On the eve of the opening of the 16th International Documentary Film Festival BELDOCS 2023, the program of domestic authors was presented, as well as the special programs Future of Freedom and Beldocs Industry.
Festival - 10.05.2023.
The festival will open with Mladen Kovačević’s film “Another Spring”, and close with a documentary about rap legend Dalibor Andonov Gru – “Gru is Here”.
At a press conference held in the main hall of the Belgrade Youth Center, prior to the opening, hosted by journalist Dragan Jovićević, the director of the Beldocs festival, Mara Prohaska Marković, addressed the audience, reminding them of the difficult period during which this edition of the festival is taking place, expressing condolences to the families of those who tragically lost their lives in Belgrade and Mladenovac. After a minute of silence, the films that will open and close the 16th Beldocs festival, as well as Serbian feature and short films of this year’s program, were presented, along with the special program Future of Freedom and Beldocs Industry days.
The program of domestic authors, as well as the special programs “Future of Freedom” and “Beldocs Industry,” were presented ahead of the opening of the 16th International Documentary Film Festival Beldocs 2023. The festival will open with Mladen Kovacevic’s film “Another Spring,” and will close with the documentary about rap legend Dalibor Andonov Gru “Gru is Here.” At the press conference held in the Great Hall of the Belgrade Youth Center, prior to the festival opening, which was hosted by journalist Dragan Jovicevic, the director of the Beldocs festival, Mara Prohaska Markovic, addressed the audience, reminding them of the difficult period in which this edition of the festival takes place, expressing condolences to the families of those tragically killed in Belgrade and Mladenovac. After a minute of silence, the films that open and close the 16th Beldocs festival, Serbian feature and short films of this year’s program, as well as the special programs “Future of Freedom” and “Beldocs Industry Days” were presented.
The festival will open with Mladen Kovacevic’s documentary medical thriller “Another Spring” on Wednesday, May 10th at 7:30 pm at the Belgrade Youth Center. The film deals with the smallpox epidemic in Yugoslavia in 1972 and is entirely composed of archival footage that reconstructs events from the moment the virus was brought into Yugoslavia from a market in Iraq. The story is based on the intimate reminiscence of the narrator and protagonist, Dr. Zoran Radovanovic.
The festival will close with Bojan Vinulović and Rennè Miskolcia’s film “Gru is Here” on Wednesday, May 17th at 7:30 pm at the Belgrade Youth Center.
“Everything you will see will cover the biography, but also a whole era of music, the story of the spirit of Belgrade, the birth of the rap culture, and the branching out of a scene that, in the toughest times, could compete with many on a global level in terms of expression, sound, and messages sent,” said the authors Bojan Vinulović and Rennè Miskolci.
Among the group of Serbian feature-length documentary films, the following films were presented:
“Invoked” by Luka Papić and Srđa Vuča, a political comedy with tragic consequences that deals with one of the strangest periods in Serbian political history. Four former presidential candidates, political outsiders, recall their participation in the first multi-party elections in 1990 and relive the event that was fateful for all of them. “Invoked” is not a film about the “birth of the democratic scene” and the first multi-party elections in historical and informative terms, but a film about human nature and ego,” said the authors.
“I’m people, I am nobody” by Svetislav Dragomirović is a film that depicts the personal drama of a sixty-year-old retired porn actor from Serbia, who awaits the end of a Kafkaesque trial in a Maltese prison, struggling with demons that don’t allow him to sleep.
The films “Portrait of a Dying Giant” by Stefan Đorđević and “Flotacija” by Aleksandra Tatić and Eluned Zoi Aiano were produced by Miloš Ljubomirović. Both films are about people in Eastern Serbia, in Bor and Majdanpek, who work in the mining industry.
The film “Aurora’s Dream” was directed by Dragana Jovanović, who says that the film focuses on neglected areas of the mind and soul that we occasionally delve into, but are often afraid to articulate, understand, and share. “Aurora’s Dream” explores the collective unconscious during a period of contemporary crisis. Individual participants share their most powerful dreams. Subconscious narratives visually intertwine with the turbulence of the present, highlighting archetypes and motifs from the fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty,” the director stated.
Filip Markovinović, the director of the film “reCAPITULATION”, says about his film: ‘Exactly 30 years ago, a group of artists froze their works and thus symbolically gave up their personal artistic practices in order to participate in what today would be called activist or socially engaged art (at that time it was exclusively a question of ethics) through organized action. This action resulted in the art group Led art, which has been active in various incarnations to this day. Under the slogan of ethics over aesthetics, the group was guided by the utopian idea that art can heal a sick society.’
The film “Irreversible Time Fairy Tale” directed by Pavle Terzić is a movie about the history of Belgrade clubbing and a scene that was special in many ways… From Detroit, through Chicago, all the way to Manchester, Berlin, or Belgrade, regardless of whether it belongs to the club scene or big raves, electronic sound becomes a kind of new musical religion. This thesis is particularly significant when taking into account the extremely specific political, sociological, and cultural circumstances that mark our country and the period of the 1990s.
The film “Boogie & Demons” was directed by Ivan Šijak, and it is about the well-known street photographer and artist, Bugi, with a special emphasis on his work in Belgrade and a series of photographs he made using a special technique – wet collodion.
A program of short Serbian documentary films was also presented, including Gorana Jovanović’s “Balls”, Jelena Radenović’s “And the River Still Flows”, and “End of the Road ” by Ivana Todorović, which, as the author says, explores themes of mortality, empathy, and dignity that belong to all living beings, through the story of Željko and Viki, who have dedicated themselves to providing a peaceful and dignified end for abandoned horses in the only horse sanctuary in Serbia. “In this difficult moment for our society, the film offers love and empathy and brings people closer together,” said Ivana.
Tijana Petrovic’s “A Field Guide to Coastal Fortifications”
This film essay explores the technological evolution of military bunkers built on the coast of San Francisco Bay. The film examines the dynamic relationship between structures of colonial power and the land on which they are built. Through the mythology of the landscape, the film follows the evolution of military technologies of surveillance.
Davor Marinković’s “Reznica” portrays two generations of displaced individuals who are still trying to create a new identity after the breakup of Yugoslavia.
Beldocs Special, which has become recognizable for its thorough film exploration of social reality within a different theme each year, once again opens up space for reflecting on current civilizational struggles by brave and independent filmmakers. This year’s special, “Future of Freedom”, is dedicated to the most current film achievements about struggles that marked the difficult year behind us, struggles that still continue and have a crucial role in creating our future; as well as unique film stories about the conquest of individual freedom as a starting point of a new social universe that inspires us to believe in changes. In addition to the premieres of five latest and multiple award-winning documentary films from different parts of the world, three panel discussions on key themes raised by the films will be held as part of the program in partnership with Insajder TV and SHARE Foundation.
During the Beldocs Industry days, a forum will be organized to present 18 documentary film projects from 11 countries. The projects are in various stages, from development to post-production, and will be presented to a group of professionals from around the world, including TV channel editors such as ARTE and Current TV, platforms such as MUBI, festival programmers including Sundance, Venice Film Festival, Locarno, and IDFA, sales agents, and distribution companies.
We invite everyone to attend panels and masterclasses of renowned filmmakers and film experts that will take place at the Gallery of the Graphic Collective and the Yugoslav Cinematheque. For more information about the Industry program, please visit the Beldocs Industry website.
You can download the entire program of the Beldocs festival from this link: BELDOCS PROGRAM.