From February 25 to March 6, in 24 halls, the audience of FEST would have the opportunity to see more than 80 films in a total of 450 screenings, distributed in eight programme sections.
According to Ivan Karl, Secretary for Culture of the City of Belgrade and the president of the FEST Board, the best FEST awaits both the audience and the guests staying in Belgrade during the Festival. He emphasized that despite the fact that the Festival took place in complex circumstances imposed by the pandemic era, FEST had managed to maintain the status of a conventional festival. Karl expressed hope that this was the last FEST under the veil of the coronavirus. ‘This will be the first FEST without Milan Vlajčić. He has been following FEST since the first edition and I would like to ask for a minute of silence to pay tribute to Milan Vlajčić’ - said Karl before the entire FEST conference hall became silent.
Jugoslav Pantelić, artistic director of FEST, emphasized that FEST primarily nurtured, appreciated and followed film auteurs, and reminded of the competitive character of the Festival. ‘Argyris Papadimitropoulos, laureate of FEST three or four years ago, is a member of the jury this year. Besides him, the Croatian actor with the Berlin address Toni Gojanović is also a member of the jury and he announced that he would be very strict and that some previous acquaintances and collaborations with some of the filmmakers would not affect him’ - said Pantelić. He also underlined that the members of the international jury of the Main Programme coming from Serbia were the winner of the Empress Theodora Award from the Niš Festival Tamara Dragičević and the young international star Miloš Biković, who already had experience in participating in the jury of the Moscow International Film Festival.
Damir Handanović, acting director of the Belgrade Festivals Centre (CEBEF) once again emphasized that since February 22, due to great interest, additional tickets for FEST had been released.
Vanja Vuksanović, FEST producer, stated that from February 25 to March 6, in 24 halls, the audience of FEST would have the opportunity to see more than 80 films in a total of 450 screenings, distributed in eight programme sections. The festival would be followed by 210 accredited journalists and 180 accredited film professionals. ‘This year, on the ground floor of the Kombank Hall, the ‘Fest Shop’ is opened for the first time, where festival fans will be able to buy various FEST memorabilia,’ she added.
Nikolina Vučetić Zečević, producer of the Fest Forward industry programme, stated that since 2015, this section, with pandemic interruptions, had been a significant part of the Belgrade Film Festival. ‘I hope that this section will become a practice of the Festival, because this is a place where film professionals and representatives of film funds meet, exchange ideas, where new films are created, which you will watch on Friday at FEST.’ This year, the three-day Fest Forward takes place through panels, case studies and presentations of national funds.