Spotlight on European co-productions in Novi Sad
by Gabriele Barcaro
11/07/2007 - The first Film Festival of Serbia, held in Novi Sad, was divided between the promotion of national cinema and European product: five days of screenings (July 3-8) endorsed by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia, the Executive Council of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina and the City Council of Novi Sad.
There were two competitive sections. The first, National Class, offered feature films produced in Serbia in the last 12 months, for the attention (above all) of foreign spectators and professionals. Of the sixteen films, most noteworthy was Gucha by Dušan Milić, made in co-production with Austria, Germany and Bulgaria.
Winner of the Audience Award at the Sofia International Film Festival, Milić’s second film (a "Romeo and Juliet" between rival music groups) came about, like his previous Strawberries in the Supermarket, under the aegis of Emir Kusturica, to whom the festival paid tribute with an ample retrospective of his most celebrated works.
The jury, presided over by Iceland’s Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, gave its Best Film Award to Belle Epoque by Nikola Stojanović, a dramatic comedy on the historic events of Sarajevo in 1914, told through the life of Antonio Waltz, the first cameraman of Bosnian cinema. Best Director went to Szabolcs Tornai for Sand Glass, based on the Danilo Kiš novel.
The other competition section, Eurimages, offered a (for the first time competitive) panorama of productions and, above all, co-productions financed by the eponymous fund. The showcase of names ranged from masters Raoul Ruiz (the European blockbuster Klimt [trailer]) and Carlos Saura (Iberia), to young talent of tomorrow, such as the “scandalous” Taxidermia [trailer] by György Pálfi.
The fact that co-productions lie at the heart of the new festival was further proven by the Danubius Film Fund project, promoted (following the example of the Balkan Fund of the Thessaloniki Film Festival) to offer a cooperation platform between Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldavia and the Ukraine. And Serbia, naturally, which with its Eurocentric program confirms its candidacy for the MEDIA Programme.
(Translated from Italian)