Slovenian cinema seek old ties for better "Tuning"
by Sakis Kontos
04/07/2005 - To the Karlovy Vary Film Festival faithful Slovenian cinema is almost completely unknown. At best, Slovenia is remembered as one of the production country of Danis Tanovic’s hit No Man’s Land back in 2001.
But things may be about to change. This year Slovenian cinema has three representatives in Karlovy Vary – two of them are in competition: Igor Šterk’s family drama Uglasevanje (“Tuning”) is in the official section and Rusevine (“Ruins”) by Janez Burger in the East of the West section, while Vinko Möderndorfer’s feature Predmestje [trailer] (“Suburbs”) is included in the prestigious “Variety Critic’s choice” section.
Šterk's film, which was finished only a month ago, had its world premiere in Karlovy Vary. “I was happy to be invited to the official competition section at Karlovy Vary which I consider one of the best festivals in the world. If I were invited in any other section I probably wouldn’t have come but that’s different,” admits Šterk. Tuning is a man-woman relationship drama, financed mainly by the Slovenian Film Fund.
Möderndorfer has been in other festivals with Suburbs and got a nomination last year in Montreal, but he has been overwhelmed by the packed theatre for the screening of his film which he calls a “comedy” but is, in fact, a black comedy with some disturbing scenes.
The public’s reaction in Karlovy Vary should give both men courage to keep trying in a small country with limited financial resources for filmmakers who could afford to make only five feature films last year.
But Šterk says there might be a plan, too: “If I win in Karlovy Vary that should definitely change the way I find finance for my next project. But I believe that the way to produce more and better Slovenian films is through real co-productions, not just percentage in somebody else’s project. There is now a closer relationship with the countries of the former Yugoslavia, which was previously interrupted, for obvious reasons, between 1990 and1995. They have enormous talent on offer: my co-writer Sinisa Dragin, is a Serbian who lives in Bucharest, my editor Petar Markovic is Serbian. We’re getting back to forge some kind of cultural federation where we can all mutually benefit”.