The Factory 2019 was made in Southeast Europe
by Vladan Petkovic
- This year, the Directors' Fortnight short-film initiative showcases five films made in collaboration between Dominique Welinski and the Sarajevo Film Festival
The Cannes Directors' Fortnight initiative The Factory, aimed at fostering the emergence of new talents on the international scene, allowing young filmmaking couples, both locals and internationals, to meet and create together, is this year dedicated to Southeast Europe. After Taiwan in 2013, Copenhagen and Helsinki in 2014, Chile in 2015, South Africa in 2016, Lebanon in 2017 and Tunisia in 2018, the Directors’ Fortnight, Sarajevo Film Festival's (SFF's) Obala Art Center and Dominique Welinski's company DW have joined forces to continue the adventure this year with SEE Factory.
The project paired five directors from the SEE region with five international filmmakers to produce five shorts which will be screened at Cannes as an omnibus: The Right One by Urška Djukić (Slovenia) and Gabriel Tzafka (Greece/Denmark), The Sign by Eleonora Veninova (North Macedonia) and Yona Rozenkier (Israel/Switzerland), In Your Hands by Maša Šarović (Serbia) and Sharon Engelhart (Israel), Spit by Neven Samardžić (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Carolina Markowitz (Brazil), and The Package by Dušan Kasalica (Montenegro) and Teodora Ana Mihai (Romania/Belgium).
"For the first time, not one but five countries are producing this Factory together, five driving forces working together to combine their talents: Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Slovenia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina," says Christophe Leparc, managing director of the Directors’ Fortnight. "When we think that, not so long ago, most of these countries were at war, we can only rejoice about what can be achieved through cinema. They invited directors from Israel, Greece, Brazil, Romania and Switzerland to gather in the very emblematic and symbolic city of Sarajevo. The ten filmmakers offer us the result of their exchanges with five short films, whilst waiting to discover their individual long feature films in a few years' time, as did those who participated in the Factory before them.”
“Connecting Sarajevo City of Film and the Factory made sense for us from the first Factory programme we’ve seen,” say executive producers Mirsad Purivatra, Izeta Građević and Jovan Marjanović, of the SFF. "Sarajevo Film Festival’s goal was always to nurture filmmaking talent in Southeast Europe and provide opportunities for presenting it internationally. Now that we have done it together with the Factory programme, we have witnessed the synergies it created, and it’s obvious to us that this is just the beginning and that we will see much more from these filmmakers in the future."
SEE Factory was made with the support of the Film Center Serbia, the Film Centre of Montenegro, the Ministry of Culture and Sport, Canton of Sarajevo, the North Macedonian Film Agency and the Slovenian Film Centre, and will premiere on 15 May at 4.45 pm, right before the official opening of the Directors' Fortnight.
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