On Monday, May 10, in the Kombank Hall, within the 49th International Film Festival - FEST organized by the Belgrade Festivals Centre - CEBEF, promotions of the books ‘FEST: Zaveštanje od četiri slova’ (FEST: Legacy of Four Letters) by Una Čolić Banzić and ‘Ulica Milanа Vukosa: spomenar’ (Milan Vukos Street: Scrapbook) by Stevanka Češljarov, Bojana Andrić and Aleksandar Mandić from the Belgrade City Library edition of FEST's Fifty were held. Ivan Karl, Secretary for Culture of the City of Belgrade, Jasmina Ninkov, Director of the Belgrade City Library, Una Čolić Banzić, who addressed the audience with a video message, and Aleksandar Mandić spoke at the press conference on the occasion of these publications.
At the request of Ivan Karl, Secretary for Culture of the City of Belgrade and President of the FEST Board, a minute of silence was held for the late Minister of Culture of the Republic of Serbia, Bratislav Petković, who passed away last night. Karl then spoke about the published books, as the editor of the FEST’s Fifty edition: ‘Una Čolić Banzić had been preparing the book for several years and her work coincided with our idea of publishing it. This is the fifth book that deals with the history of FEST, but it is certainly in the best position, because enough time has passed to see the Festival from several different angles. This is a really good and adequate collection of works, essays, texts and reviews by people who were witnesses, participants and creators of FEST.’
Karl emphasized the importance of the second book in this edition: ‘Milan Vukos was not only the assistant mayor of Belgrade and long-time director of Television Belgrade, but also someone thanks to whom Belgrade got FEST, by giving his support to its founder Milutin Čolić.’ Karl announced that by the 50th jubilee FEST, the Belgrade City Library would publish three more books from this edition: about Nebojša Đukelić, one of the best FEST selectors in history and longtime editor of the Television Belgrade film programme, Dinko Tucaković, Director of the Museum of the Yugoslav Film Archive and the long-term president of the FEST council, as well as another, supplemented edition of the monograph ‘Dreaming with Eyes Wide Open’, which was written in 2012 by Ivan Karl.
Jasmina Ninkov, director of the Belgrade City Library, expressed satisfaction that the institution she manages was participating in this publishing endeavor. ‘These are two extraordinary books that have a huge amount of material - very important testimonies of the direct participants, fantastic photo documentation. It will be an unavoidable source for all those who will deal not only with the history of FEST and the cultural history of Belgrade, but also with a certain time.’ Ninkov pointed out, and added that the book ‘Ulica Milanа Vukosa: spomenar’ will appear in bookstores as early as next week, and soon afterwards the book about Milan Vukos.
Una Čolić Banzić, author of the book ‘FEST: Zaveštanje od četiri slova’, addressed the audience with a video message from Sydney, where she lives and works: ‘Remembering FEST carries a unique spirit and breath of another time, to many of us far away. I tried to find the key, figure out the duration and the elixir of youth of this festival on the pages of this monograph. Its hidden intersections of the past and the concept that still lasts. The shots of personal memories are an authentic gift of this monograph and a contribution to the culture of remembrance of the FEST days.’ She added that FEST was still our most important cultural event, along with BITEF.
Aleksandar Mandić, editor of the book ‘Ulica Milanа Vukosa: spomenar’, stated that this edition contained the memories of 41 authors, mostly associates, friends and acquaintances of this historically important cultural worker, as well as the introductory text written by Vukos himself. Mandić emphasized: ‘This is a great figure of Serbian culture. He is absolutely the most important person for Serbian culture in the second half of the 20th century. It may seem exaggerated, yet this book testifies to that. The Serbian culture is indebted to Vukos in many ways.’
On Tuesday, May 11, films from the region will be premiered at FEST, whose cast and crew will bow in front of the Festival audience after the screening. The film ‘Reach for the Sky’ by Montenegrin director Milutin Darić will be shown for the first time in Serbia at 7 p.m. at the Belgrade Youth Centre, while the film ‘Teresa37’ by Danilo Šerbedžija will have its premiere at the same time in the Kombank Hall. On Tuesday, the films ‘The Living Man’ by Oleg Novković (Cineplexx Gallery Belgrade at 11.30 a.m.) and ‘Fishing and Fishermen’s Conversations’ by Milan Trenc (Cineplexx Gallery Belgrade at 13.30 p.m.) will be shown.