about the importance of the new FEST segment, how it was created and what are the plans for this section in the future, as well as some other things 

";We can say that FEST Pro is an extension of the story we started with the FEST Forward segment. Basically, in the following years, the intention is for FEST Forward to be a part of what was created with FEST Pro. This year we did not have time for it to happen, we did not have the budget for it. FEST Pro is a segment intended for film professionals, film workers, students, but also for the wider public, which should be a meeting point for all those people and something that would develop Serbian cinema’, explained Đukelić.
At one point, FEST was, as people used to say, the festival of festivals, and now it is about to get that market part like all the big festivals in the world...
Essentially, if we look at FEST, even at the time when it was the most glamorous, it was in a way a hidden market, but in what sense: it was a place where the West could see what was
happening in the East and the East could see what was happening in the West. It did not become the classic booth system and buying and selling, but it had some kind of conferences and was a place where you could see films and people who could not be seen anywhere else.
Do you think that Belgrade, as a place where political blocs met, made it possible?
- Symbolically, the time we live in is not that different, let us hope it is not as terrible as during the block division and that we will manage like our predecessors then. I think it is an ideal
moment for Belgrade to once again be a meeting place where people interested in culture and cinema, as well as society, will have an opportunity to see each other. Our slogan is ‘Where Art Meets Film Industry’.

Once FEST used to shape the taste of the audience?

- FEST has that educational and formative character for all generations here, and as life is more complex than it was in the eighties, seventies and nineties, in the sense that there are many more media, there is more television and competition from various other media, not in the social sense. But that formative character will continue through FEST Pro because that is where young people will really have the opportunity to meet the world. To see some people who really make some decisions regarding film, both in Europe and in the world. To see interesting people who have something to say, from whom we have something to learn. Through this, we are trying to open the door to the world of professionals for a wider audience, because students and people who are interested will be able to see film professionals up close, to talk to them and have an immediate contact, to hear something useful, to educate themselves. At the same time, film professionals who come here will influence their surroundings, they will be the voice of Belgrade as a place where there is film. That is the great quality of the FEST Pro section. This year there was a very small budget for that, but FEST allocated those funds, while last year FEST Forward was financed by FCS - Film Center Serbia.

How do you see the continuities of FEST, since you grew up with the festival, and now you
are part of it?

- Every festival is a reflection of the time in which it happens and a reflection of society and carries all the good and all the bad moments of a society. I am interested in the chronicle of our society through the ups and downs of FEST, through the changes of FEST. I do not like that kind of comparison ‘If only FEST would be what it used to be’. First of all, who really remembers it, and secondly, the good old days are always the good old days. I think FEST is always exactly what it is precisely because it is a reflection of what film is in the world at a given moment. We need to be here and now, not in the past, not too much in the future. The only thing that should guide us is for us to be the best we can be now, of course with some vision, and not to be a lost ball in high weeds. There have been problems at FEST before, there will be problems at FEST, but FEST is something that is necessary for this city, something that is important to the people of this city.
Where does FEST Pro fit in?

- FEST is part of the cultural being of the city. FEST is not only about the film, the city needs the festival itself, the people who live in the city, the culture of a city. During FEST, film becomes the most important thing, we recommend to each other what we have seen and what we have heard, and even this topic about what is happening at FEST. That is part of the festival's intrigue as well. This is where the cultural policy and where we want to go meet. The festival is therefore multifold important as such. FEST Pro is what is needed and an organic part of it, and now that we are all here, let us further popularize the film. And that is why other things should happen during the duration of the festival, including meetings and guild gatherings, to open topicsimportant for cinema. The time we live in imposes the need for FEST to not only be a presentation of films, but to keep developing.


Knjaz Miloš